In an effort to keep all of our products working smoothly, so you can keep your work going, we are doing a scheduled maintenance of LaunchPad, Sapling, and FlipIt on Sunday, October 20th from 12:01am until 7am Eastern. During these 7 hours, neither you nor your students will be able to access these products, so you should alert your students and make any adjustments to assignment due dates.
Hopefully the advanced warning and the fact that most people don’t have assignments due on Sunday mornings mean that this won’t be a terrible inconvenience for you or your students.
❏ Make a series of assignments for students to complete. If you are new to LaunchPad and want to start small, we typically recommend that you begin with LearningCurve.
❏ Confirm that your assignment settings match the goals of your course. (For instance, do you want to make the assignments due before class to enable discussion or after class, to confirm understanding.)
Getting Started with Students - First Day of Class
❏ Provide students with the access information needed to join your course, whether they are buying access through the Macmillan LearningStudent Store or purchasing codes directly from your campus bookstore.
❏ Explain to students why you are having them use LaunchPad and show how it can benefit them
❏ Make students aware of the three purchase options: purchase now, enter an access code, and pay later.
The team has been working hard on improvements to LaunchPad this year. A lot of the changes are ‘behind the scenes’ like security improvements and changes to how LaunchPad works for visually impaired users working with JAWS, but a few to highlight are:
We just released some student onboarding changes that adds a "Purchase Access" and "Enter A Code" button to the top of the LaunchPad course if a user has less than 30 days of access remaining. This is designed to make life (and purchasing) easier for students using Trial Access.
To further help with student onboarding, we increased character limit of the LaunchPad school name field so institutions with a very long name won’t be truncated, making it easier for students to find their school.
We removed the Flash Player from the LaunchPad System Check since a) we have very little Flash content in LP anymore and b) Flash is going away, as you know.
The "Zero score for unsubmitted" Gradebook Preference is now disabled by default for copied/branched course.This prevents the issue where an instructor creates a copy or branch of an existing course but doesn’t update the due dates and then when students enroll in the course, they automatically receive a zero for all past due assignments.
Macmillan Learning has a Faculty Consultant program that might work for you.
The Faculty Consultants talk about how they implement our products in their classes. They can speak about how our products actually work in real classes with live students.
They can talk about how LaunchPad changed their class or what students think of Sapling or how they included Achieve Read & Practice into their syllabus or how they use iClicker to engage students. So if you are thinking about using LaunchPad, we can connect you to another faculty member to learn more about what they use in LaunchPad and why they like it. Or if you aren't sure how Sapling would fit into your program, you can talk to an Faculty Consultant about their experience with Sapling. Or if you want to know if Achieve Read & Practice really works, you can talk to a peer about the benefits of R&P. Lastly, if you want to know anything about iClicker--active learning activities, grading best practices, or benefits of the student app & remotes--our Advocates are prepared to help out!
If you want to learn more, just comment on this post and we'll be in touch!
If you missed our Spring 2019 Webinar Week, you can watch all the recordings here. And if you're inspired, comment on one or more of the recordings and you could win one of our great trade titles (see the list below) just for communicating with us. If you're interested, check out all the rules here. And we hope to hear from you soon!
Being Mortalby Atul Gawande
The Sun Does Shineby Ray Hinton & Laura Love Hardin
Okay, so I will confess that Question Pooling is probably my favorite part of LaunchPad. (Yes, I'm a nerd and I'm okay with that.) Hopefully you know all about question pooling already and this post is a boring reminder...but just in case, here's a recap:
With Question Pooling, you can create a group of questions from which one or more (depending on the setting) is chosen at random for students (and we do this for some of our pre-built quizzes already). If you pick questions that are all related to the same topic (which is sensible to do, by the way), then students are all being quizzed on the same concept, but the actual question they see varies--making cheating harder to do (not that students cheat, but you know, hypothetically...) and giving you a more diverse question base. So you could end up with a quiz where students see 10 questions, but those 10 questions are pulling from a pool of 50 questions, so each student likely ends up with a slightly different quiz from each of their colleagues.
