Starting off with courseware can be overwhelming. That’s why we polled our Faculty Partners to pick their brains about what resources and tips are musts for instructors new to courseware.
Check out the tips they shared, bookmark this page and make a plan of action to ensure the start to your semester is setting you and your students up for success!
What to do before class starts:
The weeks leading up to the start of a new term or school year are typically busy and hectic. Our Faculty Partners recommend partnering with Cengage to accomplish some of the following tasks to ensure you are as prepared as you can be before students arrive.
- Request a Courseware Demo: Ask your Cengage Representative to schedule a demonstration of the courseware you’ll be using. You’ll get a better look at all of the features, and a feel for how to navigate the platform.
- Ramp Up with Training: Review our on-demand training resources for handy step-by-step guides, how-to videos and tips to get up and running. You can also request a consultation with a Faculty Partner or attend a live or on-demand webinar.
- Utilize Cengage Services: As a Cengage courseware user you have an assigned Digital Success Specialist. They can help with course setup and personalization, answer general questions or anything related to working with the courseware. They’ll always be available for questions either by phone, email or video chat.
- Keep It Simple: Start small when setting up your first course. You can always add to it! Keep the overall course setup simple with a clear learning path for students and expectations for yourself as well as what you want your students to complete.
- Add It to Your Syllabus: To ensure you’re providing students with access to their course materials from day one, embed specific registration instructions for your courseware in your syllabus or course outline. You can also include details about Cengage Unlimited.
First day of class and setting expectations:
Transitioning to digital means there’s the critical step of getting your students signed up and able to access their book and course materials. The following tips demonstrate how some Faculty Partners set expectations with their students.
- Locate the eBook: Show students how to find the ebook on their homepage as well as how they can bookmark, highlight and print.
- Make It Count: Make courseware worth a significant part of the overall grade to ensure student usage (we suggest 10% or more). One way to get the most out of courseware and increase student usage is to make at least three assignments part of a student’s grade.
- Give Your Students a Strong Start: Direct your students to the Start Strong webpage which features a short video and downloadable step-by-step guides for easy courseware registration.
Keeping track throughout the semester:
- Let Cengage Handle Support: Show students how to submit tech support tickets, and what to include, so they are responsible for their tech issues (but include you on their tickets). Support is available 24/7. Pro Tip: use chat to avoid longer wait times at the start of the school year.
- Communicate Often: Stay connected and keep communication open with students. Also, let your Cengage Representative know if you need additional help or support.
- Review Techcheck: Keep tabs on Techcheck so you know if there is a platform outage. From there you can easily raise issues by contacting tech support if needed.
- Measure Success: Review course analytics, track student engagement and get student feedback on what does and doesn’t work after your first semester.
We hope these tips are helpful! Keep an eye out for more posts and helpful content for new courseware users. You can also check out Empowered Educator: our full library of professional development resources.