MindTap Collections: An Introduction & Tips to Get Started

The covers of the MindTap Collections for the Shelly Cashman, New Perspectives and Illustrated Series next to students
Reading Time: 3 minutes

You might have heard of MindTap Collections. But what are they exactly, and how can you add them to your course?

MindTap Collections are a set of all-inclusive digital resources for the Shelly Cashman, New Perspectives and Illustrated Series for teaching Computer Concepts, Microsoft 365 including Windows, the Office Suite and Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification resources. Each series includes a full digital textbook and content library that you can customize based on your specific course needs.

Your MindTap Collection includes multiple textbooks combined into a single digital resource. You can use a Collection in both general computer courses and application-specific courses. Plus, your students can access the Collection materials with their mobile devices using the Cengage Read app. The Collections can be purchased with a Cengage Unlimited subscription, which helps your students rent at least four hardcopy textbooks for just the cost of shipping and handling.

In this article, I’m going to walk you through the basics of MindTap Collections, and how to get started with your own Collection.

A photograph of physical MindTap Collections texts stacked on top of one another

All Your Resources in One Place

With MindTap Collections, you have access to a digital library containing multiple computer concept modules, including computer security, digital communication and file management techniques. Each Collection also includes modules on Windows and Microsoft Office applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and Outlook, as well as career readiness modules.

These career readiness modules include instructions on how to build a resume using LinkedIn, as well as an online portfolio in Pathbrite. Online simulations, study guides and practice tests for the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification exams are also included.

A screenshot of the New Perspectives Collection in MindTap displaying the table of contents

Teaching With SAM and Available Assignments

MindTap Collections include a full eTextbook and e-reader, as well as several built-in applications featuring content for your students. Also included is SAM (Skills Assessment Manager), with built-in assignments in MindTap that allow students to develop and assess their knowledge in several Microsoft applications.

In SAM, each module includes trainings, exams in a simulated environment and auto-graded projects that students complete in the Office Applications. SAM Journey Maps offer visual roadmaps that allow you to align your SAM content with your learning goals based on Bloom’s Taxonomy. The Journey Maps also include course details and content overviews, along with other activities that you can align with your course.

Designing Your Course

There are endless ways to design your course with MindTap Collections. The Collections give you plenty of content to choose from to design your perfect course. I personally have used MindTap Collections for multiple courses, and each time have modified it to fit the specific course. For example, a Database course would only require Microsoft Access modules, while an Introduction to Computers course would incorporate computer concept strategies and Microsoft application modules. You can also use a Collection to prepare students for Microsoft Office Certifications with the MOS content and practice simulations.


When you adopt any Cengage product, you get access to a full, 24/7 support team. You’ll connect with a designated Account Executive and Customer Success Manager (CSM), as well as a Digital Success Specialist (DSS) who will assist you with your course setup one on one. Your DSS will guide you through MindTap setup and LMS integration, or they can set up your entire course using your syllabus as a guide.


Once you finish building your course in MindTap, you can easily integrate it with your LMS (Learning Management System) for easy student access. LMS integration allows students to log in to their LMS and link directly to the reading or assignment in MindTap Collections.

Then, once you’re all in, auto-graded assignments and easy date management make running the course a breeze. SAM assignments provide instant results to you and your students. Instructors can run individualized reports per student section for additional insights into each assignment. In MindTap, you can easily set dates or make date changes with the batch editing feature. Simply select the assignments to modify, select “Batch Edit” and with a few simple clicks, all your dates have been adjusted.

Final Thoughts

MindTap Collections are remarkable digital resources that help you customize your students’ learning experience to your course’s unique needs.


Ready to give MindTap Collections a try? Request a demo to get started.