Efficacy and research

Critical Thinking Skills and Student Success Rates Increase in History Courses with MindTap at TSU

Due to low student pass rates in HIS 231 and 232 courses (which survey the social, political, economic, cultural, and intellectual history of the United States from the pre-Columbian era to the present), the chair of Texas Southern University’s History department, Dr. Nikki Taylor, began exploring adopting a different learning solution for these courses. They needed something that would allow their students to understand the course content. They also wanted a digital learning solution that would allow students to increase their critical reading and critical thinking skills.

After a review of learning solutions, Dr. Taylor came to the conclusion that Cengage Learning’s MindTap was the best fit for the History department’s survey courses. She and her core U.S. History faculty then went to work redesigning the survey courses. They ensured that these courses were structured in a manner that was consistent with MindTap, and that they leveraged the available tools and technology.

In this case study, you can read the results of research that examines the impact of MindTap on students’ academic outcomes in these courses. Both the qualitative and quantitative data show MindTap had a significant impact on learner outcomes and student engagement in the courses. Students who used MindTap outperformed their peers who used other instructional materials in the past. Instructors also noted that a key objective of the course—to increase students’ critical thinking skills—had been met through the course redesign around MindTap.

Read More…


Instructors Using 4LTR Press Products Provide a Look Inside Their Classroom Success

Cengage Learning interviewed instructors using 4LTR Press titles at different institutions to understand instructor and student use of print and online components.

The instructors have seen improvements in student engagement, classroom participation, and positive student feedback when using 4LTR Press titles.

 
Read More…


MindTap for Intro to Business Improves Students’ Engagement and Outcomes

As lead instructor for the introductory business courses at Sandhills Community College, Sarah Bumgarner was determined to improve achievement level of student learning outcomes of online students. Bumgarner knows that increased engagement improves student outcomes as well as their overall engagement in the course.

But getting them engaged and keeping the level of motivation high has always been a struggle. She also wanted to find an online resource that provided exceptional technological support to both her students and the 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.

Read More…


Instruction and Features Drive Library Resource Usage at Hayes High School

Sarah Ressler has been the Media Specialist at Hayes High School for one year. Sarah has extensive teaching experience having served 13 years as an English teacher – 12 of them at Hayes. When an opening in the Media Center surfaced, Sarah saw a chance to make a difference and accepted the position. Throughout her first year in the position Sarah made it her mission to demonstrate the value of library resources to students and teachers at Hayes. Sarah focused on building relationships with teachers as well as educating both teachers and students on how to effectively use library resources. Hayes High School subscribes to Science Resources in Context, Opposing Viewpoints in Context and InfoTrac periodical solutions.

Sarah started her journey by meeting with teachers in different subject areas to understand their information needs. Sarah found teachers to be very receptive to her outreach and they worked together to devise strategies for improving students’ information literacy skills. Additionally, Sarah worked closely with her Gale representative, Andrea Eshelman, to learn how to effectively leverage features available in Gale resources. Sarah developed a presentation on library resources that showed students the value and advantage of using library databases to conduct research. In addition to demonstrating to students the credibility of information contained in library resources, Sarah showed the students how various database tools can save them time and effort when conducting research.

Read More…


Aplia Helps Developmental English Students Thrive in Boot Camp

Elizabeth Keefe is an Assistant Professor of English that oversees the developmental English programs at Gateway Community College in New Haven Connecticut. In 2013, Elizabeth began redesigning Gateway’s developmental English programs in response to a law passed in Connecticut that required colleges and universities to reconfigure their developmental education curriculum. In order to fully address the needs of students with the most significant gaps in their reading and writing skills, Elizabeth developed Boot Camp – a three-week intensive review of basic reading and writing concepts. Students at the lowest remedial English level attend the Boot Camp prep course and conclude it by taking the ACCUPLACER placement exam. The goal of the course is for students to score high enough on the ACCUPLACER exam to place into a higher level English course, thus saving them time and money.

Read More…


Michigan High School Media Specialists Drive MeL Usage and Student Success

Grosse Pointe North High School, Grosse Pointe South High School, and Oxford High School are the top three users of Michigan eLibrary (MeL) resources for K12 schools in the state of Michigan. Gale wanted to understand what was driving this usage and
find out why these Media Specialists were having such incredible success in integrating library resources into their schools’ curricula. Interestingly, these Media Specialists, although in three different schools, have similar approaches to bibliographic instruction, managing resources, and teaching students how to conduct research. Integrating MeL resources into the high school website, implementing a library curriculum, and collaborating with teachers have all lead to improved bibliographic and research skills among students.

Read More…


4LTR Press Course Materials Improve Marketing Students’ Retention and Grades

As a marketing instructor, Professor Beth Deinert of Southeast Community College (SCC) in Nebraska is knowledgeable about the concept of trends. Some time ago she saw a disturbing trend — traditional textbooks creating “readability difficulties” for too many students. The annual uptick in traditional textbook prices was also disconcerting. The fact that her courses were taught online further complicated her selection of an appropriate course solution.
 
Professor Deinert’s eventual adoption of a 4LTR Press title, MKTG, addressed these diverse concerns and produced positive results. Professor Deinert especially liked the format of MKTG. The textbook was designed by a student-tested, faculty-approved development process, used for all 4LTR Press solutions and determined to maximize student engagement and access across learning styles.
 
Along with the engaging presentation in the core text, Professor Deinert found the inclusion of CourseMate with MKTG and other 4LTR Press titles to be an important benefit to her students, both because of the online environment in which she teaches and the value of these online resources when evaluated on their own merits.
 
A year after adopting MKTG, Professor Deinert cites higher retention, improved homework grades, and “more in-depth” and detailed answers and examples in student work as proof that her choice of MKTG was a good one.

Read More…


Engaging Physics Students to Go Beyond the Quantitative

For many physics instructors, maintaining motivation and building engagement to better support students with various learning challenges can be difficult. Students often view physics as a series of unrelated facts, concepts, and equations that have little or no bearing on their everyday lives. This disconnect can often lead to disengagement and lack of motivation. Additional common student learning challenges include: difficulty connecting  mathematical formalism and physics
concepts, assembling diverse concepts, and overcoming common preconceptions (or misconceptions).

Physics education research (PER) suggests that by addressing student preconceptions and focusing on conceptual learning, students will achieve a much deeper understanding. Students who connect physics to the real world and confront preconceptions will be better engaged and more equipped to build the necessary conceptual framework to achieve better learning outcomes.
Read More…


Driving Student Engagement with 4LTR Press at St. Petersburg College

In Summer of 2010, Dr. John Kurnik of St. Petersburg College (St. Petersburg, FL) switched from a traditional textbook to BUSN, the introduction to business title from 4LTR Press. Four years later, Dr. Kurnik cites improvement in student retention numbers and a higher quality of assigned discussions as proof that changing to the 4LTR Press solution was “a smart move.” Read this featured case study, and consider how 4LTR Press may be able to help increase retention and improve classroom discussion in your own course.

Read More…


Using the IncludED® Course Fee Model to Improve Student Readiness, Course Material Delivery, and Bookstore Sell-Through

The delayed purchase of assigned course materials can often negatively impact student preparedness and success. For this reason, many institutions are seeking new ways to address these concerns, which have an impact both students’ and instructors’ time and their overall experience in the course.

This featured case study explores an innovative partnership which allows course materials to be delivered as part of a student’s fee payment. Read how the includED program has delivered positive benefits to the faculty, students, and bookstore at Indiana University—Purdue University Fort Wayne.
Read More…