Skip navigation
All Places > LaunchPad > Blog > 2015 > October

We are in the midst of building an Instagram channel (community) for students. We want a place where we can have a dialog with students and Instagram seems like a logical place. In order to do this we need to build up a following, and as such we are going to run periodic competitions with an incentive to get students interested.


We do not email students directly, due to privacy concerns, but would appreciate any support you are willing to offer!
If you would like to share with your students, you can share this message with your students:


Message for Students:
Macmillan, the publisher of LaunchPad, will be running a series of competitions on Instagram for students. They are giving away a variety of prizes in an assortment of competitions. If you are interested in joining the conversation, please see the rules at


Thank you in advance for any support and participation!

Emily Rowin

What is Writer's Help?

Posted by Emily Rowin Employee Oct 30, 2015

As a marketing manager, I engage in conversations with English faculty in writing centers and English departments across the country. In 2014, I was in a writing center in Arkansas where the first year writing coordinator was working with a distraught student. The student mumbled that she didn’t know how to “use her book.” One of the writing center tutors suggested the student begin with the index, and the student asked, “What is an index?”


Many people would respond to this story saying that shouldn’t the student know and learn what an index is. My answer and the Arkansas instructor’s answer is yes. But let’s say for a minute that the first goal is not for students to know how to use a book. Instead, what if we removed the initial learning barriers and empowered students to start writing and composing on the first, second, or third day of class by delivering content in a format that reflects the way they access information already? 10,000 students and counting at colleges and universities across the country are trying out the possibility. I think the search will yield tremendous results.


Writer’s Help is an updated way to deliver curated Hacker and Lunsford content valued by instructors. Writer’s Help gives instructors the ability to assign and integrate writing support, citation coverage, diagnostics, exercises, videos, writing prompts, and more. It is a cost-conscious solution that gives students access to searchable curated content they can access (rather than carry) throughout their college career. Powered by smart search, Writer’s Help understands student language. So when a student searches for [...], Writer’s Help recognizes the student is looking for content related to using ellipses. In fact, the research conducted by the editorial team at Bedford/St. Martin’s showed that students searched for terms like snake eyes, dot thingie, and coma (yes, that is comma misspelled).


But more than a list of features and functionality, and perhaps more than its curated content, Writer’s Help is an example of how as a publisher, we can contribute to the evolving conversation of what types of content do instructors want to assign, and how we can deliver that content in innovative, easy-to-use ways. Learn more here:

Scott Guile

'Flipping' the class?

Posted by Scott Guile Employee Oct 19, 2015

A question we seem to get more and more these days is how can LaunchPad help me flip my class? One tool people have used to help flip is to assign LearningCurve before class. But we have a new tool to share. The Video Assignment Tools available in every LaunchPad as of this fall are a perfect way to turn any video into a discussion board based assignment. The embedded rubric can also let you structure more formal assignments around any video. This include lessons you may have taped, or screen casts you may have done explaining concepts. As well as YouTube videos. We held a Webinar on this on October 7th and we had over 200 people attend. You can view the recording here. 

You can also learn more about Video Assignment Tools in our in product walk through -


Lastly for those who are looking for something different on the flipping front in Principles of Economics and in Algebra and Calc based Physics we offer a new product called FlipIt.  FlipIt is based on extensive published peer reviewed research and you can learn more about it at

Lynette L

What is Deep Integration?

Posted by Lynette L Moderator Oct 13, 2015

Deep integration is a way for you to add LaunchPad or Writer’s Help 2.0 content such as quizzes, activities, readings from the e-book, and videos to your Blackboard, Canvas, or Desire2Learn course. After you add the content, you and your students will be required to connect your campus LMS accounts with your Macmillan accounts so that the two systems can talk to each other.


What are the primary benefits?

  1. Establishing single sign-on so that you and your students can open LaunchPad or Writer’s Help 2.0 content inside your campus LMS without having to log in every time.
  2. Enabling gradebook sync, which automatically transfers your students’ grades on LaunchPad or Writer’s Help 2.0 assignments into your campus LMS gradebook.


How long does it take to implement deep integration?

  1. If your campus isn’t already set up with Macmillan deep integration, it can take months for your campus IT and the Macmillan integration team to implement the integration. So if you were interested in having deep integration by the fall semester, say, it’d be best to talk to your sales representative in the early spring.
  2. While you’re waiting, you should get a jump start on the second part of the setup, which consists of familiarizing yourself with your LaunchPad or Writer’s Help 2.0 content, deciding what you’ll want to incorporate into your course, and assigning these resources with due dates, point values, and gradebook categories, if applicable. When you’re done, you’ll also need to activate your LaunchPad or Writer’s Help 2.0 course, which opens it for student registration.
  3. When the integration is complete, you can set up single sign-on for yourself, decide where you want to place LaunchPad or Writer’s Help 2.0 content in your campus LMS course, and then bring the content in. You can bring in some or all of it at once.


If this seems like a long time, that’s because it is, at first. The good news is that when you set everything up once, it’s easy after that. If you teach the same course in a subsequent semester, all you’ll have to do is copy your LaunchPad or Writer’s Help 2.0 course, update the due dates for the new semester, and refresh your content in your campus LMS. If you teach a different course, you won’t have to work with your campus IT to implement integration again, but you will have to set up assignments in LaunchPad or Writer’s Help 2.0 and bring them in to your campus LMS course.


What support does Macmillan offer to help me with this process?

We have comprehensive knowledge bases for instructors and students. Below are direct links to the key manuals you and your students can reference. Once you’re inside a manual, you can either search for a word or phrase about which you have a question, or click through the table of contents.



In addition to our help articles, we offer instructor training sessions, 24/7 chat and email technical support, and phone technical support Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. ET and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. ET.


If you have questions or want to get the ball rolling, contact your Macmillan sales representative. Thank you for taking the time to learn about deep integration with LaunchPad and Writer’s Help 2.0!