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: 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

Required Equals Results: Karen K. Dennis, Illinois State University



“Be excited about going digital and all that Connect can offer your students.”


What impact did requiring digital have on your students’ success?
Going digital with Connect was perfect for the Personal Fitness course I teach. I teach this class 100% online, so having all of the great resources that are available in Connect really worked to make my class complete. I especially liked how the Library included videos of various exercises. Having those available in the library was very important for this fully online class.


Which digital tools do you use in your class?
For the Personal Fitness course I teach, we use Connect for assignments, quizzes, e-book, and Learn Smart. For the activities classes I supervise, we use Connect Get Active for all of the assignments, quizzes, and e-book.


When did you begin using digital tools in your classes and what did it replace, if anything?
I started using Connect one year ago for the Personal Fitness course I teach, and two years ago I started using Connect Get Active for the activities classes I supervise. These digital tools replaced the print textbook (which no one ever purchased or used) and paper copies of assignments. Also, completion of quizzes online allows for more of class time to be used for discussion, lecture, or activity.


When did you decide to require them as part of the course grade?
From the get-go.


What percentage of your course grade is made up by digital tools like Connect and LearnSmart?
Most of the grade is earned by using digital tools, given that all of the quizzes and assignments are in Connect, in addition to LearnSmart assignments.


Why is it important to require digital rather than make it optional?
It is important to require digital rather than make it optional because sometimes we need a gentle nudge to move forward. If we don’t have that ‘nudge’ we will tend to resist change. Requiring the digital is that gentle nudge.


What advice do you have for instructors who are incorporating digital into their courses for the first time?
Be excited about going digital and all that Connect can offer your students. If you present Connect and digital in a positive light, you will notice much greater success. If you are not positive about all that Connect and digital can do for you and for your students, you probably won’t realize all of the great benefits you should.


What are you able to do now that you couldn’t before you required digital?
I am able to very easily see a variety of reports now. I love the reports that can be generated in Connect. Again, I go back to the Library feature. I really like the e-book and the videos that are available. I like NOT having anything ‘hard copy’ turned in. We are saving hundreds of trees by not having to print everything out.


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

The Connect Team

By The Connect Team  |  October 24 2013

THE CREW
The Connect Team

The Connect Team
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mayacohen
Eileen

Eileen
sashapaulino

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