Efficacy and research

Enrich Project-Based Learning with Gale and Google for Education

Napa Valley Unified School District Enriches Project-Based Learning with Gale and Google for Education Located in California’s wine country, Napa Valley Unified School District (NVUSD) serves 18,000 students at more than 30 schools. The district’s mission is threefold: to prepare students for college and careers, provide equitable access to learning resources, and instill future ready skills. To meet these goals, NVUSD focuses on project-based and inquiry-based learning that engages students in practical, real life experiences. Technology plays a leading role, and features a “game-changing”
digital solution that integrates database resources from Gale/Cengage Learning with the communication and collaboration features of Google Apps for Education.

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Conectados Solves the Challenges Faced By an Outdated Text

Teaching Spanish at Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa, gives Mary West plenty of exposure to a variety of different students. From typical 18-year-old freshmen to working re-entry students, her elementary and intermediate Spanish courses allow her to interact with students who are digital natives and some who may take longer to embrace online activities and assignments. These courses and students also require monitoring—so she can easily intervene to help a struggling student—and a heavy time investment to accurately correct homework and activities. When West and her colleagues learned that their existing text was going out of Read More…


MindTap Improves Student Engagement, Helps Teach Art

For Victoria Buck, an instructor who teaches art history at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee, getting students to truly engage with the subject was a goal. Buck is a mixed-media sculpture artist who would like for her students to see the magic in art in that she does, and therefore wanted her students to see particular pieces and learn specific concepts. Many students are inherently interested, but she feared some may lose interest without interactivity and compelling resources like video. After learning about Cengage Learning’s Art Through The Ages on MindTap from a colleague, Buck thought the Read More…


MindTap Saves Instructor Time, Improves Students’ Public Speaking

Diane Carter has been teaching communication at the college level since 2001, following a successful career in the business sector. Now Carter, Public Speaking Course Director in the Department of Psychology and Communication Studies at the University of Idaho, encounters students from all walks of life and levels of experience. Some, she explains, like to hold the printed book and study the old-fashioned way; others are tech-savvy millennials who prefer everything online, including reading, studying, and communication. Consequently, her approach to teaching her Fundamentals of Public Speaking courses must be flexible, innovative, and appeal to a wide range Read More…


MindTap Helps Practice Social Research, Improve Learning Outcomes

Dr. Mitch Peck teaches several undergraduate and graduate courses in statistics and research methods, medical sociology, and stratification at the University of Oklahoma. In his research methods class, Peck points out that students learn by doing, and he felt that his students were not doing enough to master the concepts and excel. His students just didn’t seem to be in full understanding of how to conduct social research, or familiar enough with the concepts to drive their own research studies. “I didn’t feel like students were getting a ton out of the class,” said Peck. “I wanted them to Read More…


Competing with Google and Providing Vetted Reference Materials

Finding quality, curated research material—and getting students to look beyond Google—can be challenging. But there is a better way. Librarians want their students to locate the best information for research projects without wasting time fishing around on the Internet, hoping what they find is relevant and trustworthy. However, many college students are so used to using search engines like Google, and crossing their fingers that what turns up is appropriate, and changing ingrained behavior can be tough. Lasell College librarian Jill Shoemaker has discovered a better way to help her honors students find and identify trusted resources for their research Read More…


MindTap a Valuable “Work of Art” for Online Art History Courses

Professors of online courses have the benefit of being able to work for colleges that are hundreds of miles away, and hundreds of miles apart. Case in point: Sheila LeviAland, who teaches art history for Lord Fairfax Community College in Virginia and Valencia College in Florida. Since long before her introduction to digital products, Sheila has used one of the field’s classic texts — Gardner’s Art through the Ages. When decision makers at Lord Fairfax switched to MindTap®, Sheila was wary due to a negative experience with another company’s web-based assignment and assessment platform. She needn’t have been. “I Read More…


 Time-Strapped Instructor Searches for Ways to Provide Students with Research Topics and Vetted Resources 

Melanie Claybar, an English teacher at Little Cypress-Mauriceville Consolidated School District, often felt as if her hands were tied. Claybar teaches AP English Language Composition to some of the 1,100 students in the Orange, Texas school district. But she often found herself lacking the resources necessary for her students to create the well-rounded research papers with authoritative sources she expected. “We were just so limited on the topics students could choose,” Claybar said. “I would have to develop a list of topics and identify a collection of websites I knew were credible for students to use. It took a Read More…


Graduate Student Lacks Access to Rare Niche-Specific Reference Materials  

Monica Smith, a student working toward a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative nonfiction writing, was looking for a needle in a haystack. Specifically, Smith wanted to write a series of children’s books about African American aviators. The problem she faced was a lack of access to high-quality reference materials necessary to create books that are visually compelling, informative, and engaging. “Some of the people I wanted to write about are less known,” Smith said. “Besides information on pilots involved in an African American civilian pilot training program, I needed pictures to make these stories come alive for Read More…


Student Ambassador Finds Enhanced WebAssign® “Taylor-Made” to Help with Math Skills

Taylor Dougherty’s first digital learning experience was in pre-calculus as a college freshman, when she was “crazy busy” with a full course load and a full-time job. She’s a conscientious student, but felt intimidated because she doesn’t like mathematics. Enhanced WebAssign® (EWA), which was required for homework and tests, proved to be a blessing. “I had a difficult time understanding my professor, so I relied on Enhanced WebAssign a lot,” she recalls. “It really helped me with the skills I needed to get through the course.” Taylor takes online courses whenever possible, as she appreciates the flexibility to carve Read More…