success stories

Growing Enrollment & Student Potential: How One Program Prepares Learners for Higher Education

This fall, freshmen across the University of California’s campuses will arrive with expectations of how to excel—but with the institution’s newest location comes new student experiences. In rural Merced, one unique student population brought opportunities to effect change in a community and bring digital literacy to young learners—many of whom are the first in their families to enroll in higher education. Kevin Reimer, Instructor in UC Merced’s University Extension Department, reveals how he developed a dual-enrollment program that builds skills for high school students while putting them on the path to college.   Reducing Fears for First-Time Enrollers Merced is located in a Read More…


MindTap Allows Music Teacher to Share Intricacies of Music Online

Jay Contrino is an adjunct instructor of music at Southeast Missouri State University where he teaches Jazz Appreciation, Theories of Music in Culture, Aural Skills, and applied drum set lessons. He’s been teaching at the college level for many years after working as a performer at clubs, symphony halls, jazz festivals and aboard cruise ships, where he worked side by side with a wide range of musicians, including the Osmond Brothers, the Platters, Mickey Dolenz, Tommy Tune, and others. This varied and exciting background adds to Contrino’s desire for his students to really listen to the intricacies of music, Read More…


Pathbrite Engages Students in Learning History and Practical Technology Skills

Institutions and instructors are rapidly trying to find new ways to effectively engage their students in an evolving world of technology.  While many educators see the value in technology, it’s how the technology is put to use that makes the greatest impact on learners. California State University, Fresno instructor Melissa Jordine wanted to promote active learning that would motivate students, enable their success, and help them build modern-day skills.  Read about how Dr. Jordine was able to accomplish it all. Like many colleagues, Dr. Jordine has been using technology for years but was seeking an alternative method to Read More…


Community College Partners with Cengage Learning to Offer Easy Access to More Affordable Course Materials

As is the case at many institutions, educators at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in Salisbury, North Carolina are always seeking ways to improve the teaching and learning experience. One strategy is to make it as easy and appealing as possible for students to access and use course materials.

Partnering with Cengage Learning, Rowan-Cabarrus initiated a new inclusive access program in 2014, which delivers course materials to students as part of their registration. Read about the successes that faculty, students, and the bookstore have received as a result of this partnership.
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MindTap® for History Increases Critical Thinking and Improves Outcomes at Oklahoma State University

Michelle McCargish is a history instructor at Western New Mexico University, and also recently taught an online section of an American History survey course at Oklahoma State University. The only online instructor of the course (History 1103), Michelle
wanted to use a digital learning solution that provided good online supplements and was easy to use in the online classroom environment. After reviewing several solutions, Michelle decided to pilot MindTap® in the spring of 2014.

Michelle noticed immediately one key advantage of MindTap — how easily her students were able to navigate the interface. In addition to a user-friendly interface, Michelle found that integrating MindTap into her course’s LMS allowed for a streamlined integration experience for her and her students.

What’s more, Michelle found that MindTap’s exercises and assignments were effective at reaching students with different learning styles and encouraging critical thinking. Additionally, Michelle saw evidence of increased levels of student engagement using MindTap when grading the course midterm.

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SAM Helps Szymon Machajewski’s Students Gain Confidence and Proficiency with Computer Technology

Szymon Machajewski is an Affiliate Professor in the School of Computing and Information Systems at Grand Valley State University. An instructor for eight years, he currently teaches eight sections of Introduction to Computing annually. Szymon uses SAM (Skills Assessment Manager) — an interactive online learning environment that helps students master Microsoft® Office and other computer skills and concepts that are essential to academic and career success — in conjunction with the textbook Discovering Computers. Szymon discovered SAM in 2013 and saw the advantage in using a learning solution that gives students a self-paced, hands-on experience. “I was surprised at how successful SAM is at really bringing out what we’ve known now for a while, based on the research of Dr. Benjamin Bloom, that one-on-one instruction is most effective.”

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Ninteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO) Improves Engagement in Lucy Morrison’s Literature Class

Dr. Morrison teaches a 300 level course at Salisbury University in Salisbury, MD, called Literature of a Decade. “It is a course that any Literature instructor can teach, and I was teaching it from a British Romantic perspective. I wanted students to use more than a text in isolation,” said Dr. Morrison. One of her primary goals is to have the literary, social, and historical background on a topic. She used Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO) in class, and students were required to use it in writing a research paper. Each of them had to do an oral presentation and write-up on the months of their birthdays and the year that was assigned to them by Dr. Morrison. “For example,” Dr. Morrison elaborated “the King losing his head – how was that reported in January 1793? What was the media saying? What was of interest to the students that happened during their birthday month?” Read More…


Career Online High School Helps Non-Traditional Student Frances Ramos on the Path to a New Career

Frances Ramos was in her early 70s and wanted to move into a career in healthcare. However, she found the roadblock to gaining the skills needed for this field was her lack of a high school diploma. Career Online High School’s (COHS) online degree program afforded Frances both the curriculum and pace she needed. Because some of Frances’s previous credit hours from high school courses completed transferred over, she was able to earn her diploma in seven months. Learn how Frances was able to complete all of her coursework online—a must since she was working full-time throughout the program. Read More…


Using SAM, Instructor Melinda White’s Students Learn from Mistakes

Learning Microsoft® Office® applications requires repetitive hands-on practice and reinforcement to assure skill retention—yet many of the students in your computing courses may have family, work, and other obligations that make it challenging to find the time for that practice. Discover how Melinda White of Seminole State College (Florida) uses the trainings, projects, review resources, and exams in SAM to make learning convenient, engaging, and effective for the students in her Office Applications courses. Read More…


Using iLrn, Dr. Nancy Blain Notices an Increase in Student Engagement

Are you looking for an online learning solution that addresses the needs of students who are at various levels in terms of their Spanish-language knowledge? Discover how Dr. Nancy Blain of McNeese State University (Lake Charles, LA) used the grammar videos, enrichment exercises, and other interactive online features within iLrn’s self-paced environment to support the educational needs of all the participants in her Introductory and Intermediate Spanish classes. The story also shows you how iLrn helped improve students’ grades. Read More…