MindTap has a wealth of content to enhance your course, and several effective ways that you can tailor your approach on setting it up at the start of the semester. The challenge for most instructors is where to begin. This is particularly true if you’re an instructor using MindTap for the first time and introducing it to students who are using it for the first time.
One Professor’s Experience with MindTap
Maggie Major is a passionate educator at Harrisburg Area Community College who has successfully implemented MindTap in her online College Experience courses for four years now. As a mandatory course for incoming freshman, Introduction to College Experience has a large volume of students and runs at various lengths—7 weeks, 12 weeks and 14 weeks. So, doing the prep work to ensure that students can hit the ground running on day one is what Maggie does best!
Focus on Objectives
There is no shortage of amazing resources available to choose from when customizing MindTap for your course. Maggie’s first crucial tip is to start small and to use your course objectives as your guide. What do you want your students to take away from the course? With this in mind, you can then look for the MindTap content that assists in meeting the course objectives. These assignments should always be required for maximum effectiveness. Maggie typically hides content that is not relevant to her course and makes other content that she thinks would be a ‘nice to have’ as practice items for students to attempt on their own time.
Set the Stage
Once your course is customized, it’s key to lay the groundwork to ensure student success getting set up. Maggie’s second tip is to provide your students with the information on accessing MindTap in a variety of ways. She initially informs her students about MindTap within a written welcome email sent two weeks prior to the start of class. To reiterate, Maggie provides a customized course orientation video introducing MindTap. All of this information can also be found in the OPEN ME FIRST module in the LMS with additional supporting material. Maggie has found this method has helped her students get on board very quickly.
Be patient when starting out with MindTap. Keep notes during the semester of where you had hiccups or where you saw ways that you can adjust or tweak your MindTap course for the next class. Start out using a few things that match really well with the content of the course and look ahead on ways to integrate more as you get more comfortable with it. Once students dive in, they will also find resources available to them for self-study.