Political Science

MindTap Supports Course Customization and Sparks Engagement in Softside Disciplines

College instructors routinely report that engaging students in their coursework and promoting critical thinking are deep-rooted, ongoing challenges. Many instructors also say they spend a significant amount of time looking for custom content that will capture students’ interest and better align with their curriculum. An increasing number are evaluating—and using—digital products to help address these teaching issues, and there are good reasons for doing so. Today’s mobile, digitally savvy students bring to their college education the expectation for convenient, instant connectivity to information—including course materials. Digital solutions meet this demand, paving the way to improved engagement while streamlining instructors’ course preparation with multimedia resources and integration tools that support course customization.

Cengage Learning’s online digital teaching and learning solution, MindTap, has been shown to appeal to students and instructors alike. More importantly, it has demonstrated its ability to improve engagement and student performance in a variety of softside courses such as American government, criminal justice (CJ), and history. This white paper summarizes a research study as well as the individual experiences of instructors who have found MindTap to be an effective source of time-saving customization tools as well as features and content that promote better student outcomes.

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MindTap for Introduction to American Government

Rich Powell teaches at the University of Maine, and has used MindTap in his Introduction to American Government course for approximately a year, in conjunction with Janda et al.’s The Challenge of Democracy text. Rich teaches his Introduction to American Government course both in person and online. He appreciates that MindTap offers a seamless integration into the Blackboard Learning Management System. MindTap’s integration with Blackboard lessens his workload and adds to his efficiency, while giving students a better overall experience.

Rich has also found the content within MindTap helps engage his students in course concepts. The engaging content found in MindTap reinforces students’ understanding of concepts they learn in class while developing their critical thinking skills.

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Analytics in MindTap for American Government Help Lead to Earlier Student Intervention

Dr. Gregory Dixon is a Professor of Political Science at the University of West Georgia. Greg is currently using MindTap for American Government in his course. He was initially drawn to MindTap for its analytics functionality, which allows him to identify and intervene with at-risk students earlier in the term. However, he has also discovered that its multimedia resources and exercises engage students in a variety of ways, and that it also helps students see American Government in a more concrete sense.
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Aplia Boosts Student Engagement—and Success—in Tamra Ortgies-Young’s Course

If you teach American Government, you recognize the importance of keeping student engagement levels up—and also ensuring that they keep up with their coursework. Discover how Tamra Ortgies-Young of Georgia Perimeter College, Dunwoody Campus used Aplia to raise the level of participation in her class, reinforce critical thinking and study skills, provide instant feedback to her students, and help them improve their grades.
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