Efficacy and research

Enhanced WebAssign Helps Engineering Students Stay Focused and Better Understand Difficult Concepts

Debarghya Bhandary and Ajith Shajan, both engineering majors at Columbus State University, share the common goal of soon transferring to Georgia Tech to complete their
studies. In fact, Debarghya has already been accepted to Georgia Tech and plans to begin studies there in fall 2014. Where they differ is how tech savvy they consider themselves to be: Ajith admits that he “knows the basics” while Debarghya is much more advanced in his familiarity with technology.
For both students, tough science-based courses are the norm for them at Columbus State. Both are taking Linear Algebra, which includes Enhanced WebAssign as the online homework component, along with digital access to Ron Larson’s Linear Algebra text. Both Ajith and Debarghya liked the fact that Enhanced WebAssign allows you to go back and review and practice questions you don’t understand until you get it right, which helped them both prepare for quizzes and do well.

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How Do Instructors Use Their Course LMS?

Though you will find a Learning Management System (LMS) in use at many institutions around the country, individual instructors do use their course LMS in different ways and for different purposes. In fact, if you’re using one in your own course, you have likely already discovered that you and your colleagues in different departments set up and manage your course LMS in a different manner, too. In a recent survey conducted by Cengage Learning, instructors revealed the ways that they commonly use their course LMS. The top three responses:

    77% use the LMS to track students’ grades.
    77% post the course syllabus to the LMS.
    71% post course
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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.

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Efficacy of SAM Projects in Intro to Computing Courses

Given the importance that employers place on computer applications skills in a wide variety of fields, it is not surprising that increasingly colleges and universities are requiring their students to take a computer applications course as a prerequisite for graduation. Additionally, students also realize the value of proficiency in computer applications, most notably Microsoft® Office applications, as critical skills for employment and advancement. To meet the demand of increased enrollments, and to provide students with opportunities to apply computer application skills to real-world tasks and activities, college instructors are embracing the use of online solutions that provide opportunities for proficiency assessment and auto grading.

To gain an understanding as to how these types of digital tools can improve outcomes in real classroom settings, Project Tomorrow collaborated with Cengage Learning to evaluate the efficacy of the use of SAM online projects within Microsoft applications courses during the spring semester of 2014. Read More…


Fully Integrated Solutions Go Beyond the Links

Digital learning solutions are offering instructors and students more ways to engage with course content than ever before. With seamless login now a standard of LMS integration, instructors and administrators are looking for LMS integration to go farther in helping them achieve their mission of improving student outcomes. This new frontier of LMS integration are learning solutions that provide customizable content, automatic grade return and personalized instructor services. These are three incredibly powerful ways that integrated learning solutions can increase student engagement and decrease instructor workload.

Cengage Learning’s market research team conducted in-depth research at a large technology conference with LMS administrators to better understand how they are integrating course solutions and what they need a “fully integrated” course solution to accomplish. Over the course of two days the research team conducted fifty interviews with LMS administrators from a diverse range of institutions using a wide range of LMS.
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Enhanced WebAssign Allows Student to Study Around her Schedule, Save Money, and Improve Skills

With the goal of attending Texas Tech in Lubbock in her future, Victoria knows she would like to earn a degree in engineering, and feels that by selecting mechanical engineering as her specialty, more career opportunities will come her way. Currently she is taking some of her math and science prerequisites, like general chemistry and calculus, while working part time for her father, studying, and making time for exercise and fun, including kick boxing.

In her calculus course, the professor would go over notes and questions in class, but the majority of the course was online, via Enhanced WebAssign. She considers herself to be somewhat tech savvy, and she enjoys her classes. Though she was surprised at first, she ended up doing well in her class and enjoying
the use of Enhanced WebAssign due to its ease of use, flexibility and affordability.

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Future Veterinarian Aces Calculus with Support from Enhanced WebAssign®

Suzanne Costner recently took Calculus at her alma mater, Cleveland Community College in North Carolina, as a pre-requisite for veterinary school at North Carolina State University. She and her fellow students meet with the course instructor every Monday to ask questions and go over the previous week’s homework problems, which students complete online, on their own time, in Enhanced WebAssign (EWA).

Suzanne enjoys being a student, studies hard, likes using computers, and, not surprisingly, has excelled in academics. She works during the week, so studies primarily on weekends and when she finds spare hours on weekdays. Accustomed to using online resources, Suzanne expected EWA to be helpful, especially in preparing for quizzes and tests. She wasn’t disappointed, noting that EWA provided more examples and more context than another company’s online math homework solution that she had used previously. Suzanne attributes her strong performance on tests to EWA.

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MindTap Helps Student Keep Track of Assignments, Build Understanding, and Think ‘on a Higher Level’

After rethinking her decision to attend medical school, Caitlin Phillips knew that she still wanted a career in medicine. This meant that in order to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in biology, she would need to complete some tough classes, including medical terminology. As a full-time senior, her schedule was full with classes, studying, and sorority commitments. In addition, she’s working on the senior paper required of all biology majors, and hers is on a complex subject: multiple myeloma.

Because MindTap was a requirement for her medical terminology course, Caitlin—who considers herself tech savvy—dove right in. She liked the digital format and felt that MindTap was simple and easy to get through and the ebook drew her in and kept her engaged.

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MindTap® for American Government: Insights from the 2013-2014 Academic Year Advisory Board

With the evolving educational landscape it is essential for learning solutions providers to constantly seek out the voice of the instructor when developing content and solutions. In developing the new MindTap learning solution for American Government, Cengage Learning wanted to make sure that the voice of the American government instructor informed every decision.
 
In order to achieve this, Cengage Learning recruited an advisory board of twenty-two American Government instructors
to provide insight on what American Government instructors need in a learning solution. The insights shared by the advisory board clearly show that current learning solutions were not providing students and instructors with the synchronization, content, and flexibility needed.
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An Experienced Instructor Switches to Aplia™ and is Able to ‘Teach at a Higher Level’

Bill Carroll has taught Microeconomics of the Service Industry more than twenty times at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration. Over the past nine years, he has traditionally taught the course with a printed textbook, but after a colleague told him that Aplia was a good resource, he decided to try it.

Aplia, which is fully integrated with the text Carroll uses, includes comprehensive online interactive problem sets, analyses, tutorials, experiments, and critical-thinking exercises to give students hands-on application, which is part of what makes it so attractive to Carroll. Based on discovery learning, Aplia requires students to take an active role in the learning process—helping them improve their economic understanding and ability to relate to the economic concepts presented. Read More…