Required Equals Results: Margaret Butcher, Purdue North Central




“Students began to engage better with the technology because everything was right there in Connect.”


What impact did requiring digital have on your students’ success?
Students began to engage better with the technology because everything was right there in the Connect course. SmartBook and LearnSmart help them engage with the materials and pinpoint areas where extra work is necessary.


Which digital tools do you use in your class?
I use SmartBook, LearnSmart and Speech Capture in my class.


When did you begin using digital tools in your classes and what did it replace, if anything?
We started working with McGraw-Hill Education about three years ago to create a site where our students could record and post their speeches without going through public sites such as YouTube and Photobucket.


When did you decide to require them as part of the course grade?
When Speech Capture became available and we could sync with Blackboard, I began to require them as part of the course grade.


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


Why is it important to require digital rather than make it optional?
Students live in a digital world and ‘forcing’ students to engage with the technology helps them realize the advantages the programs offer.


What advice do you have for instructors who are incorporating digital into their courses for the first time?
Ask questions and work through all the areas of the digital product you are using. Go through the faculty view and the student view to get a feeling of how everything works. Take the quizzes and do the tasks to make sure that instructions you post are clear and easily understood by students. Finally, have FUN with it. I was surprised how much I enjoyed working through the items as a student learner. It makes me a better professor.


What are you able to do now that you couldn’t before you required digital?
I don’t have to search for links for speeches and remind students to make the links public or to invite me to view their work. It is all in one spot and saves me time and frustration.


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

The Connect Team

By The Connect Team  |  November 11 2013

Required Equals Results: Dr. Murad Odeh, South Texas College




“Students are more engaged, more prepared and having fun.”


What impact did requiring digital have on your students’ success?
Requiring digital had a tremendous impact. Students are more engaged, more prepared and having fun. It increased student retention rate and helped them complete their courses.


Which digital tools do you use in your class?
I use LearnSmart, LearnSmart Labs, SmartBook and Tegrity.


When did you begin using digital tools in your classes and what did it replace, if anything?
I began using digital tools in 2006. It replaced reading traditional books and creating tests and homework.


When did you decide to require them as part of the course grade?
I have required them as part of the course grade since I started using them. Students will NOT do anything for free 🙂 . If there is a credit, they will do it.


What percentage of your course grade is made up by digital tools like Connect and LearnSmart?
20% of my course grade is made up by digital tools.


Why is it important to require digital rather than make it optional?
I believe that LearnSmart and SmartBook are essential for student success. They help them learn, understand, think critically and execute well.


What advice do you have for instructors who are incorporating digital into their courses for the first time?
My advice is to be patient. Start easily and slowly and then build on as you go through the semesters. Attend workshops and be on the lookout for what’s new as far as updates or new products.


What are you able to do now that you couldn’t before you required digital?
Make students READ before coming to class. Now they are reading the material and doing LearnSmart prior to my lectures because my assignments are due prior to my lectures.


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

The Connect Team

By The Connect Team  |  November 11 2013

Required Equals Results: Scott Lukas, Lake Tahoe Community College




“I think that the media (video) components in Connect make these assignments unique.”


What impact did requiring digital have on your students’ success?
I am still assessing the impact.


Which digital tools do you use in your class?
I use Connect and ETUDES (CMS system).


When did you begin using digital tools in your classes and what did it replace, if anything?
I have been using digital tools in my classes for a few years. However, I began using Connect this year.


When did you decide to require them as part of the course grade?
I wanted to get students to connect anthropology topics to their own lives and I thought that Connect would help with this.


What percentage of your course grade is made up by digital tools like Connect and LearnSmart?
About 10% of my course grade is made up by digital tools.


Why is it important to require digital rather than make it optional?
I think that the media (video) components make these assignments unique.


What advice do you have for instructors who are incorporating digital into their courses for the first time?
To take it slowly and not try to involve too many new features at once. Begin with a few assignments and then add from there.


What are you able to do now that you couldn’t before you required digital?
I am able to use multi-media components for the essays.


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

The Connect Team

By The Connect Team  |  November 11 2013

Required Equals Results: James Boeckle, Gloucester County College




“Digital technology has helped my students to be more successful with learning as they utilize the learned music skills.”


What impact did requiring digital have on your students’ success?
The majority of my students have had an improvement in their grades. Digital technology has helped my students to be more successful with learning as they utilize the learned music skills. They seem to be more confident with the subject matter and volunteer more often in class discussions.


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


When did you begin using digital tools in your classes and what did it replace, if anything?
I have been using Connect for approximately 3 years. LearnSmart is presently being implemented as a beta test program.


When did you decide to require them as part of the course grade?
I required the use of Connect assignments for grading purposes at the implementation of the program.


What percentage of your course grade is made up by digital tools like Connect and LearnSmart?
Connect assignments make up 15% of my grade and Connect quizzes make up 50%.


Why is it important to require digital rather than make it optional?
Digital technology helps to keep interest in the classroom. Students today are surrounded by technology. It is a large part of their world. Making digital a requirement allows them to learn by using the technology that they already know and to use that technology to learn new subject matter.


What advice do you have for instructors who are incorporating digital into their courses for the first time?
I would suggest that instructors incorporate digital into their courses in a small way at first. You must also be willing to monitor and adjust your assignments if needed. I began by giving several short assignments just to get a feel of what worked and what needed to be changed. By giving frequent short assignments I found that students were kept consistently engaged with the learning rather than giving larger assignments with a longer period of time to complete them. The consistency of completing assignments this way also added to the retention of the material.


What are you able to do now that you couldn’t before you required digital?
I spend less time grading assignments. I also utilize Connect to enhance my lessons by using the listening outlines as part of my lectures and discussions. This helps to keep everyone on task while learning to become a better critical listener. The technology guides the listening experience.


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: 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

THE CREW
The Connect Team

The Connect Team
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