Efficacy and research

Instructor Frustrated with Tedious Administrative Chores Finds Relief with OWLv2

Houston Brown, a chemistry professor at the University of Houston–Downtown, often felt as if he was anything but a professor. Instead of spending the bulk of his time helping introductory and organic chemistry students better understand and comprehend difficult subject matter, Brown regularly found himself tending to a learning management system that laboriously soaked up his time and patience.

Besides Brown, students at UHD were demanding more from the platform that constituted twenty-percent of their grade. It’s one reason Brown was happy to switch to Cengage Learning’s OWLv2, a cloud-based learning system that provides chemistry students with a collection of study and test preparation tools designed to foster engagement and better grades.

One feature that helps Brown and his students focus more on what matters is the on-demand feedback OWLv2 provides students during homework assignments. Besides organizing and prioritizing assignments in visually appealing ways, OWLv2 allows students to identify in real time why exactly they answered a problem incorrectly. It also provides Brown with the analytics required to intervene immediately.
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OWLv2 is Key to Meaningful Homework and Better Student Engagement

If variety is the spice of life nowhere is that more evident than inside a university classroom where distractions abound and students can easily find other things to do rather than focus on lectures and concentrate on homework. “I want them to know the homework assignments aren’t just busy work,” said Steven Neal, an organic chemistry professor at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.
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Ivy Tech Boosts Passing Rates in Accounting with CengageNOW

Professor Gary Laycock is the Accounting Program Chair at Ivy Tech Community College, which has more than thirty locations throughout Indiana. He teaches online accounting classes as well as several face-to-face sections every semester, each with an average of twelve to fourteen students.

Currently, accounting instructors are required to use a non-Cengage Learning technology solution for online courses, but are free to choose whatever system they wish in the face-to-face classes. In Fall 2014, Professor Laycock chose CengageNOW.
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MindTap Provides Easy Integration and Measurable Student Success in Introduction to Business Course

Sarah Bumgarner, an Introduction to Business instructor at Sandhills Community College in North Carolina, was determined to improve the achievement level of student learning outcomes for online students. Bumgarner knows how increased engagement is directly tied to improved student outcomes. Getting students engaged and keeping the level of motivation high continued to be a struggle. She also wanted to find an online resource to provide exceptional technological support for both students and
instructor, allowing her to focus on content rather than technological support. This would give students more opportunities to see business concepts in action, which she believes would lead to greater understanding, and in the end, better results.
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Bridge Program with EWA a Success for Incoming MSU Students

At Michigan State University, math professors wanted to give students the opportunity to get ahead before they even started. For students who have been newly admitted
to Michigan State and have been placed into Intermediate Algebra, MSU offers the opportunity to take Freshman Math Initiative (FMI) Summer Transition Program: a summer bridge course that helps students acquire the necessary skills to advance and successfully complete College Algebra in their first semester.

Faculty’s vision was student success without undue burden on the student. Another program goal was to enable students to be exposed to a college course and develop the academic skills needed to succeed in their first year of college. Because success of this program is highly dependent on student engagement, participation, and effort, MSU adopted Enhanced WebAssign® as the primary method of delivering the course content.

In this Case Study, you’ll learn about the positive outcomes that MSU has seen as a result of instituting this program, including improved exam scores and strong numbers of students who advanced to the next required math class or completed their math requirement.

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Statistical Content Becomes More Accessible and Student Achievement Gets a Boost with MindTap

Due to her extensive background in research and statistics, Dr. Starlett M. Sinclair became the dedicated instructor for Research Methods and Behavioral Statistics courses when she was hired as full-time faculty and the Assistant Program Director of South University’s undergraduate psychology program. Both courses are a significant part of the psychology major at her school.

Sinclair strives to make statistical content approachable for students, even those who are “math-phobic.” She lets them know that they may be challenged, but that she will give them every resource they need to succeed. She wants to see her students engage with the material, do their best to master it in the timeframe we have, and ultimately succeed academically, and believes that having access to researched, well-designed, intuitive-to-use resources really can make the difference for a student.

After being introduced to MindTap during a focus group at the 2014 American Psychological Association meeting, Sinclair decided to participate in a MindTap pilot program, which would give her students access to the learning solution. In this case study, you’ll read her observations from this pilot, and see how student engagement and achievement were boosted among those students who chose to engage with the material through MindTap.

