PSC’s Hawkes Learning Software Boosting Grades; Program Offers Students Interactive Way To Learn Math

Ariel Roberts
PSC student Ariel Roberts is shown in the Hawkes Math Lab. (PHOTO SUPPLIED)

Chicago Heights, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Ariel Roberts said she used to struggle with math homework before taking courses equipped with Hawkes Learning Software at Prairie State College.

Roberts, of Chicago Heights, is enrolled in her second Hawkes course, which teaches math by integrating interactive computer software. She said the program makes math easier to understand.

“It offers more details and breaks the math down into steps," Roberts said. "Math is my worst subject and the Hawkes courses have taken the stress off."

Brian Garant, associate professor of mathematics and mathematics department chairman, said the Hawkes program has achieved significant results since its launch about two years ago.

Garant said average final exam scores for students who passed the two courses with Hawkes software with a C or better showed "statistically significant" improvement; scores jumped about 14 percentage points in Intermediate Algebra, and by about nine points in Elementary Algebra.

Garant said the software gives students unlimited opportunities to practice and achieve our desired level of mastery.

"They can practice over and over again without needing an instructor to grade it, and they can get instant feedback on their progress," Garant said.

The program’s simple interface gives students step-by-step instructions and the interactive lessons include worked examples, games, pop-up definition links, animations, audio recordings of the text and video examples.

Hawkes allows students to practice randomized problems and gives them instant feedback, such as suggesting possible errors, before allowing them to perform the work for a grade. Students also can access the Hawkes software on campus or from home for additional practice.

PSC student David Pinelli, of Matteson, said he prefers the Hawkes system to traditional math courses.

"This method really drills the concepts into your system," Pinelli said. "You can do the math problems as many times as you like, it helps you figure out if there is something you missed.”

Garant said PSC is exploring plans to integrate the software into other courses due to its promising results, such as College Algebra.