University of Louisville

University of Louisville: Louisville, Kentucky. Case study.Courses: GEN 103: Special Topics in College Mathematics for Non-STEM Majors and GEN 104: Special Topics for STEM Majors
Course Type: Emporium

Quick Stats:

  • In fall 2016, 72.5% of students passed using Hawkes, compared to 54.2% of students who passed in fall 2015 and 51.5% in fall 2014 using a different software platform.
  • Approximately 70% of students who pass GEN 103 and GEN 104 go on to earn a passing grade in their first MATH course in the Mathematics Department.

Beginning in fall 2013, the University of Louisville (UofL) implemented intervention
courses for students who were not college-ready in mathematics. Faculty and staff
wanted to offer classes that would give students the support and resources they needed without slowing down their paths to graduation.

UofL replaced all traditional sections of Intermediate Algebra with two new emporium-style intervention courses in algebra. These courses are part of the Resources for Academic Achievement (REACH) program, the centralized academic support unit for all of the university’s undergraduate students. Instead of whole-class lecturing, students meet in a computer lab setting and work through their lessons with the assistance of self-paced courseware, peer tutors, and a course instructor (who serves as a facilitator and guide).

UofL switched to Hawkes Learning courseware after piloting the materials in summer 2016 because of positive student feedback, exceptional customer support from Hawkes, and the overall success rates of students using Hawkes courseware. After switching to Hawkes Learning and making several other structural changes to the program (such as the development of a common final exam), the pass rate of GEN 103/104 students increased dramatically.

Bar graph depicting fall pass rate. In fall 2013, 55.3% of students passed. In 2014, 51.5% passed. In fall 2015, 54.2% passed. In fall 2016 while using Hawkes, 72.5% passed.


Jonathan Watkins