Required Equals Results: Lana Andrean, Kanawha Valley Community & Technical College




“100% of my course grade is made up by digital tools.”


What impact did requiring digital have on your students’ success?
My classroom now has interactive learning verses passive learning styles with immediate results for LearnSmart and quizzes.


Which digital tools do you use in your class?
I use Connect, LearnSmart, Tegrity, attachments, online quizzes, eBook functions, PsychInteractive and Milestones.


When did you begin using digital tools in your classes and what did it replace, if anything?
Using digital tools replaced traditional lecture and PowerPoint.


When did you decide to require them as part of the course grade?
I required them as part of the course grade from the beginning.


What percentage of your course grade is made up by digital tools like Connect and LearnSmart?
100% of my course grade is made up by digital tools.


Why is it important to require digital rather than make it optional?
It’s important because it allows the student to be more responsible for the assignments as they can view the dates, time element and keep a running total of points assigned to each task. It forces them to be more assertive.


What advice do you have for instructors who are incorporating digital into their courses for the first time?
When in doubt, ask. Don’t be afraid to try a new concept that may make the learning process much more interesting to your students. If you can’t rouse interest, you lose student retention.


What are you able to do now that you couldn’t before you required digital?
I’m able to do just about everything. I give open text online quizzes after each chapter to ensure the short term-working memory is fired up. The students then use the quizzes as a study guide or map to the comprehensive final (also online).


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

The Connect Team

By The Connect Team  |  December 02 2013

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: Cameron Harmon, Fayetteville Technical Community College



“Requiring digital tools is a must. If the tools are only optional, students won’t take advantage of them. When you assign a grade for them, the students are forced to do the work and slowly they will begin to see how helpful the digital tools really are.”


What impact did requiring digital have on your students’ success?
Initially, students were a bit hesitant because it was something totally different, but once they started using the tools they really liked them. Most of my responses from students have been on how much they love LearnSmart, and how fun and easy it is to use. And I can tell a difference in the students that do these assignments – on average, their test grades are usually 10 points higher than the others who don’t do the modules. It has also helped me during office hours. Instead of spending 15 minutes trying to figure out where their problem is, I can pull up the LearnSmart report and see exactly where they’ve been struggling. It’s fantastic to have that type of data readily at hand. Also, it has really helped with my students’ view of the class. They know that I’m checking on them and can see their progress, so they are more motivated to complete the assignments.


Which digital tools do you use in your class?
I use Connect Plus, and I have my students use the eBook, LearnSmart 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 my online classes in 2011. Initially, they didn’t replace any assignments, but as I’ve become more familiar and comfortable with the digital tools, I’ve begun to use more of the Connect assignments. I now use their test banks for my exam questions, LearnSmart questions for prep and exam review, and Tegrity to post lectures and proctor exams in my online classes.


When did you decide to require them as part of the course grade?
I know that students don’t do anything for free, so from the very beginning a point value as been assigned.


What percentage of your course grade is made up by digital tools like Connect and LearnSmart?
LearnSmart makes up 10% of the students’ grades, and the other Connect portions can range anywhere from 5-15%.


Why is it important to require digital rather than make it optional?
Requiring digital tools is a must. If the digital tools are only optional, students won’t take advantage of them. Most students won’t do extra work for no credit. So by assigning a grade for the digital component, the students are now forced to do the work and slowly they will begin to see how helpful the digital tools really are for them.


What advice do you have for instructors who are incorporating digital into their courses for the first time?
The first thing I would say is don’t be overwhelmed. Connect has so many cool features that you may feel like you have to do everything and be an expert on digital. You don’t! Connect is super easy to use. I would suggest starting with one thing – LearnSmart. And make sure you make it a graded component. Then take advantage of all the help videos and tutorials so that you can assist your students with getting started.


What are you able to do now that you couldn’t before you required digital?
I think the best thing that has happened since incorporating digital tools is that I actually have more time. It does require time to get started in the beginning, but once you do, you’ll have more time to actually interact with students since so much is handled by Connect. And now I can have data on my students with the click of a button – data that can be broken down by any measure I would like. It is fantastic!


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

The Connect Team

By The Connect Team  |  September 06 2013

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Additional Tegrity features that will blow your mind include:
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Learn more about our Tegrity lecture capture service from other faculty, by visiting http://www.tegrity.com or by contacting your McGraw-Hill rep today.

The Connect Team

By The Connect Team  |  September 06 2013

Required Equals Results: Christine Poythress, Middle Tennessee State University


“Requiring the digital resources in Connect has been a key factor in my students’ success. The overall scores in my courses have improved since I began using Connect.”


What impact did requiring digital have on your students’ success?
Requiring the digital resources in Connect has been a key factor in my student’s success. By requiring the listening guides, critical listening and other activities, students have become more articulate about music. The use of Connect has improved the quality of the discussions, which are a key component of the online classes I teach. I allow students to do the homework items in Connect as many times as they would like thus ensuring they will listen to the music and, by listening, they will be better equipped to write intelligently. The overall scores in my courses have improved since I began using Connect.


Which digital tools do you use in your class?
I teach solely online and use Connect. I also have several Tegrity lectures that I incorporate in my class. I began using these tools as soon as they were available.


When did you begin using digital tools in your classes and what did it replace, if anything?
I was still teaching traditional face-to-face classes when I began using Tegrity. Some of the other faculty said, “Oh, students won’t bother coming to class.” Even though we are a commuter school, I did not find this to be the case. Attendance rates stayed virtually the same. I found that students liked having the lectures available for review and study. The lectures were also a great resource for students if they had to miss a class.


When I started using Connect, I replaced some of my academic tests with online exercises, freeing up the class time for more active listening sessions and in-class activities.


When did you decide to require them as part of the course grade?
One of my favorite innovations in Connect is the ability to assign points to the listening guides, which gives the students an added incentive to actually listen to an entire selection of music. I decided to require digital tools as part of the course grade within the first year of using the resources. Currently, Connect makes up 35% of the semester grade.


What advice do you have for instructors who are incorporating digital into their courses for the first time?
For those instructors new to technology, I would say start small. Choose one or two items to incorporate into a course. I would recommend giving some credit for any activity—either points or a portion of a homework grade. Add resources as you become comfortable with the platform and the products.


What are you able to do now that you couldn’t before you required digital?
I am very happy to have these products to use. When I first created the online version of our Music Appreciation class, I spent countless hours saving music files, then converting them, and finally uploading them to our server. We had lots of music, but we didn’t have any listening guides to go with the music. Having the music and listening guides at your fingertips is a wonderful resource. I don’t think I could teach a very engaging online Music Appreciation class without digital tools. I think the students would have a very bland experience indeed.


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

The Connect Team

By The Connect Team  |  August 26 2013

THE CREW
The Connect Team

The Connect Team
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mayacohen
Eileen

Eileen
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