Chemistry Efficacy

Health Science Student Strives for Success in School and Work

As a full-time health science student with a part-time job, Samantha Mueller faces the same challenges as most college sophomores, but time management is chief among them. Mueller, whose goal is to secure a career as a physical therapist, considers herself a very tech-savvy and visual learner. She finds online study suits her and allows her to prepare for class and quizzes in a complete and interactive way. Mueller lives off campus and her days are ‘pretty packed’—between exercise, attending classes on two separate FAU campuses, and working at a restaurant, finding time to succeed at everything can be Read More…


Instructor Frustrated with Tedious Administrative Chores Finds Relief with OWLv2

Houston Brown, a chemistry professor at the University of Houston–Downtown, often felt as if he was anything but a professor. Instead of spending the bulk of his time helping introductory and organic chemistry students better understand and comprehend difficult subject matter, Brown regularly found himself tending to a learning management system that laboriously soaked up his time and patience.

Besides Brown, students at UHD were demanding more from the platform that constituted twenty-percent of their grade. It’s one reason Brown was happy to switch to Cengage Learning’s OWLv2, a cloud-based learning system that provides chemistry students with a collection of study and test preparation tools designed to foster engagement and better grades.

One feature that helps Brown and his students focus more on what matters is the on-demand feedback OWLv2 provides students during homework assignments. Besides organizing and prioritizing assignments in visually appealing ways, OWLv2 allows students to identify in real time why exactly they answered a problem incorrectly. It also provides Brown with the analytics required to intervene immediately.
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OWLv2 is Key to Meaningful Homework and Better Student Engagement

If variety is the spice of life nowhere is that more evident than inside a university classroom where distractions abound and students can easily find other things to do rather than focus on lectures and concentrate on homework. “I want them to know the homework assignments aren’t just busy work,” said Steven Neal, an organic chemistry professor at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.
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Instructors Search for Way to Create More Engaging Homework Assignments—and Find it with OWLv2

Larry Margerum, a general chemistry teacher at the University of San Francisco, is outnumbered in regard to the number of students he’s tasked with educating and motivating. It’s his job to lecture approximately five hundred students a year and to supplement those lessons with homework assignments that students find engaging and academically valuable. However, effectively reaching each of those students in a relatively large classroom setting can be difficult.

The problem, though, is one with which instructors have struggled for years; coaxing students into actually completing assignments that’ll prepare them for exams. Getting today’s student to engage deeply with pencil and paper homework is proving to be even more difficult. Plus, instructors say, traditional homework assignments are copied and turned in for points that artificially inflate academic performance. Instructors, according to Professor Margerum, understand the “drill and kill” homework system in place is not meeting the needs of today’s college students.
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OWL Motivates Chemistry Students to “Own” Their Learning

Teresa Bear has been teaching chemistry since 2007 at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, California. While conducting research for her dissertation in 2011 (on the use of interactive technology to improve student success), Teresa found that students who used technology performed better than those who didn’t use it. Not surprisingly, she forged the path for teaching with technology at the college. Today, that means using OWLv2 (Online Web Learning), the only online learning and assessment system developed by chemistry instructors specifically for teaching chemistry.
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MindTap General Chemistry Leads to Higher Grades and Success Rates at Texas Tech

Professor Greg Gellene, a Chemistry professor at Texas Tech University, was interested in improving the academic outcomes of his students in his Principles of Chemistry course. He liked many of MindTap General Chemistry’s student-centered features. He therefore decided to study the impact of MindTap General Chemistry in comparison to their current digital solution.

To do this, he compared the course grades and success rates of students in his section using MindTap General Chemistry with those in other sections using the other solution in Fall 2014. Additionally, he surveyed the students using MindTap General Chemistry to understand their experience with the product in the course.
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