Efficacy and research

Aplia Convenience Suits School, Study, and Home Schedules

Going into her second year at Wharton County (TX) Junior College, Alexandra Garcia puts in a typical student course load of 12 average credit hours per semester. Her goal is to become a registered nurse, but first she must complete her associate’s degree, then her bachelor’s degree. The math-intensive curriculum includes Statistics, an online/lecture hybrid course for which Alexandra uses Aplia.

In addition to being a full-time nursing student, Alexandra has the responsibilities of a family, as well as a work-study course, which demands 12 hours a week covering three days. For her, balancing time between family, school and homework is a major challenge.

Alexandra’s Intro to Statistics instructor assigned Aplia to the class; the online solution came with the textbook (Brase and Brase’s Understanding Basic Statistics, Sixth Edition) as part of a package. She noted right away that Aplia offered a variety of ways to do the same Statistics problem, with variant wording to challenge learners. Alexandra was also impressed by Aplia’s step-by-step process and instant feedback. For her, Aplia provided an opportunity for extra practice.

By allowing Alexandra more and varied practice opportunities, Aplia helped her analyze Statistics problems with more confidence. Answering simple questions led to better results tackling the difficult ones.
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Working While Attending College Requires Organization and Efficiency—and Better Study Habits Thanks to Enhanced WebAssign

While attending classes full time during his freshman year at Wharton County Junior College, Adnan Prasla also held down a job and managed to enjoy a bit of free time. Demanding classes such as microeconomics, geology and history required significant study time and a commitment to making sure things got done as efficiently as possible, in order to not fall behind.

Adnan’s Calculus professor gave students the link that allowed them to choose the Enhanced WebAssign option with Stewart’s Calculus, Seventh Edition. He found Enhanced WebAssign to be helpful, and
especially liked the program’s features that walked him step-by-step through the material. The videos were a bonus for Adnan, as they allowed him to see how to solve a problem, which led to faster and greater understanding. Instant feedback gave him a chance to ‘get it right’ before submitting his assignments, and the tutorials in Enhanced WebAssign allowed him to catch up on any work he might have missed.

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Enhanced WebAssign Helps Busy, Visual Learner Study Independently and Gain Understanding of Difficult Concepts

Jaber Hussaini has a medical school goal in mind, and he knows that requires hard work, tenacity, and focus. As a full-time student at Wharton County, Jaber is deep into the tough work his goal requires: courses like anatomy, physiology, biology I and II, and calculus. As a visual learner, reading can be difficult for Jaber; he has trouble staying focused and gets easily distracted. Thus, he tries to study in quiet places, like the library,and use methods other than hours of reading. Additionally, his major calls for some very difficult classes, which require more attention and time. Read More…

Aplia Instant Access Brings Macroeconomics Alive for a Non-Traditional Student

As a busy mom with two teenagers at home, Susan Taylor went back to college not because she had spare time. Conversely, her time was limited and attending classes and finding time to study would be a chore. However, Susan knew that in order to advance herself professionally, secure a better paying job, and to help her two children get through college in coming years, she needed to pursue a college education.

Going back to school as she neared her fifties would pose some technology challenges, and she understood that. When she purchased the printed text and Aplia for her Principles of Macro Economics class at her campus bookstore, she didn’t know what to expect. She had never used an etextbook before and calls herself ‘more of a physical book person’. While she had worked with computers before, her experience with the Internet and online learning was limited. Add these challenges to her lack of alone time for studying, and Susan knew macro economics might bring back a bit of her old math anxiety and be a tough course to pass.

Susan was fortunate to have an enthusiastic instructor for her course, and he designed the homework assignments around his lectures. She learned to use the etextbook within Aplia because it made studying so easy. Aplia also helped her build her confidence and lose that fear of math and graphs that haunted her before.

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Tips for Writing Learning Outcomes for Your Course

You’ve considered the skills and concepts that students need to learn as a result of taking your course. Now it’s time to put pencil to paper (or finger to keyboard) and write the learning outcomes that represent the goals and objectives you have for your class.

If you find yourself looking at a blank screen or sheet of paper, you may want some suggestions to jump-start the process. Read More…

Creating Learning Objectives that Fit Your Course

When creating learning objectives for a course, instructors have a lot of options to consider. In response to a recent survey by Cengage Learning, instructors revealed that they tend to track multiple learning outcomes. The following graph shows eleven themes instructors use in the process of creating learning objectives specifically suited for their courses.

Instructors' primary learning outcome themes

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Why Instructors Adopt Learning Outcomes

Instructors may experience varying levels of responsibility when it comes time to adopt learning outcomes. In some instances, school administrators, department heads, or other organizations may provide instructors with a list of established standard learning outcomes that relate to the courses they teach. In other instances, instructors must determine and define the learning outcomes for their courses.

In response to a recent survey by Cengage Learning, instructors were asked to select all of the influences on learning objective creation at their institution.

Instructors' top determinants of learning objectives

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Who’s Using Learning Objectives? And How?

Are you using learning objectives to measure student achievement and success in your course?

Chances are, you do: In response to a recent survey by Cengage Learning, 96% of instructors are using learning objectives to define and measure the knowledge and skills that students should have as a result of participating in and completing their courses. This indicates that most institutions, and many instructors, value these measures of student learning as indicators of student achievement. And indeed, many institutions require instructors to report on learning outcome mastery at the end of each course, making accurate analysis of the utmost importance. Read More…

Aplia® for Statistics Helps Busy Student Work Faster, More Efficiently, and Master Concepts

Focused and devoted to her studies, Anne Shoemake, a student studying human services at Wharton County Community College, will finish her Associate’s Degree in December 2014, and will then move on to a 4-year university to finish her studies and secure a master’s degree. While studying for her AA degree, Anne worked as an intern for the district attorney’s office, in the special victim’s unit/crisis center, and also worked as a nanny.

Knowing that time would be limited as she juggled class, her job, and a demanding internship, Anne took as many online courses as she could, which allowed her to work at her own pace and when she had the time. Her courses required significant study hours, and she found that being able to study online and get the review and reinforcement it offered made it easier for her to manage her time and retain what she was learning.

She approached her statistics course with trepidation, thinking it would be a challenge. Using the textbook and Aplia for Statistics, she was pleasantly surprised at how well she caught on. Read More…

Aplia Keeps Statistics Student On Track for Success

Allyson Penny, a freshman at Wharton County Junior College (Wharton, TX), combines 12 classroom credit hours in English, history, statistics and government with a part-time job at a daycare center. Her instructor assigned Aplia for use in her Statistics course.

Allyson found that Aplia’s practice problems, assignments, in-depth explanations, and e-mail reminders helped her manage her time and become better prepared for exams.

She notes: “Aplia definitely helped me succeed because I actually understood what I was learning…. I was actually solving the equations and comprehending what I was learning.” Read More…