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Students at Texas Christian University Give MindTap High Marks in Introductory Criminal Justice

William “Bill” Mathis, who teaches Introduction to Criminal Justice at Texas Christian University (TCU), is always on the lookout for solutions that will help him teach more efficiently and effectively, as well as help students learn more efficiently and effectively. On that front, he gives high marks to MindTap® Criminal Justice, as do his students.

In efforts to engage his students and illustrate the realities of the criminal justice system, Professor Mathis integrates his professional experiences (as a civilian chief of police, watch commander, and serving-instructing in law enforcement in the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy) as well as real-world videos of relevant topics into his courses. Gathering these materials and preparing for classes can take a significant amount of time, so when Cengage Learning did a MindTap presentation at TCU, he was more than intrigued. When MindTap became available with his text in use (Criminal Justice in Action by Larry K. Gaines and Roger LeRoy Miller), he jumped at the chance to use it.

In this case study, you’ll learn why Professor Mathis finds MindTap to be as effective as it is efficient. You’ll read about the features that have helped his students learn and retain the material, as well as the reporting tools, which help both him and his students keep track of their progress in the course. He also describes the efficiency-enhancing benefits of MindTap’s progress app, which offers a gradebook with meaningful, easy-to-use analytics.

You’ll also see why and how Mathis’s that students appreciate, and benefit from, MindTap. Students say they’re more engaged, and they also appreciate features such as flashcards, an easy-to-access glossary, and search functionality; they also like the due dates and assignment lists, which help them stay on top of their coursework. What’s more, 92% of those who completed a course survey rated the online learning platform as excellent or good.
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MindTap General Chemistry Leads to Higher Grades and Success Rates at Texas Tech

Professor Greg Gellene, a Chemistry professor at Texas Tech University, was interested in improving the academic outcomes of his students in his Principles of Chemistry course. He liked many of MindTap General Chemistry’s student-centered features. He therefore decided to study the impact of MindTap General Chemistry in comparison to their current digital solution.

To do this, he compared the course grades and success rates of students in his section using MindTap General Chemistry with those in other sections using the other solution in Fall 2014. Additionally, he surveyed the students using MindTap General Chemistry to understand their experience with the product in the course.
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MindTap for U.S. History Increases Student Engagement at Oakland University

Dr. Dale Prentiss, Special Lecturer in Oakland University’s History department, teaches HST 114, a survey course that covers American history from the colonial era through post-Civil War Reconstruction, focusing on the formation of the United States and the forces promoting unity and division in the new nation. The course is offered in both in-class and online formats and can be taken to satisfy Oakland University’s requirements in either western civilization knowledge exploration or U.S. diversity.

Prior to using MindTap for U.S. History, Dr. Prentiss had been teaching his course using a combination of a print textbook and online learning solution. He began exploring using MindTap after seeing a demonstration of the solution integrated with Gale research content. Dr. Prentiss knew that Oakland University’s library had recently made
a significant investment in Eighteenth Century Collections Online and was excited by the possibility of bringing that content directly into the students’ learning path. In addition to the unique feature of integrating library research content into his course, Dr. Prentiss believed that MindTap could help him create a course that was more engaging and encouraged students to think critically.
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Instructor Turns to Technology to Identify and Assist Struggling Students at Owens Community College

Cy Keiffer, a computer instructor at Owens Community College, quickly became frustrated with guessing which students needed more of his time and attention to succeed in his Introduction to Computing course. Teaching the course with the printed textbooks was challenging, Keiffer said. Adding to Keiffer’s frustration was the fact that students were often unable to see exactly where they were erring when attempting to learn about the Microsoft Office suite of products. It meant Keiffer often spent too much time reinforcing course material some of his students had already mastered while not spending enough time on topics that still puzzled students.

Keiffer sought a digital solution that would not only take the guesswork out of identifying which students needed additional attention, but also create a richer learning environment with fewer redundancies and inefficiencies. He found exactly what he was in search of when Owens Community College switched to Cengage Learning’s SAM platform, a cloud-based interactive learning environment that helps students master Microsoft Office and computer concepts vital to academic and career success. Owens uses a master Blackboard shell and the same SAM assignments across all sections and instructors.

In the case study below, you’l read how Students in Keiffer’s course now complete both assignments and exams in SAM, which allows instructors unique insight regarding individual performance. You’ll also see how the use of SAM helps instructors identify which students need extra help, as well as what they could to to improve or revise their courses.

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