Required Equals Results: Kay E. Strong, Baldwin Wallace




“I am able to have students engaged in a learning discourse as I provide instruction over the material.”


What impact did requiring digital have on your students’ success?
Students who complete the LearnSmart assignment have early exposure to the basic terminology and concepts in the chapter before I present content in class.


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


When did you begin using digital tools in your classes and what did it replace, if anything?
I began using digital tools in my classes in the fall of 2011. Digital tools enable students to take more responsibility for the learning process.


When did you decide to require them as part of the course grade?
I decided to require digital tools as part of the course grade in the fall of 2011.


What percentage of your course grade is made up by digital tools like Connect and LearnSmart?
More than one-half of my course grade is made up by digital tools.


Why is it important to require digital rather than make it optional?
I believe it helps level the playing field if students will invest with an objective to learn.


What advice do you have for instructors who are incorporating digital into their courses for the first time?
I advise instructors to begin small, become familiar with the tool and then expand use of the tool.


What are you able to do now that you couldn’t before you required digital?
I am able to have students engaged in a learning discourse as I provide instruction over the material.


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

The Connect Team

By The Connect Team  |  November 04 2013

Required Equals Results: Brad Fillmore, Eastern Washington University




“Requiring digital increased assignment completion, which definitely increased student participation and engagement, and as a natural result, student grades increased.”


What impact did requiring digital have on your students’ success?
Requiring digital increased assignment completion, which definitely increased student participation and engagement, and as a natural result, student grades increased.


Which digital tools do you use in your class?
I use LearnSmart, LearnSmart Labs, Ph.I.L.S, APR 3.0, Canvas LMS, PPTs, Animations, etc.


When did you begin using digital tools in your classes and what did it replace, if anything?
I began using digital as soon as I had the option to use it. Digital replaces hard to set-up, challenging and expensive lab activities as well as old fashioned images and overheads.


When did you decide to require them as part of the course grade?
I decided to require them as part of the course grade with the adoption of this current McKinley A&P text. LearnSmart is THE reason I selected this textbook.


What percentage of your course grade is made up by digital tools like Connect and LearnSmart?
40%. 20% of my students’ final grade is LearnSmart homework, and most of their lab grade (20% of the course) is from digital tools such as pre-labs and LearnSmart Labs.


Why is it important to require digital rather than make it optional?
It’s important to require digital rather than make it optional because students will rarely engage in something, no matter how good it is, unless there are points attached.


What advice do you have for instructors who are incorporating digital into their courses for the first time?
Don’t be frustrated and overwhelmed. Take it one step at a time and ask for help often.


What are you able to do now that you couldn’t before you required digital?
I’m able to reach more students and help the individuals with my time that has been freed up by going digital.


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

The Connect Team

By The Connect Team  |  November 04 2013

Required Equals Results: Carol A. Keller, San Antonio College




“I’m able to have fun with students in a face-to-face environment and have the pleasure of watching online students be more engaged with each other and the course content.”


What impact did requiring digital have on your students’ success?
Requiring digital resulted in better preparation for face-to-face classes and online discussions, as well as higher quality learning. Grades are definitely higher and retention is better. I attribute this to the flipped classroom one day a week where students run the class and I facilitate. LearnSmart is due the night before and they must post their provocative question for peers in Canvas by midnight. Each student then reads and promotes discussion for their question during the face-to-face session. Each student provides information on how they framed those questions and what they learned. In the Discussion Forum they insert maps and images from their ebook to illustrate their focus. It’s very exciting for me and I look forward to the class.


Which digital tools do you use in your class?
I use LearnSmart and SmartBook Connect activities delivered in Canvas LMS for online and web-enhanced on-campus sections.


When did you begin using digital tools in your classes and what did it replace, if anything?
I began using digital tools after I took a public policy graduate course on the Internet that changed my teaching life. I was the only volunteer to teach a survey US course in the college’s first computer classroom and thanks to helpful technology and the lessons learned in my public policy course, everyone was challenged and invigorated. When our college launched its online program using WebCT in 2000, I was ready. Since that time we have transitioned through three different LMS and I have remained loyal to McGraw-Hill (first used Davidson text, “Nation of Nations,” as it had the best online support) and the students who pass through my classrooms continue to thrive using Connect.


When did you decide to require them as part of the course grade?
I decided to require them as part of the course grade from the first introduction of digital. I have required and graded all digital work, from the early web activities in Davidson and OLC up to today’s LearnSmart with SmartBook.


