Efficacy and research

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.

Read More…


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.

Read More…


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.
Read More…


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.
Read More…


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.
Read More…


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.

Read More…


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…