Efficacy and research

Study Shows Students Using EWA for Calculus Outperform their Peers

This peer-reviewed study examines the impact of using Enhanced WebAssign® (EWA) on student knowledge and skills in Calculus I courses.

MarketingWorks and SEG Measurement, two independent research firms, conducted a comprehensive study of EWA’s effectiveness in the spring of 2014 using an array of qualitative and quantitative methods. The primary goal of the study was to determine the extent to which EWA users improved their calculus knowledge and skills more than a control group of students who used the same textbooks and other technology supports but not EWA. Further, the study investigated faculty and student perceptions of EWA.
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Instructors and Students Tap into MindTap to Boost Engagement and Learning

Motivating and engaging students has always been a challenge for higher education instructors, and with today’s learners — who use, and often demand, solutions that support their unique study needs and preferences — it can be particularly difficult. Administrators are concerned, too, because engaged students are often the successful students, and student success is increasingly vital these days. Why? Institutions, faced with economic pressures and a job skills gap, have a high stake in enrolling new students, keeping them engaged so they persist and graduate, and arming them with skills to think critically in both their academic and professional careers. Read More…

EdTech Roundup: Smart Watches; Laptops in Class; LMS Trends

Want some tips for implementing edtech in your classroom? Today, we’re discussing how the Apple Watch, tablets, and LMS best practices could help your students get even more out their classroom experience.

Apple® Updates Your Students

Communities around the globe tuned in to learn about Apple’s recent updates to the iPhone. Whether you feel the latest technology will impact you or not, might it begin to impact the lives of your students, or even their education? Along with making the phone slightly larger in size, making it better for videos and research, Apple also released the Apple Watch™. While this may seem Read More…

Student Perspectives on the Course Experience: Trends

As an instructor, you can choose among a variety of teaching methods and strategies that suit your course topic, support student learning—and, ideally, foster student engagement. From the traditional lecture format, to hands-on activities and labs, to technology-enhanced, online learning environments, you can use the method that best meets your goals, satisfies your objectives, and communicates your course’s content.

But have you ever wondered which teaching methods students favor in their course experience, and which they find most effective? We recently asked hundreds of students to share their preferences; below, we’ll examine their responses. Read More…

Do College Students Find Their LMS Beneficial?

In our recent post, “How Do Instructors Use Their LMS,” we shared the many ways that instructors find their Learning Management Systems beneficial to their courses. But do college students see the benefits as well? In a recent survey conducted by Cengage Learning, students who reported using an LMS were asked to share whether or not they find their LMS beneficial to their classroom experience and why. The vast majority of students find that, yes, their LMS is beneficial to their classroom experience. 58% say it keeps them engaged with the materials and connected to their class. Another 54% say Read More…

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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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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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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Developmental Educators Work to Grow Student Engagement

Today it is increasingly vital as developmental education programs—faced with economic pressures and completion-based funding—have a higher stake in moving developmental education students efficiently through their curriculum as well as keeping them engaged so they persist and go on to graduate.
In a 2014 research study conducted by Cengage Learning at the National Association for Developmental Education (NADE) conference in Dallas, Texas, all of the faculty participants noted their greatest challenge is breaking down the barriers to achievement and helping increase student motivation, preparedness, engagement, and confidence. The link between engagement and student success has been demonstrated in decades of research, so finding new ways to engage students is important, albeit challenging.
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