Rebekka Darner Gougis of Illinois State University uses MindTap® in her biology for non-science majors course at Illinois State University, and both she and her students are satisfied with the personalized online learning experience.

No stranger to online teaching resources, Rebekka previously used another company’s digital biology product. While she appreciated some aspects of the program, she was also troubled by it. “All questions were the type for which answers could be easily found online,” she says. “I got tired of seeing students cheat by just Googling the answers. I wanted to try something that was newer and that motivated students to think more critically, and MindTap was appealing.”

MindTap integrates with the university’s Sakai learning management system and plays a significant role in the course, counting for 28% of the course grade. Rebekka assigns MindTap tutorial questions and quizzes, powered by Aplia™, and sets a due date of the week before she covers the material in a lecture. She also assigns Aplia problems as homework. Students can access her recorded lectures on MindTap, too.

Rebekka says she particularly likes the Aplia activities, which help students understand key concepts via active learning, focused assignments, and a diversity of question types. There are experimental and observational approaches to research, real-world applications to test conceptual understanding, and animations that clarify biological processes. Assignments also offer auto grading and detailed explanations.

By completing autograded quizzes and tutorial questions prior to class, students are familiar with terminology and basic material, which is reinforced and expanded upon in lectures.

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