Efficacy and research

Better Engagement, Better Outcomes—MindTap® Proves Its Impact in the Humanities and Social Sciences

In college classrooms across the country, instructors are witnessing the effectiveness of MindTap® in improving academic outcomes and engagement in today’s courses, as well as its ability to transform today’s students into critical thinkers. Research conducted by Cengage Learning—including in-depth conversations with instructors who use MindTap—verifies the digital solution’s positive impact. The data from these instructors’ courses demonstrates multiple successes: strong student engagement with assignments, greater mastery of course content, higher test scores, and overall improved student performance and success rates.

Students recognize MindTap’s advantages, too. They’re telling their instructors that MindTap truly helps them review, understand, and master the course content—and that they enjoy engaging with the content, homework, and learning activities.
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Future Health Professionals Give MindTap a “Thumbs Up” as an Engaging Learning Tool

Technology continues to rapidly evolve, and in the past few years digital learning solutions have provided new and exciting ways to teach and learn critical topics. With all of the new digital learning solutions available, it can be overwhelming for educational programs to select the right learning solution for their student population and program needs.

Today’s digital natives have an important role to play in providing feedback to help ensure that educational programs are providing the most useful and effective learning materials to students. To meet the needs of both instructors and students in today’s educational environment, Cengage Learning created MindTap®—a new approach to digital learning.
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An Ounce of Prevention: Assessment and Engagement Data and Early Identification of At-Risk Students

By Gregory C. Dixon, Department of Political Science and Planning, Thomas B. Murphy Center for Public Service, University of West Georgia.

Prepared for presentation at the American Political Science Association, Teaching and Learning Conference, Washington D.C., January, 2015.

K-12 no longer prepares students for success at the university. This is most clearly seen at the first midterm when significant numbers of students fail. But what if we could find these students in the first two weeks of the course, before they fail that first exam? What if we could refer them to tutoring or other support services? Will this reduce the rates at which students receive a grade of D or F or Withdraw (DFW) in our introductory courses?
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From Print to Digital, from Library to Classroom: Using Gale Resources to Support Student Learning and Skill Development

As the economy and society becomes more information-intensive, it is imperative that today’s students develop strong research skills that will enable college and career success. Increasingly, educators, employers, and policymakers see the effective use of digital content within instruction as a cornerstone for the development of these research skills. Despite the enhanced use of digital resources within many K-12 schools, a gap still exists between classroom and library usage. To explore how to close this gap, Project Tomorrow® collaborated with Cengage Learning to examine the use of traditionally library-based digital content within classroom instruction. The resulting study during the 2014-15 school year specifically focused on how the Gale Resources databases from Cengage Learning supported student research projects at two independent high schools in the greater Philadelphia area.
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Digital Solutions Promote Pre-K Literacy Development and School Readiness

Many research studies have shown the positive effects of quality early childhood education on future academic development, educational attainment, and earnings later in life. Yet, 59% of preschool-aged children across the nation—approximately 2.5 million—are not enrolled in publicly funded preschool programs through state preschool, Head Start, and special education preschool services.

Although as many as 30% of three- and four-year olds are fortunate to attend private preschools and child care centers, hundreds of thousands of children have no access to the programs that can help them build literacy skills and prepare them for kindergarten and beyond. The U.S. Department of Education’s 2015 report, “A Matter of Equity: Preschool in America,” notes that “while both states and the federal government invest in early learning, these efforts have fallen short of what is needed to ensure that all children can access a high-quality early education that will prepare them for success.”

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The Not-So-Powerful PowerPoint®: Students Weigh the “Best” Classes Against the “Worst”

The Today’s Student project by Cengage Learning is based on original research that springs from our company’s commitment to gaining insights directly from students. We surveyed and interviewed 5,000 students—traditional and non-traditional, from four-year and two-year colleges—for their impressions of success, career prospects, technology, courses, and obstacles to achieving academic goals.

In this report, Cengage Learning explores how students define their “best” and “worst” classes and uncovers the criteria that influenced this ranking. Student comments largely spoke to the importance of active learning—using technology to complement instructor interaction.
 

» Download the whitepaper: “The Not-So-Powerful PowerPoint®: Students Weigh the ‘Best’ Classes against the ‘Worst’”

 
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Students’ New Reality: Saving for Four Years is Not Enough

When is a four-year college not a four-year college? When it takes six years or more to finish. A survey of 5,300 students from the Today’s Student research study, co-developed and deployed by Cengage Learning and The Work Institute, LLC, reveals how students are handling the new reality of college life – from additional years to mounting student debt.
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Closing the Gap to Conceptual Understanding

Insights from the 2015 American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) conference

In an effort to better understand the needs and challenges of Physics instructors, Cengage Learning conducted research with attendees of the 2015 American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) conference. In addition to needs and challenges, the research was designed to understand how instructors are using technology as well as how it has impacted their style of teaching. A total of 12 AAPT attendees were interviewed. The participants taught all levels of Physics and represented a wide variety of 2- and 4-year institutions. The interviews revealed that Physics instructors are struggling with building critical thinking skills with students, but believe that technology can aid in increasing student engagement.

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Addressing the Needs of Health Care Students and Instructors

Insights from the 2015 ABHES Conference
In order to better understand the challenges facing career college health care instructors and their students, Cengage Learning’s market research team conducted interviews with instructors at the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) conference in February 2015. Cengage Learning wanted to understand instructor needs and concerns, and discuss what they consider to be their most significant challenges.

A total of fourteen instructors across health care disciplines were interviewed. The research shows that instructors have difficulty engaging students and getting past their personal barriers. These barriers, which include home issues and poor academic backgrounds, are the biggest challenges most students face.
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Community Colleges Are Successfully Reinventing Their Mission

Following World War II, “the United States economy promised middle-class jobs to high school graduates,” as Georgetown University’s Anthony Carnevale noted in a 2012 New York Times piece. “As late as the 1970s, more than 70 percent of middle-class jobs still required only high school or less, but between 1973 and 2010, the share of jobs requiring education beyond high school more than doubled, to more than 60 percent from 28 percent.” With today’s employment emphasis on technology and specialization, the expectations lean even more dramatically toward a postsecondary degree. For a growing population of traditional and non-traditional students, that means a two-year community college.

Though often stigmatized and dismissed in the past, community colleges have nonetheless realized a resurgence of interest among learners of all ages, educational backgrounds, skill levels and goals.

To read more about these trends, read our paper “Community Colleges Are Successfully Reinventing Their Mission,” which details how students at community colleges are more satisfied than students in four-year schools and also feel that their community college courses prepare them better for the workplace, compared with four-year schools.

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