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I've had a number of people ask me where the 'chat' option went that students and professors used to contact Tech Support quickly and in real time.  Chat is back, but appears in a different place than last fall.  If you go to the support form:  and you are a student who has say, an issue with login in LP, then the option for chat comes up as part of the form. See below for an image:



But they are not adding it back just to the LP site because apparently too many of the questions that came in weren't relevant, such as "Where do I buy my book?" or "I don't understand question 7" and other things that I can't share with a genteel public.   

Bedford/St. Martin’s Exercise Central has been a longtime favorite of instructors and students who want an effective way to practice building skills that are critical to students’ success as college writers. New for fall 2016, Bedford/St. Martin’s is pleased to make a bank of Exercise Central quizzes available in the following Writer’s Help, LaunchPad Solo, and LaunchPad titles:

Writer’s Help 2.0, Hacker Version

Writer’s Help 2.0, Lunsford Version

LaunchPad Solo for Readers and Writers

Every LaunchPad title for Composition published from fall 2016 onward



Combining the popularity of Exercise Central and the power of LaunchPad represents a powerful teaching and learning solution that allows instructors to assign individual practice to students based on their real needs, integrate a greater number of customizable exercises into their teaching, and intervene to help students within the context of the rest of their composition course materials.


You can use the exercises in Exercise Central to

  • Offer additional interventions based on your students’ diagnostic quiz results
  • Assign pre-built exercise sets on the fly, as you notice patterns of error in your students’ writing
  • Create and edit custom quizzes that match the needs of your students
  • Offer quizzes that allow multiple attempts so that students can continue to practice concepts until they are closer to mastering them.


Follow these easy steps to access the Exercise Central bank of questions:


1 .In Writer’s Help, select + Add New Content --> Create new… from the top of the table of contents. In LaunchPad Solo and LaunchPad, select + Add New either from the top of table of contents or within any pre-built unit.




2. In the Add a new assignment menu, select Quiz.

3. From the quiz set-up interface, you will be prompted to provide Basic Info for your quiz. Give your quiz a name, subtitle, and provide instructions for your students. When you are satisfied, save your settings and click Search Questions.

4. In the Search Questions interface, the left-hand menu provides categories for sorting questions. Use the filter Exercise Central Quiz to find a pre-built quiz. You can search in the filter to narrow down the choices or scroll to browse all quizzes. (If you would like to browse questions by topic or subtopic instead, you can use those filters to find questions, but keep in mind your search results will return a much larger number of questions.)



5. When you have selected the filters you want, click Apply Filters to see your filtered results. Click the checkbox for questions you want to add to your quiz, then click Add Checked To --> Add to Quiz.



6. From the Review & Modify menu, you can see all the questions you’ve added to your quiz, order them as you wish, or edit them.


7. Use the Settings menu to determine whether you want to allow students multiple attempts, randomize answer options or question order, and set feedback display options.


8. Once you’ve saved your quiz settings, your quiz is ready to be assigned. From LaunchPad and LaunchPad Solo, you can assign a due date to your quiz from the quiz setup interface. In Writer’s Help, you can assign your newly created quiz from the Writer’s Help table of contents.


We hope you and your students enjoy the new flexibility and customization options of Exercise Central in LaunchPad and Writer’s Help.

We are delighted to report, for those of you who have been waiting patiently, that our deep integration option with Moodle and LaunchPad is now available! We're working on getting all of our documentation, videos, and handouts together for you to use, but the product itself is now ready. If you wish to explore this further, just talk to your local Macmillan representative to get the process started. 

Among the updates we recently made to the LearningCurve quizzing engine (which you can read about here), one we think you'll find especially useful is the added ability to remove LearningCurve quiz topics that are not relevant to a course.


Below are instructions on how to edit LearningCurve topics, with a video showing the process.


  1. Log into LaunchPad and navigate to your course home page.
  2. Click on an assigned LearningCurve exercise.
  3. Click on the "Edit topics" button on the right side of the page.
  4. Deselect the check boxes next to any topics you wish to remove.
  5. Click the "Save Changes" button.
  6. Click the "That works for me!" button.

Your LearningCurve topics have been edited!

On Friday, August 5th we released a new version of LearningCurve. It has a new look, designed to make it easier for students to use and some new functionality, so you can cut out topics that aren't relevant for your course. You don't need to create a new course to see the LearningCurve; it just flowed 'automagically' into your LaunchPad course. Check it out and let us know what you think! 


Instructor View:

Note in the upper right, under "3", you can now click on "Edit topics" to adjust the topics to better match your syllabus. 


Student view: 


We made the target score easier to see and we added notes to encourage use of the ebook (no penalty) vs. hints and answers. We'll see what students think--but our pre-release reviews have been very positive. 

One of the greatest appeals of classroom technology is the opportunity it offers for targeting interventions based on real-time data. Last fall, we introduced diagnostic activities in Writer’s Help, LaunchPad Solo for Readers and Writers, and many of our LaunchPad titles in order to help instructors track student proficiency in specific reading and writing skills. New for fall, those diagnostics activities have received some useful updates we hope will improve their efficacy in your writing courses.


Shorter, more focused pre-and post-tests


We’ve reorganized tests so that they target smaller, more manageable skill sets. The updated diagnostics have cumulative pre- and post-tests organized by the following topics:


  • Sentence Grammar (34 questions)
  • Punctuation, Style, and Mechanics (34 questions)
  • Reading Skills (20 questions)
  • Readings Strategies (25 questions)


The pre- and post-tests contain the same number of questions per topic; parity between tests means instructors can more easily track improvements from pre to post.


New class and roster comparison reports


Speaking of tracking reports from pre to post, our other big improvement for fall is adding two new comparison reports to the instructor dashboard—one for class comparisons (compare the class’s scores per sub-topic) and one for roster comparisons (compare individual students’ scores per sub-topic). These new reports are accessible through the instructor dashboard inside each post-test.




Instructors will have access to these reports automatically when they have assigned both the pre- and post-test for a particular diagnostic. As soon as any students have taken both tests, their comparison data will become available in the report (note: student data will not show up at all until the student has completed the activity. The report will not include students who have yet to complete the test.)




You can use the diagnostic comparison reports to:

  • Track improvement across multiple sections, or across a program (reports are exportable)
  • Create opportunities for students to see a visual representation of their progress in the course (reports can be printed for students)
  • Continually adapt your teaching based on real performance data.