SAM Case Studies

A New Digital Solution Brings an Unprecedented Rise in Student Grades and Success

Unfortunately, there’s a phenomena running rampant across college campuses nationwide that kills weekends and prevents educators from being their best. It’s called grading overload, and Linda Manning, an Associate Professor at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee knows the problem as well as anyone. “It seems like we’re grading all of the time,” Manning said. “We could save a lot of time if we didn’t have to manually grade the assignments.” The students to whom Manning teaches Microsoft Office concepts and applications are often initially intimidated by what can be perceived as complicated software to learn thoroughly. Even more Read More…


Business Students Rate SAM “Useful” for Building Excel Skills

At Baruch College in New York City, Professor of Economics Ted Joyce directs the Zicklin Online Learning and Evaluation (ZOLE) program, which promotes and supports the use of technology at the institution. “We interpret technology broadly, from courses delivered purely online to the use of Excel® in a traditional classroom format,” says Professor Joyce. “The unifying theme is the application of new technologies to engage students, build skills, save resources, and advance learning.” One of those technologies is SAM (Skills Assessment Manager), an online environment for Microsoft Office®. Professor Joyce managed a semester-long study of SAM’s online Excel® module, Read More…


Instructor Turns to Technology to Identify and Assist Struggling Students at Owens Community College

Cy Keiffer, a computer instructor at Owens Community College, quickly became frustrated with guessing which students needed more of his time and attention to succeed in his Introduction to Computing course. Teaching the course with the printed textbooks was challenging, Keiffer said. Adding to Keiffer’s frustration was the fact that students were often unable to see exactly where they were erring when attempting to learn about the Microsoft Office suite of products. It meant Keiffer often spent too much time reinforcing course material some of his students had already mastered while not spending enough time on topics that still puzzled students.

Keiffer sought a digital solution that would not only take the guesswork out of identifying which students needed additional attention, but also create a richer learning environment with fewer redundancies and inefficiencies. He found exactly what he was in search of when Owens Community College switched to Cengage Learning’s SAM platform, a cloud-based interactive learning environment that helps students master Microsoft Office and computer concepts vital to academic and career success. Owens uses a master Blackboard shell and the same SAM assignments across all sections and instructors.

In the case study below, you’l read how Students in Keiffer’s course now complete both assignments and exams in SAM, which allows instructors unique insight regarding individual performance. You’ll also see how the use of SAM helps instructors identify which students need extra help, as well as what they could to to improve or revise their courses.

Read More…