What engages and delights students? For those of us at Cengage Learning, this has become a question that defines our outlook and drives our daily work. And we realized: what better way to discover what college students want and need from their learning materials—and what engages and delights them—than to find out directly from college students themselves?

With this motivation, Cengage Learning has launched our new research program, 21 Voices. Through this program, we’ll engage with twenty-one students from around the country, who will give us a first-hand look at their daily lives. Not simply what they’re studying, and how they study it—they’ll share the activities that excite and enlighten them, the things they see on campus and in their communities, the tools and strategies they use to get through the day… you name it, if it’s part of their everyday lives, and it has an impact on their college experience, we hope to hear about it. (Who knows, we might even see what’s for dinner at the dining commons!)

What we learn and observe will inform and improve our product development process—and, in turn, drive products that get students engaged and promote improved learning outcomes.

Remarking on 21 Voices, Jim Donohue, Cengage Learning’s Chief Product Officer, said: “What distinguishes this from other research efforts is that it is focused on the end-to-end lives of students, rather than on developing a specific product or even addressing the needs of any individual discipline. This lets us zoom out the lens, see the bigger picture, and discover new ways to improve the overall learning experience for students.”

Interested in learning a bit more about 21 Voices? Here are a few more facts about the program:

What is 21 Voices?

Cengage Learning’s 21 Voices research program stems from our desire to better understand and empathize with college students and have a closer, clearer picture of their daily lives.
• 21 Voices focuses on the end-to-end lives of the students involved, and is designed to discover new ways in which our learning solutions can help students succeed.
• Twenty-one students across the United States will be selected to participate.
• Students will represent a variety of majors, academic and extracurricular interests, and will be drawn from different regions, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

How 21 Voices works

Students will pair up with Cengage Learning researchers to conduct weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly activities.

• Weekly: participants conduct a self-report activity (e.g., write a blog, draw their day, take pictures of their environment) that describes or illustrates their lives.
• Monthly: program researchers conduct calls or video chats with participants to discuss student submissions; students will also take intermittent surveys to test research hypotheses.
• Quarterly: researchers spend a day with participants to observe their lives.
• Annually: participants attend an annual summit with the research team to share findings.

Students invited to apply now for 21 Voices

Applicants selected to be part of the 21 Voices research program will be paid an honoraria of $250 per month during the time in which they participate in 21 Voices. Participants should expect to spend between half an hour and an hour each week on self-reporting and up to an hour each month interacting with a researcher. To learn more about the 21 Voices research program, or to direct students to the application, visit Cengage Learning’s 21 Voices page. Student applications will be accepted until August; then, final selections for the initial 21 Voices research program will be made.

Tell your students about 21 Voices!

We invite you to share this exciting new opportunity with your students and encourage them to apply! For more information about 21 Voices, visit //www.cengage.com/students/21voices.