Developmental English Efficacy

Busy Professor Discovers the Benefits of Aplia and its Impact on Struggling Students

Professor Ricardo Vergara teaches the Fundamentals of Writing course at Laredo Community College in Texas. Before using his current combination of Aplia with Fawcett’s Grassroots with Readings: The Writer’s Workbook, his courses were textbook based and did not include an online component. However, just a few years ago, dramatic changes to developmental education standards were mandated by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). The changes meant that Laredo Community College had to rethink and reorganize the developmental course sequence within his department. Additionally, Vergara and his colleagues wanted to give students a more organized, comprehensive, and independent study-oriented experience in the Fundamentals of Writing class.
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First-time MindTap Users Share Best Practices

Cengage Learning wanted to understand the experience of first time MindTap users to identify best practices and opportunities for future improvement. To achieve this, Cengage Learning recruited four instructors and twenty students to participate in a semester-long journaling project for the Fall 2014 who documented their experience with MindTap throughout the semester. Both students and instructors completed bi-monthly journals.

Instructors provided insights on how they and their students were using MindTap’s tools and assignments, as well as what differences they noticed with regard to student engagement. Students provided insights into how they were using MindTap and if they found it beneficial to their studies. The courses taught during this study were English, History, College Success, and Western Civilization.


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Aplia Helps Developmental English Students Thrive in Boot Camp

Elizabeth Keefe is an Assistant Professor of English that oversees the developmental English programs at Gateway Community College in New Haven Connecticut. In 2013, Elizabeth began redesigning Gateway’s developmental English programs in response to a law passed in Connecticut that required colleges and universities to reconfigure their developmental education curriculum. In order to fully address the needs of students with the most significant gaps in their reading and writing skills, Elizabeth developed Boot Camp – a three-week intensive review of basic reading and writing concepts. Students at the lowest remedial English level attend the Boot Camp prep course and conclude it by taking the ACCUPLACER placement exam. The goal of the course is for students to score high enough on the ACCUPLACER exam to place into a higher level English course, thus saving them time and money.

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