How Different Digital Solutions Impact Learning in General Chemistry

Vickie Williamson is a guest contributor and an Instructional Professor at Texas A&M University. Here she shares her personal experience with OWL and MindTap and the impact of both in her courses. More than 15 years ago, I discovered how powerful an impact the OWL digital platform from Cengage could have on my college students’ General Chemistry achievement. Every year I polled my students on their satisfaction with OWL, and every year 85–95% of them claimed OWL helped them learn.

A New Contender

Fast-forward thirteen years, and MindTap enters the equation. MindTap is another innovative digital platform from Read More…

College Students’ Insight on OWLv2 and Sapling at UC San Diego

OWLv2 vs Sapling Learning Thirty-four students taking Chemistry at UCSD responded to a survey, giving their feedback on their experiences using Cengage Learning’s OWLv2 and Macmillan Learning’s Sapling, both digital homework solutions. On a scale of 0 to 10, students gave a relatively low average rating of 5.12 on the value of their print textbook. For the two digital homework solutions, students were split on which one they would be most likely to recommend to a friend. But when it comes to the digital solution they feel is helping them learn better, 85% (29 out of 34) chose OWLv2.

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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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Cengage Learning Digital Solutions: Get Your Jumpstart Today!

In adopting a digital solution, you’ve already figured out how to reach your students. Now it’s time to put that digital solution into action to deliver a richer and more immersive learning experience. Cengage Learning’s online trainings give you the information you need, when you most need it, to use your digital solution to derive the best results from your students.

Get up and running quickly and easily! Register today for one of our online training sessions… we have several taking place through the remainder of the fall.

Don’t see your Cengage Learning solution listed below? Access links to our complete list of available archived training sessions.

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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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Cengage Learning Solutions: How to Set Up Your Course

You’ve adopted the Cengage Learning digital solution that best suits the needs of your course and your students. Now, you’re ready to put that digital solution into action!

Access live and on-demand webinars to get the information you need—when you most need it. You’ll learn how to use your Cengage Learning solution to deliver an immersive learning experience and enable your students to achieve academic success.
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Get Started on OWLv2: How-To Videos

Created by teaching chemists, OWL is a powerful online learning system for chemistry. Its unique Mastery Learning approach allows students to practice at their own pace, receive meaningful feedback and access a variety of learning resources to help them master chemistry and achieve better grades.

Will you be using OWLv2 in your course this term? Gather helpful tips for getting started in the videos featured below.
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Efficacy of Online Web Learning (OWL) in Chemistry Courses

This study examines the effectiveness of a widely-used, post-secondary digital instructional tool, Write Experience, an online learning solution, employing automated essay scoring, dedicated to improving students’ written communication skills. Read More…