How do you maximize student engagement?

We received submissions from instructors across the country telling us how they use MindTap to amplify engagement in their course. Their stories have shown us how amazing and creative educators can be, and how important instructors feel it is to connect with students and help them reach levels of higher learning.

Congratulations to our first place winner, Timothy Smith, Professor of Administration of Justice Studies & Homeland Security at Arizona Western College. Professor Smith uses MindTap for his Introduction to Criminal Justice course and takes advantage of the ConnectYard app to engage students in and outside of the classroom.
As students progress through the modules, I have them look for current events on the subject(s) being discussed in the module then post a link to the article they found in ConnectYard. From there, classmates are encouraged to reply. My students are always looking for ways to increase their grades so I’ve informed them that I will increase the final grade of the top three students who have the most activity points in ConnectYard by one letter grade. If there is a tie, I use the student with the highest MindTap grade to break it. You will be amazed at how competitive they become for the ConnectYard activity points. Some students have more points than me. 🙂 When I make a post to the class, students are required to reply with a minimum 150 word response.

MindTap and ConnectYard allow me to test the students’ writing skills, practical application, and critical thinking using current events. Students seem to be more interested in things that are happening right now; with this combination, I’m able to keep their attention both in and out of class.

As our top submission, Professor Smith is being rewarded with paid travel and registration to a national conference of his choice. Congrats again, Professor Smith! Both you and your students are winners.

Continue the conversation—in the comment section below, let us know your ideas for engaging students and sparking critical thinking with MindTap. We’d also love to hear how you go about engaging students through current events!


Learn more about MindTap from our efficacy reports, including this white paper highlighting MindTap for Criminal Justice. Then, explore MindTap on your own at