LaunchPad contains resources for you and your students. In this tutorial, we'll take a detailed look at both types separately. Let's begin with student resources. Click here to go to the landing page of LaunchPad for What is Life? A Guide to Biology.
What resources are available for my students?
From your LaunchPad home page, click Resources, then Content by Type. You'll see a list of all the resources available to your students. We'll now take a closer look at each.
Bio 101 Tutorials
These brief activities, which feature drag/drop, click-to-match, and other interactive question types, are designed to help students review and learn core course concepts--particularly topics that are tricky for students--in non-majors biology.
LaunchPad’s e-Book offers the complete content of the textbook along with useful interactive features, including clickable glossary terms and expandable chapter art. Students can highlight content and take notes in the e-Book as they read, allowing them to better organize their notes for more productive study.
End-of-chapter Quizzes are created from heavily vetted questions, all written by Jay Phelan. Each pre-built assignment contains 20 multiple-choice items, covering material from the entire chapter.
An interactive version of the Graphic Content feature from the textbook, these activities help students improve graph-reading and data analysis skills.
Key Terms Flashcards
Key Terms are interactive flashcards that are ideal for students who want to quiz themselves on important vocabulary terms in preparation for higher stakes assessments. Students have the option to view the flashcards in either stack or table mode. Likewise, they can opt to view the cards with either the term or the definition showing. Instructors will find that the Key Terms are best suited for student practice rather than as a graded assignment. However, because students do find them helpful in understanding the language of the course, many instructors make them visible in the pre-built LaunchPad units, or even create a separate folder in their LaunchPad to house all the flashcards.
Developed in light of the latest advances in learning research, LearningCurve’s game-like adaptive quizzing is available for every chapter of the textbook.
LearningCurve provides a unique learning path for each student, with quizzes shaped by each individual’s correct and incorrect answers. The less a student knows about a topic, the more LearningCurve focuses on it. And the better a student does, the more difficult the questions become. Feedback for each question includes live links to e-Book pages relevant to the topic at hand, guiding students to the reading that will help them address an area of difficulty.
Because LearningCurve is a formative assessment and not graded on an A-F scale, many instructors have found it to be an ideal resource for pre-lecture assignments, with students coming to class more prepared to participate. LearningCurve is equally effective when used as a post-lecture review. Instructors have also found that making LearningCurve a small percentage of the overall grade further incentivizes students to take advantage of it when preparing for class.
Lecture Companion Art
Lecture Companion Art are PDFs containing figures from each chapter in full color. The PDFs feature ample room for note-taking, so students can print them out, bring them to lecture, and write their notes alongside the illustrations.
Q Animations are animated, narrated videos that bring life to core topics from the textbook. Available for select chapters, these engaging video clips feature “Check Your Understanding” comprehension questions, which pop up throughout each video to keep students engaged. English and Spanish subtitles are available.
Q Animations Quizzes
These brief, pre-built assessments, which contain questions written by Jay Phelan, accompany every Q Animations clip in the LaunchPad lesson plans, allowing instructors to check students’ understanding of the concepts presented in each animated video.
Review and Rehearse
These are interactive versions of the new Review & Rehearse features from the textbook. Students quiz themselves by answering short essay questions, and then the activity provides automatic feedback.
Show What You Know Self Quizzes
At the end of each section of content in the LaunchPad lesson plans, students will find a 5-question quiz (featuring multiple-choice questions written by Jay Phelan) to help them gauge their understanding of material as they read. Although the quizzes are designed with student practice in mind, instructors do have the option of assigning each quiz for a completion score.
What resources are available for instructors?
From the same screen where you've been viewing student resources, you can scroll down to see those available to instructors. Let's now take a closer look at each.
Active Learning Lecture Outlines (PPT)
This series of “next generation” PowerPoint lectures gives instructors a dynamic, yet easy-to-use, way to engage students during classroom presentations. Each lecture provides opportunities for discussion and interaction and gives instructors a variety of lecture and speaking notes.
