Staff Writer Haley Kindler talks about her troubles with math software
By: HALEY KINDLER
Math is a subject that causes many students stress throughout their schooling. It is a subject that requires patience, attention to detail and perseverance. It is no walk in the park. Just look at all the math resources there are on campus: a math lab, a computer lab and signs for math tutors litter the hallways.
With stress already being present, there’s no need for any more to be added. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case with the online programs the math department utilizes; in particular, MyMathLab and Connect Math. Homework and quizzes are uploaded onto the website and then given a due date and sometimes a time limit.
The problem with this is that technology is not as reliable as society likes to believe it is. There are often glitches and lags. Students struggle to complete assignments on time as the website crashes or loads a page very slowly. When some problems already take several minutes to complete, the lost time can add onto anxiety.
Students already have a heavy schedule during semesters, with jobs and other classes. For every hour of class, there is an expected two hours of homework. Students simply do not have the time to wait around for a glitchy program to load, or to rework problems that were originally right but marked wrong. Late nights turn into later nights as math problems turn into website problems.
It also adds high amounts of frustration. Many times I have sat in the math lab and overheard conversations of disheartened students, and the occasional tutor, complaining of the website counting their answer wrong, even though it was right. Or they had the right answer, just left out a parenthesis or comma in their answer and had to start all over.
I have witnessed my fair share of students being unable to finish quizzes or tests online because the website kept freezing up.
I have seen many frustrated students look as though they are ready to pull their own hair out as an already tough subject begins to excel in stress.
As this semester ends, and a new one approaches, the search to find an efficient program should continue. I am aware that there will be hiccups in every way homework and quizzes can be taken, but students should not need to worry about the instability of a website over the actual material.
Progress must be made in order to keep students down from an unhealthy stress level. Students should be reworking problems they actually do not understand, not problems that we’re mistakenly marked wrong.