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The Math Emporium: Higher Education's Silver Bullet

Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning Volume 43, Number 3, ISSN 0009-1383


Throughout the 1990's, many people saw information technology as a silver bullet that could solve many of higher education's problems, among them the need to improve learning outcomes and control the ever-upward trajectory of higher education costs. The term "silver bullet" connotes a direct and effortless solution to a problem. Unsurprisingly, the integration of technology and higher education has been neither direct nor effortless, but now it can be said with certainty that technology can be used to address both learning and cost problems simultaneously. One of the most persistent learning problems is the dismal record of student performance in developmental and college-level mathematics at two- and four-year institutions. From working with large numbers of students, faculty and institutions, National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT) has learned what works and what does not work in improving student achievement in mathematics. The underlying principle is simple: Students learn math by doing math, not by listening to someone talk about doing math. Interactive computer software, personalized on-demand assistance, and mandatory student participation are the key elements of success. This article discusses the "emporium model" and the four stages of innovation.


Twigg, C.A. (2011). The Math Emporium: Higher Education's Silver Bullet. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 43(3), 25-34. Retrieved December 6, 2021 from .

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