Efficacy and research

An Experiment with SAM Projects Produces Positive Early Results

Rex Parr has been teaching Introduction to PC Applications at Aims Community College (ACC) in Greeley, Colorado, for nearly 20 years. ACC has used a number of different course materials and methods throughout this period — including a previous version of SAM (Skills Assessment Manager), an interactive online environment for learning Microsoft® Office skills and computer concepts. At one point, the Computer Information Systems (CIS) department switched from SAM in an effort to incorporate more soft skills into classes, but later decided it was time to revisit the product. Rex was prompted to try SAM again because he liked the looks of the projects component.

In this Success Story, you’ll learn what Rex discovered regarding the ability of SAM Projects to give students practice in applying Microsoft® Office concepts and skills in real-world projects.
You’ll also learn how SAM’s auto-grading feature saves instructors’ time, makes it easier for instructors to monitor student progress, and provides students with instant feedback that helps them take immediate corrective action. Read More…


Real-Time Access to Progress and Grading Makes SAM Effective for Randy Meissner and His Students

Randy Meissner is a Computer Science lecturer at Bismarck State College in Bismarck, North Dakota. He teaches three night classes with a total of 50-60 students each semester, and has been using SAM (Skills Assessment Manager) — an online environment for Microsoft® Office — for eight semesters.

In this Success Story, you’ll read how SAM engages his students through real-world simulations and hands-on training activities that allow them to build their skills and work on course materials at their own pace. You’ll also discover how SAM makes teaching and learning more efficient, through auto-graded assignments that save his time while providing students with instant feedback on their work. Read More…


MindTap™ Feeds Steve Ball’s Nutrition Students’ Craving for Interactive Learning Technology

Steve Ball has been teaching Nutritional Science and Exercise Physiology at the University of Missouri in Columbia since 2002. He uses MindTap™ — which provides a fully online learning experience that replaces a traditional textbook — in his fitness and wellness course. He and his students give MindTap a “thumbs up” for its interactivity, features, ease of use, and affordability. Read More…


Choosing a Digital Solution that Suits Your Needs

How can you make a positive impact when it comes to choosing digital solutions that best suit the needs of you and your students? The process for selecting course materials for the classroom varies widely by institution. In Cengage Learning’s recent “Digital in the Classroom” study surveying over 1,000 college students and faculty of all different institution types, we discovered that 33% of instructors are free to choose their own materials. Another 42% are on committees tasked with choosing what to adopt, and 15% choose materials for the entire department.

Instructors' top methods for selecting course methods Read More…


Benefits of Using Technology in the Classroom

Whether you’re just starting to use technology in the classroom or you’re well versed in the tools and terminology of edtech, you may be curious how other instructors are using technology in their classrooms. You may also want to know how they would describe the benefits of technology in their courses.

In a study conducted by Cengage Learning, 74% percent of instructors report that the move towards implementing digital technologies in the classroom has increased students’ academic performance, and 73% say it has improved students’ engagement with their courses. Less than 1% reported it has decreased performance or engagement significantly.

College students report similar educational benefits of using technology in the classroom:

  • 80% say the move towards implementing digital technologies in the classroom has subsequently increased their academic performance.
  • 77% say it has improved their engagement with their courses.

Read More…


How Instructors Incorporate Digital Content into Their Courses

Practices at every college, department, and classroom likely vary from those trending at a national level. Whether you are required by your university to use a certain type of digital content in your classroom or you get to choose for yourself, there are often many unique ways to customize this content to make it work perfectly for your course. Whichever your circumstance, staying “in the know” about what’s trending with peers can help keep classrooms from falling behind in both engagement and outcomes. Cengage Learning’s recent “Digital in the Classroom” surveyed over 1,000 college students and faculty of all different institution types. After first asking students what they found to be the most effective digital content types, we then asked instructors to share with us their most-used digital content types.  Read More…


Selecting Digital Course Materials: What Faculty are Saying

What factors come into play when you and your colleagues are selecting course materials?

Certainly, the content itself, and how well it aligns with your course’s learning objectives, are important criteria.

You likely also consider how well the structure of the solution helps you accomplish your course goals: be they increasing student engagement, improving outcomes, increasing student retention… or, perhaps a combination of these three factors, alongside others. Read More…


Course Content that Engages Your Students

Is student engagement a top priority in your classroom? If you’re like many instructors, your answer will be a resounding “Yes!”

Many factors play a role in student engagement, including the course content you choose. Given students’ high interest in technology and tech tools, many instructors are turning to digital learning solutions, and overall, they’re seeing a great deal of success. Of the instructors surveyed in Cengage Learning’s recent “Digital in the Classroom” survey:

  • 74% report that the move towards implementing digital technologies in the classroom has increased students’ academic performance, and
  • 73% say it has improved students’ engagement with their courses.

Read More…


MindTap Helps Tina Willhoite’s College Success Students Prepare for Class and Improve Grades

Recently, the time-consuming grading of students’ handwritten assignments, along with the desire to add a technology component to College Success courses, motivated Tina Willhoite’s department at San Jacinto College District to adopt Cengage Learning’s MindTap™ and move away from using only a printed textbook. Built upon the content in her Cengage Learning textbook, MindTap is an interactive online learning experience that combines learning resources—readings, multimedia, activities, and assessments—into a learning path that guides students through their course. MindTap has already proven to be a smart move. In this Success Story, you’ll read how MindTap has led to increased student engagement and success in Tina Willhoite’s course. You’ll also learn how it has made course materials more accessible to both instructors and students, and how it’s increased instructors’ efficiency at grading time. Read More…


Impacts of High School Completion for Adult Learners

Career Online High School

See how libraries are transitioning from repositories and organizers of information to active learning institutions with a measurable impact on adult learners looking for an end-to-end high school completion program.

Read More…