Click here to go to the landing page of LaunchPad for The Bedford Handbook.
Why use LaunchPad?
LaunchPad engages students and allows them to practice skills and apply the lessons of the handbook. LaunchPad also makes instructors’ lives easier. In this tutorial, we'll take a look at both kinds of help, starting with help for students.
What resources are available for my students?
From your LaunchPad home page, you can scroll down the contents and see that the resources are organized by book part. The organization will be familiar to students.
Opening any numbered section in the list of contents gets you to the e-Book. The e-Book is, conveniently, matched to the print handbook so that students aren’t disoriented when they go back and forth between the two resources. Navigation with section numbers (1a, 1b, 1c, and so forth) is just as easy in the e-Book as in the print book.
Other resource types
In the contents for each section, you can see additional resources listed after the handbook sections. Let’s explore the types of resources one by one.
As you write
“As you write” refers to writing activities for students. There are 36 of these prompts in LaunchPad for The Bedford Handbook. Students are prompted to write brief responses about organizing an essay, drafting a thesis statement, working with peers, integrating sources, and more--and in doing so, they apply the lessons of the handbook to their own thinking and writing. Many of the “As you write” activities promote collaboration.
If we look closely at the activity titled “Using reviewers’ comments,” we see the prompt, which references a section in the handbook, and then a writing space in which to type a response. Clicking “Submit” allows both the instructor and the student to view the response.
Sample student writing
Opening the “Sample student writing” area allows users to view sample papers in a number of different genres--narrative papers, analytical essays, research papers, and more. Most are annotated to show proper formatting and effective writing.
There are more than 250 exercises in LaunchPad for The Bedford Handbook. Students can practice writing, grammar, style, and research/citation skills with exercises that report conveniently to a grade book. Many are auto-scored.
If we open up the resources for Part V, Grammatical Sentences, we see a different type of resource, LearningCurve. For 29 topics, LaunchPad offers adaptive quizzing, which builds confidence with sentence-level skills by adjusting the difficulty level of the items based on students’ responses.
LearningCurve offers students hints, tips, and references to relevant advice in the handbook. The progress bar at the bottom of the screen provides motivation. LearningCurve topics support students as they work through Parts III-IX of The Bedford Handbook--style, word choice, grammar, punctuation, mechanics, and ESL topics.
Content by type
Clicking on the star icon in the left hand navigation panel takes you to even more resources. If you choose to search the resources by type, you will see even more useful content.
LaunchPad offers additional exercises (with answers) for ESL and multilingual students.
Peer review resources
You will find five additional resources for teaching and encouraging successful peer review.
Videos and tutorials
LaunchPad even offers engaging videos and tutorials on topics such as reading critically, integrating sources in MLA style, fixing fragments, and more.
What are the benefits of LaunchPad for instructors?
Let’s take a look at the benefits of LaunchPad for instructors.
For instructors interested in easy assigning, LaunchPad is a successful tool. Activities or exercises that are assigned appear at the top of the page, letting students focus on what’s due next.
Easy to personalize
LaunchPad is easy to personalize, too: Instructors can add and assign their own materials.
As an added convenience for instructors, LaunchPad allows instructors to branch an established course, create groups, and perform batch updates, all of which save time. To learn more about branching a course, see the help article How do I create course sections that are connected to a master?. The other functions are performed from the Instructor Console.
LaunchPad for The Bedford Handbook extends the handbook with interactive writing activities, scorable exercises, models that instruct, and convenience options for busy teachers.