Biology Connections - Reference Guides (PDF)
Each Reference Guide correlates to a specific Biology Connections article and features a detailed index, indicating the specific chapters and/or sections of the textbook that relate to each piece. Also, instructors will find thought-provoking short essay questions (with sample answers) that are great for sparking in-class discussion.
Biology Connections with Assessment
Biology Connections are brief articles that explain important biology concepts through real life examples. The readings present interesting and fun mini case studies that explain how everyday events are relevant to biological processes.
Each article contains a set of 10 questions (multiple-choice, image map, matching, etc.) that can be used to check students’ comprehension of the material and also help them apply concepts garnered from the article/textbook.
These outlines break each chapter down by section and detail the Take-Home Message of each section.
Check Your Knowledge
These assignable multiple-choice questions are culled from the “Check Your Knowledge” sections of the “Review & Rehearse” features at the end of each chapter in the textbook.
Available for each chapter, Classroom Catalysts include instructions and complete notes for a variety of in-class activities (which range anywhere from 10-120 minutes to set up and execute) that engage students, facilitate discussion, and help students understand core topics in non-majors biology.
Clicker Questions (PPT)
Each chapter contains a slide presentation featuring multiple-choice, critical thinking questions. Although the Clicker Questions are designed to be used in conjunction with iClicker, the iClicker software is not required for using/viewing these slides. (The Clicker Questions also can be found within the Active Learning Lecture Outlines.)
The Customizable PowerPoints feature high-resolution, color figures from the text with editable labels. Instructors can edit existing labels or add additional notes to figures from the book and then easily incorporate the customized slides into their own lecture PowerPoints.
Exploring Biology Case Studies
These story-based case studies present real life scenarios and ask students to perform external research in an attempt to solve a real life problem. Students get to draw their own conclusions from the information they are given and get real practice with using the material they have learned in the text.
Full Instructor Manuals
These include helpful resources for each chapter of the textbook, downloadable as Word documents from the LaunchPad site. Each chapter document contains: 1) Learning Objectives, 2) Chapter Outlines, 3) Classroom Catalysts, and 4) Student Worksheets.
Instructor Help Docs
These are brief guides that cover topics ranging from setting up a new course to importing grades from PrepU into LaunchPad. Also, customizable student flyers are included for the first day of class, explaining how/where students can register for LaunchPad online.
These downloadable documents feature the Learning Objectives for each chapter of the textbook.
Lecture Outlines (PPT)
Available for every chapter, these formatted slides are provided for structuring class lectures. They contain full-color chapter art, easy-to-read on-screen text for student note-taking, as well as complete lecture notes for instructors. Fully editable, instructors can use them in total, or select relevant parts to enhance their own existing lecture slides.
Optimized Art (JPEG)
All of the art from the textbook is provided as high-resolution, full-color JPEG files. Each figure is provided in both labeled and unlabeled format.
Phelan Lecture Video Quizzes
Each Phelan Lecture Video is accompanied by a brief, ready-to-assign multiple-choice quiz, featuring questions written by Jay Phelan.
Phelan Lecture Videos
Phelan Lecture Videos are snippets of author Jay Phelan’s actual in-class lectures, covering select, focused topics from What Is Life? and featuring the author’s own lecture slides.
Q Animations (Quicktime)
Each of the Q Animations is formatted in Quicktime for viewing on devices (such as tablets) that are not Flash-enabled. Apple’s free Quicktime player is required.
Q Animations in PPT
Each chapter set of Q Animations is available in PowerPoint. Instructors simply download to their desktop a Zip file, which contains the slides plus the animated video files. The video clips are launched in a web browser via hyperlinks within the slides. (Note: the instructor does not need an Internet connection to launch and play the video clips. The video clips load from the files on the instructor’s desktop.)
Stepped Art PowerPoints
Stepped Art PowerPoint presentations use images to walk students step-by-step through different biological processes.
Instructors are provided with student worksheets that ask critical thinking questions to test comprehension of chapter concepts.