What percentage of your course grade is made up by digital tools like Connect and LearnSmart?
40% of my course grade is made up by digital tools.


Why is it important to require digital rather than make it optional?
Students want to earn a grade and they serve as a peer group to inspire others. Few students come to class without posting a question based on their reading and completion of LearnSmart the night before.


What advice do you have for instructors who are incorporating digital into their courses for the first time?
1) Take digital learning one step at a time, 2) Make sure you are comfortable with the process, 3) Ask for and LISTEN to student feedback during the process.


What are you able to do now that you couldn’t before you required digital?
I’m able to have fun with students in a face-to-face environment and have the pleasure of watching online students be more engaged with each other and the course content.


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

The Connect Team

By The Connect Team  |  October 28 2013

Required Equals Results: Janet Gelb, Grossmont College




“85% of my course grade is made up by digital tools like Connect and LearnSmart. “


What impact did requiring digital have on your students’ success?
I will have more information regarding the impact at the end of this semester.


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


When did you begin using digital tools in your classes and what did it replace, if anything?
I began using digital tools in my classes in the Fall of 2013.


When did you decide to require them as part of the course grade?
I decided to require them as part of the course grade in the Spring of 2012.


What percentage of your course grade is made up by digital tools?
85% of my course grade is made up by digital tools like Connect and LearnSmart.


Why is it important to require digital rather than make it optional?
Students tend to only do the graded required assignments. Anything that is optional, whether it would increase learning or not, is not on their radar.


What advice do you have for instructors who are incorporating digital into their courses for the first time?
Pilot the digital component before making your course completely digital.


What are you able to do now that you couldn’t before you required digital?
Teach a flipped classroom and add interesting discussions instead of doing traditional lectures that students dislike and tend not to participate in.


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

The Connect Team

By The Connect Team  |  October 28 2013

Required Equals Results: Janine Termine, Bucks County Community College




“Requiring digital resulted in improved student assignment completion, improved grades and the ability to prove to students that if they do their homework, they will be successful.”


What impact did requiring digital have on your students’ success?
Requiring digital resulted in improved student assignment completion, improved grades and the ability to prove to students that if they do their homework, they will be successful.


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


When did you begin using digital tools in your classes and what did it replace, if anything?
I began using digital tools in my class 10 years ago and it replaced paper and pencil homework.


When did you decide to require them as part of the course grade?
I decided to require them as part of the course grade immediately.


What percentage of your course grade is made up by digital tools?
My course grade is made up of 25% online homework and online quizzes.


Why is it important to require digital rather than make it optional?
It is important to hold students accountable. If we can ‘make’ students do their homework, they will be successful at mathematics.


What advice do you have for instructors who are incorporating digital into their courses for the first time?
I advise instructors to make sure that the homework counts for some part of students’ final grades. Also, make sure to set due dates and penalties for lateness.


What are you able to do now that you couldn’t before you required digital?
Now, there is more time for lessons and discussions because if students have questions, many times they can figure things out on their own because of all the aids in the online homework.


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

The Connect Team

By The Connect Team  |  October 28 2013

Required Equals Results: Alexander Wait, Missouri State University



“Requiring digital resulted in an increase in grade levels as well as improved in-class discussion and engagement.”


What impact did requiring digital have on your students’ success?
Requiring digital resulted in an increase in grade levels as well as improved in-class discussion and engagement. I’m able to spend more time in lecture on concepts and recent advances in research for every topic covered.


Which digital tools do you use in your class?
I use Connect with annotated e-text, LearnSmart and TurningPoint.


When did you begin using digital tools in your classes and what did it replace, if anything?
I began using digital tools in my classes in 2011. It replaced hard copy text.


When did you decide to require them as part of the course grade?
I decided to require them as part of the course grade in 2011.


What percentage of your course grade is made up by digital tools like Connect and LearnSmart?
40% of my course grade is made up by digital tools.


Why is it important to require digital rather than make it optional?
If the digital is integrated into the course, then making it optional does not work.


What advice do you have for instructors who are incorporating digital into their courses for the first time?
Ease into it over a couple of semesters. Eventually it allows one to deliver more content effectively without having to spend more time. The amount of time I spend on my course has not increased.


What are you able to do now that you couldn’t before you required digital?
I am able to spend more time on application and synthesis material in lecture.


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

The Connect Team

By The Connect Team  |  October 28 2013

THE CREW
The Connect Team

The Connect Team
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