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2 Posts authored by: Adam Whitehurst Employee

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.

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.