English Efficacy

MindTap® Renews English Instructor’s Trust in Digital Solutions at Liberty University

College instructors would rather focus on their teaching than have to deal with digital resource issues. Such was the case with English instructor Travis Holt, who found himself frustrated with his online English lab resource at Liberty University. Since switching to MindTap®, he no longer contends with such issues. “MindTap is much more user-friendly for instructors and for students, as shown by their higher engagement level,” he says. “I admit that my expectations were low given my previous experience, but MindTap exceeded them by far. The fact that everything in MindTap worked the way Cengage said it would work Read More…


Liberty University English Students Give MindTap a Special Shout-Out

It only took 20 minutes of hands-on experience for Virginia Dow to get hooked on MindTap. “It was so much easier to use than our existing digital product. I knew it would be much easier for my students,” says the Liberty University English instructor. She was right — her students reacted “extremely well” to the online resource, and for reasons that went beyond ease of use.

Students Credit MindTap for Course Success

“MindTap has been phenomenal for me and my students,” says Professor Dow. “One ESL student in developmental writing had missed a lot of answers on a test. She asked Read More…


 Time-Strapped Instructor Searches for Ways to Provide Students with Research Topics and Vetted Resources 

Melanie Claybar, an English teacher at Little Cypress-Mauriceville Consolidated School District, often felt as if her hands were tied. Claybar teaches AP English Language Composition to some of the 1,100 students in the Orange, Texas school district. But she often found herself lacking the resources necessary for her students to create the well-rounded research papers with authoritative sources she expected. “We were just so limited on the topics students could choose,” Claybar said. “I would have to develop a list of topics and identify a collection of websites I knew were credible for students to use. It took a Read More…


MindTap Supports Strong Outcomes in Developmental English

As an instructor of Developmental English, you have numerous goals for your students. Among these,  you undoubtedly want to see high levels of student engagement, as well as strong outcomes and student success.

How can you help your students achieve these important goals? Try assigning digital. When MindTap counts for at least 20% of their grade, students in Developmental English are engaging in course material more and performing better.

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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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The Use of Digital Learning Solutions for English Composition

In today’s ever-evolving educational landscape, it is essential for learning solutions providers to constantly seek out the voice of the instructor when developing content and supporting resources. In creating the new MindTap learning solution for the Composition discipline, Cengage Learning’s goal was to ensure the voice of the Composition instructor informed every decision.

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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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Developmental Educators Work to Grow Student Engagement

Today it is increasingly vital as developmental education programs—faced with economic pressures and completion-based funding—have a higher stake in moving developmental education students efficiently through their curriculum as well as keeping them engaged so they persist and go on to graduate.
 
In a 2014 research study conducted by Cengage Learning at the National Association for Developmental Education (NADE) conference in Dallas, Texas, all of the faculty participants noted their greatest challenge is breaking down the barriers to achievement and helping increase student motivation, preparedness, engagement, and confidence. The link between engagement and student success has been demonstrated in decades of research, so finding new ways to engage students is important, albeit challenging.
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Aplia™ Promotes Preparedness and Streamlines Assessment in Developmental Reading and Writing

As higher education institutions seek new ways to help students move successfully through the curriculum, one trend is the integration of developmental reading and writing. Such is the case at campuses in the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD), where Ulanda Forbess teaches and coordinates the developmental reading and writing program. She has been using the Aplia™ online homework and learning solution for a year to help guide her students to reading and writing proficiency. Read More…