Required Equals Results: David Smith, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi




“I can focus more on the interactions with the students and the lectures than I could before beginning the use of digital materials.”


What impact did requiring digital have on your students’ success?
At this point it is difficult to completely understand and calculate how the students are doing. This group is a fresh batch of new college entries and they are having a difficult time adjusting to the rigors of college.


Which digital tools do you use in your class?
I use Connect.


When did you begin using digital tools in your classes and what did it replace, if anything?
I have been using digital tools for about 18 months. Connect replaced Aplia.


When did you decide to require them as part of the course grade?
I decided to require them as part of the course grade at the time of adoption 18 months ago.


What percentage of your course grade is made up by digital tools like Connect and LearnSmart?
About 35% of the course grade is comprised of digital tools.


Why is it important to require digital rather than make it optional?
I find that if students are required to engage in the material as opposed to making it optional, they tend to understand on a greater level what the potential impact on their grade is.


What advice do you have for instructors who are incorporating digital into their courses for the first time?
Be patient. It is a tool that will facilitate their success in the long-run. Many students are not used to using digital materials. Be prepared for a few mistakes and frustrations. The patience is well worth the payoff at the end of the semester as it all comes together.


What are you able to do now that you couldn’t before you required digital?
I can focus more on the interactions with the students and the lectures than I could before beginning the use of digital materials. Less time is spent grading and more time is spent assisting those students who may not be completely understanding material in class.


Check out the full Required Equals Results series to hear from other instructors about their experiences.

The Connect Team

By The Connect Team  |  November 18 2013

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