Changes in the evolving higher education landscape have spawned institutional and instructional needs in a new area—educational services. In a 2013 survey conducted for Cengage Learning, two-thirds of faculty participants noted the importance of services in their adoption decision. Not surprisingly, the number one desire cited was “help increasing student motivation, preparedness, engagement, and retention.” 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. Today it is increasingly vital as institutions—faced with economic pressures, completion-based funding, and a job skills gap—have an even higher stake in enrolling new students, moving them efficiently through the curriculum, keeping them engaged so they persist and graduate, and arming them with the skills that employers demand.

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