Course Organization Is Key to a Successful Online Course for this Biology Instructor and Her Students

Course Organization is Key to a Successful Online Course for This Biology Instructor and Her Students
BiologyCourse DesignMindTap
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Hear from Instructor Sonja Stampfler of Kellogg Community College on how the new, improved MindTap for Biology helped her successfully navigate student challenges through the Covid-19 pandemic.


Sonja Stampfler head shot Sonja Stampfer quote: MindTap is a clean interface that has great functionality and resources that aid in student engagement and learning. The Cengage team is consistently working to make improvements in MindTap, and it continues to be a good addition to the classroom.

What is the biggest challenge you face as an educator today?

The COVID-19 pandemic opened a new chapter of challenges in my Biology course. The biggest of which is how to help students obtain the knowledge and skills needed in an online setting. Students often learn best in a face-to-face environment. The disruption of moving from face-to-face to online and then back again was challenging for both instructors and students.

Then and now, in the online environment, the main student challenge is to remain organized enough to stay on top of the chapter readings, video lectures, homework, and laboratory assignments. Course organization is critical to my students’ success. However, my goal remains the same despite the course structure: supporting student learning.


How has your course improved after implementing the new MindTap platform?

While there are improvements in the revised MindTap, such as associating quiz and homework questions with textbook objectives, the best improvement is the consistent organization of each chapter. Prior to the revision, there was an overwhelming number of assignments that could be selected, which had the potential to create lengthy to-do lists of assignments for students. Having the three “Learn It” activities, a homework assignment, and a quiz in each chapter allows students to plan out their week with consistent assignments. This also makes course organization and setup less cumbersome and more organized.

Consistent Chapter Learning Path within MindTap Biology:

Screenshot of Consistent Chapter Learning Path vin MindTap Biology

Learn how you can personalize the MindTap experience for your students!


What do you like best about MindTap? What do your students like best?

My favorite feature of MindTap is how consistent it is within each chapter. MindTap is clean looking and easy to use. I also like how easy it is to change the gradebook settings to get the information I need. My students like the homework assignments and appreciate how easy MindTap is to use on their smartphones—plus the flashcards, the text-to-voice feature, and the provided chapter reviews.

MindTap Analytics

Screenshot of MindTap Analytics


Keep your Biology students organized and on task with MindTap. Explore Cengage Biology solutions today.