At this point, hopefully you've gotten all your students into LaunchPad and you want to see who has started to do work. So you open up the gradebook and bam--there are ALL these pieces of data in the gradebook. What do they mean and how can they help you and your students? I think one of our BEST resources is the LaunchPad Gradebook Tutorial. This help article shows everything you need to know about the gradebook and more! Check it out and let us know what you think!
While the benefits of a classroom response system in large lecture halls may be obvious, those same benefits can be obtained in smaller, more intimate class of 30 or fewer students. Led by Brian Geislinger of Gadsden State Community College, this webinar will discuss both how iClicker can be effectively used in small classes, as well as the unique challenges that active learning techniques in a smaller group can present.
After earning his PhD in Physics from UAB, Brian Geislinger has taught Physics and Astronomy at Gadsden State Community College for the past 10 years. Brian has been recognized with a number of awards for innovation both in teaching and for the use of technology in his classroom.
If you're just starting out with LaunchPad and you are overwhelmed with the number and variety of resources in the product, just start with LearningCurve. Assign one LearningCurvebefore each class period so students come to class prepared for discussion. This will allow you more freedom in your class to talk about what's important, and you can see which students are doing the work or which topics are causing problems. And though it's hard to believe, students consistently, over the years, report actually enjoying doing work in LearningCurve because they can make progress, ask questions, and they actually learn! They view the interface as 'game-like' and the online format allows them to learn without feeling silly by asking questions in class. It's a win-win, so give it a try!
In the summer of 2018, we had a number of faculty come into our New York office to review our plans for digital offerings going forward, and also to tell us how they are using our products. My favorite presentation from that time was from Tim Molina at Northwest Vista College in Texas talking about getting students to go media-free in his communication class. If you're looking for something fun and interesting to do this semester, check out this 16 minute video. Thanks, Tim!
Renting textbooks can helpstudentssave money throughout their college career. Textbooks rentals are available from 3 months to 1 year—choose the duration that works best. The best part of all? We offer free shipping for all hard-copy textbook rentals with immediate 14-day access to the online e-textbook.
Did you know that you can integrate iClicker into your LaunchPad course to keep all your grades in one place? And that you can use iClicker for attendance? With iClicker, use GPS technology to ensure that students are attending class. No more attendance codes that can be easily shared via text!
When creating or revising an online course, there are many factors to consider. Not only should the course contain engaging content that will capture and hold the attention of students, but it should also be easy to access and navigate.
In this webinar on September 25 at 2pm Eastern, attendees will hear from Dr. Stephanie Richmond, Associate Professor at Norfolk State University, who will share her expertise in building online courses using Macmillan’s LaunchPad integrated with Blackboard Learn. Dr. Richmond’s best practices for creating a sticky and easy-to-use experience for students and instructors alike will give you the knowledge and confidence to develop your own successful online course.
Register here for this great event and we'll see you on September 25th! (And if you can't come, we'll be sure to post the recording afterwards.)
We have a few changes that we think you’ll like for Fall 2018 classes.
If you are using the quiz program that allows for you to use filters, we now have the ability to print. When you are in the Review & Modify tab, you will now see a button that says “Print” in the top left.
Most LaunchPads now have a downloadable ebook. Students can look under the Help link in the upper right for the option to “Download Offline eBook”. Here’s what the download link looks like and here are the directions for using it.
Speaking of which, if you are looking at the Help link above, and go to one of the Support Sites, you’ll notice that we have a new self-help support center that we’re excited about. We hope you’ll find it easier to use.
Lastly, we now have what we call “seamless access” to LaunchPad via the Macmillan Learning Student Store. That means that students can buy or rent the book or LaunchPad or combination of book and LaunchPad that works for them in the Store and, once they purchase, they will automatically be let into their LaunchPad course--without the need for codes! The directions will be posted on this page for your use this fall.