Name: Karen Smith
Department: Microbiology and Immunology
School: University of British Columbia (Canada)
Product: LaunchPad for How Life Works (Morris, et al.)
How do you use LaunchPad? LaunchPad is critical for our learning path course design. Each week, student are given activities and quizzes in three phases: Pre-class, In-class and Post-class. LaunchPad provides us with a multitude of questions to draw from for our pre-class and post-class quizzes. In addition, the popular visual synthesis maps allows us to develop and streamline in-class activities. For our course, we have customized the LaunchPad site such that we have topic-specific items in modules. Within a module, students can access the topics, relevant readings, learning objectives, quizzes, practice questions, animations and maps. We also created targeted reading documents that are posted for each topic as LaunchPad can allow users to upload their own course materials.
Advice on using technology with students: Getting students on board early by providing an easy task is a good way of introducing them to LaunchPad. This motivates students to set up their LaunchPad access early and helps them navigate through the site. For example, within the first week of classes, we ask students to complete an easy quiz and ask them to find the first targeted reading in the first unit module. I think it is critical to use this type of technology throughout the term – not just intermittently. This also reinforces that technology is an excellent way to learn! And we also like to emphasize that technology such as LaunchPad allows students to practice and learn on their own time. We appreciate they are busy but can contribute to their learning in a way that works for them.
LMS Integration: Using LaunchPad within Blackboard