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Becky Anderson

LaunchPad Checklist

Posted by Becky Anderson Employee Aug 14, 2019

In an effort to make sure you are all ready to go before classes start, here's a short checklist of how to prepare yourself and your students to use LaunchPad this semester. 


Course Set Up – Prior to Term

❏ Bookmark the LaunchPad sign in page:

❏ Attend a training and develop confidence in your ability to use LaunchPad

❏ Learn your username and password (and don’t put it on a post-it note in your office for students to see)

❏ If you are using an LMS in conjunction with LaunchPad, make sure your integration is set up correctly and that you’ve attended the LMS training session

❏ Bookmark Instructor Help and know how to contact Customer Support 

❏ Set up a new course for the new term. (You can copy your existing course and branch it, if  you have multiple sections of the same course, or create a new course.) 

❏ 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.) 

Activate your course so it is available for students to enroll into. 

❏ Prepare for your First Day of Class with students by using our FDOC tools or by talking to your local representative.


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. 

❏ Make sure students know when and how to contact Customer Support.  

❏ Make students aware that the full ebook is included in LaunchPad, and it’s available to be downloaded for reading offline


Gradebook Results and Assessment – During and After the Term

❏ Review the gradebook to identify common student misconceptions and inform course and lecture plans 

❏ Use individual student data for early intervention 

❏ Download my student results from LaunchPad (or, if using an LMS, from the LMS)

❏ Think about how to change and improve your course for next semester

❏ Review the Macmillan “Webinars on Demand” for new ideas on how to use LaunchPad in your course.

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 Mortal by Atul Gawande
  • The Sun Does Shine by Ray Hinton & Laura Love Hardin 
  • The Sellout by Paul Beatty 
  • Factfulness by Hans Rosling et al 
  • Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer 
  • A Higher Loyalty by James Comey 
  • Free Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah 
  • Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff 
  • The Field of Blood by Joanne B. Freeman 
  • Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman 

Macmillan Learning is offering a series of webinars the week of February 25th to March 1st that will share concepts, products, ideas, and science as they pertain to the use of technology in the classroom. We are proud to be at the forefront of curriculum innovation and to partner with various educators and scientists who help us advance education technology. 


We are offering 8 no-cost sessions - join one or all! 


Topics include iOLab, College Success, Remote Response systems, Introductory Biology, Nutrition/Active Learning in STEM, Adaptive Quizzing, and Mass Communication. 




iClicker - the science behind in-class polling and response systems - with Mark Laumakis.


iOLab - the groundbreaking new hardware and software solution that revolutionizes the physics lab - with Shawn Weatherford of UFL who recently obtained a $10,000 grant for use in online sections


College Success - using ACES assessment to measure student growth - with Wade Leuwerke.


Mass Communication - using digital resources to maintain currency in your course.


Custom Labs - a look at what digital resource exist to enhance or supplement labs - with Robin Maxwell. 


Intro Biology - course redesign and how it can improve Biology education - with Jim Morris. 


Nutrition/STEM Active Learning - how to keep students engaged, before, during and after class - with Jamie Pope.


Achieve Read & Practice - a review of Macmillan's new adaptive quizzing offering Achieve Read and Practice that is affordable, mobile, and simple - with Rebecca Shrum.


We look forward to seeing you during this week.

Palm Tree Planted Near Pool


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. 


Check it out and let us know what you think! 

Reminder: We will be having one planned maintenance for the upcoming semester: Sunday morning, February 17th from 12:01am Eastern until 7am Eastern. During these 7 hours, please assume that the following products will not be available: LaunchPad, LearningCurve, Writer’s Help, Sapling Learning, SaplingPlus, and the Macmillan Learning catalog. We will put a notice in the products a week before the maintenance to alert students, but due to our analytics and your survey info, it seems like this time slot is, for most of you, reasonably acceptable. (I hope the advanced notice will help those of you who are adversely impacted by this timing.) 


Thanks for your understanding! 


Construction Workers, Site, Helm, Build, Work

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 TutorialThis help article shows everything you need to know about the gradebook and more! Check it out and let us know what you think!




Friday, February 8, 2019 at 2:00 PM ET


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 LearningCurve before 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! 



And if you're nervous, reach out to our implementation team of help in setting up your course quickly and easily. We're here to help! 


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! 

If you have students who want to get the print book to go with LaunchPad or LaunchPadSolo, please be sure to alert them to the options at the Student Store.


Why rent textbooks from Macmillan Learning?  

Renting textbooks can help students save 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!


Learn more or sign up for a demonstration.

Becky Anderson

First Day of Class

Posted by Becky Anderson Employee Dec 27, 2018

As you start to prep for your next round of classes, don't forget that we have syllabus inserts and presentation decks for you to use to help students get registered with LaunchPad. 


Please view the following presentation slides and download the attached syllabus insert, input your course information, and share them with your students prior to your first day of class. You can post them in your learning management system, e-mail them, or print them out to distribute in class.

If you want to make any changes to the presentation slides, go to File > Make a copy and edit the copy you create.

Good luck and let us know if you have any questions as you start up classes! 

Macmillan is offering a series of free webinars the week of October 15th to 19th that will share concepts, products, ideas and the underlying research and science as they pertain to the use of various classroom technologies.


We are proud to partner with Mats Selen, Tyler Dewitt, iclicker, our internal Learning Science team, Vaughn Scribner, and GoReact as we present a virtual week with something for literally everybody.


Please register - note that registration will also ensure that you receive a post meeting recording link.


Direct URL for registration -