Phelan, What Is Life? 4e and What is Life? with Physiology, 4e

Document created by Digital Support on Jan 17, 2018Last modified by Digital Support on Apr 26, 2018
Version 8Show Document
  • View in full screen mode

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 one of the following links to go to the landing page of LaunchPad for What Is Life? or LaunchPad for What is Life? with Physiology.

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.



Animated videos that bring to life key topics in non-majors biology (as identified by instructors) through a combination of chapter art and narration. Available for select chapters. Closed captioned.


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.

Graphic Content Assignments

Short, curated assessments featuring multiple-choice questions focused on interpreting visual displays of quantitative information. Each question set correlates to a Graphic Content feature in the textbook.

Key Terms Flashcards

Interactive flashcards, 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.


Game-like adaptive quizzing system, 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; 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.

StreetBio Assignments

Short, curated assessments featuring multiple-choice questions focused on using scientific evidence to better understand everyday issues. Each question set correlates to a StreetBio feature in the textbook.

Student Success Guide

Worksheets designed to help students review and learn key concepts in every chapter. Includes Learning Objectives, Chapter Outlines for students to fill in and complete, and essay comprehension questions.

Summative Quizzes

Curated, summative assessments featuring multiple-choice questions, available for every chapter in LaunchPad.

This Is How We Do It Assignments

Short, curated assessments featuring multiple-choice questions focused on understanding and applying the process of science. Each question set correlates to a This Is How We Do It feature in the textbook.


Brief activities featuring drag/drop, click-to-match, and other interactive question types. The Tutorials are designed to help students review and learn core concepts—particularly topics that are consistently difficult for non-majors students (e.g., mitosis vs. meiosis, transcription vs. translation, and more).


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: Biological Literacy Skills Slides

Clicker and discussion slides, designed for use with the Active Learning: Biological Literacy Skills Videos. Questions tie material from the textbook to real-life news stories, making this a useful resource for checking students’ understanding of important concepts, while also reinforcing the relevance of biology and scientific thinking in everyday life.

Active Learning: Biological Literacy Skills Video Clips List

A brief guide to accompany the Active Learning: Biological Literacy Skills Videos, featuring an abstract of each video clip and Chapter/Section correlations.

Active Learning: Biological Literacy Skills Videos

Short video clips of real-life news stories that have a scientific/biological component. Topics range from biofuels and GMO crops to climate change.
When used in conjunction with the Active Learning: Biological Literacy Skills Slides, the clips are an effective tool for helping students recognize 1) the relevance of biology in everyday life and 2) instances of pseudoscience, anecdotal evidence, and misinterpretation of scientific data in the media. Closed captioned.

Active Learning: Visual Analysis Slides

Clicker and discussion slides that focus on checking understanding of important concepts through interpretation and analysis of select figures from the textbook.

Animations Slides

All of the animations from the course, provided in customizable slides for offline viewing. Each downloadable folder features two versions of the Animations Slides: 1) slides with embedded clips (i.e., the clips play within the slides) and 2) slides with linked clips (i.e., the clips launch in a separate browser window).

Customizable Art Slides

High-resolution, color figures from the textbook with editable labels. Instructors can easily edit, delete, or add labels to figures and then incorporate the customized slides into their own lecture materials.

Instructors Manual

Helpful instructional resources for each chapter of the textbook, downloadable as Word documents. Each chapter includes the complete Instructors Manual along with individual files for Learning Objectives, Chapter Outlines, Key Terms, Classroom Catalyst active learning activities, and Student Worksheets.

Lecture Slides

Formatted slides containing full-color, customizable 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 (PNG)

Chapter art from the textbook, provided as high-resolution, full-color PNG files. Labeled and unlabeled formats are provided.

Optimized Art Slides

All of the labeled figures from the text, provided as slides for in-class use.

Phelan Lecture Videos

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. Closed captioned.

Stepped Art Slides

Slides use select figures from the textbook to walk students, step-by-step, through complex biological processes and concepts.

Test Bank (downloadable)

Digital Test Bank featuring multiple-choice and essay questions for every chapter of What Is Life?. Downloadable files available for PC or Mac. Installation of Diploma software required.

Test Bank Answer Keys

Instructor answer keys, featuring all of the multiple-choice and essay questions from the digital Test Bank, provided as Word documents. These are useful for instructors who want to create offline, Scantron-style exams but prefer an alternative to the Diploma version of the Test Bank.