With more than 20 years of experience teaching college-level Math, Cengage Author Joanne Lockwood reflects on how Cengage Unlimited will help remove barriers and offer more access points to quality learning materials for all students. Her excitement around Cengage Unlimited is fueled by her commitment to helping Developmental Math students overcome their challenges and achieve their desired outcomes.
1. What was your initial reaction to Cengage Unlimited?
My first reaction was, “How innovative! How exciting!” Students will have access to everything—and at a low cost. The greater the number of Cengage Unlimited courses their professors select, the lower the cost per course for the students.
2. Why do you consider digital tools to be important to students?
As Math instructors, we’ve all had students come to us with a question about a Math problem and say, “I understood it when you did it in class.” And we have all said to our classes something along the lines of, “You can’t learn to play the piano by watching someone else play.”
Students must do mathematics in order to learn it. The online materials get students involved in the learning process, which is how they will master the concepts.
3. What types of challenges do students face when it comes to mastering Math?
Many of my students struggled with the basic concepts of Math. There was the need to determine their deficiencies and then teach them the basic skills they lacked. They also struggled with study skills, for example, they did not know how to use a textbook effectively to learn new material, and they did not know how to study for exams. So, they needed assistance in learning how to learn.
4. Did students in your courses forgo materials due to cost? If so, what impact did that have on learning outcomes?
Yes, students would elect not to buy the textbook. Efforts to share a text did not go well, as the students did not have access to the materials whenever they needed them.
I also had students delay buying materials, generally because they had to save up enough money to purchase them. Unfortunately, by the time they did purchase a text, they were already behind because they had not been using the materials from the first day of class.
5. What excites you the most about Cengage Unlimited?
With Cengage Unlimited, students will have study tools and study guides to help them to learn how to learn. They will have the resources they need to learn concepts not mastered in previous courses as well as learn the concepts in the courses they are taking this semester. They will have access to materials that appeal to students with different learning styles. They will have videos, tutorials, self-assessment tools and more, just a few clicks away. And they can carry these with them wherever they go. Full access all the time.
I am very impressed with how much time and effort has gone into developing Cengage Unlimited and determining how to make it work effectively. It is a creative, unique approach to addressing the current problems we face in the distribution of college course materials.