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94 Posts authored by: Becky Anderson Employee
Five Things to Know About First-Year Students 
A Food for Thought Webinar 
Tuesday, August 14, 2018, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM ET

 

Our efforts to support first-year transition spread numerous topics, functional areas, and interventions. And, the amount of information and research about first-year college students that drives our efforts can be overwhelming. With so much information to use, how do higher education professional know what is the most important? In short, what are the key things to know about first-year college students? In this webinar, we’ll use Skyfactor data to explore five key facts about first-year students and how this information can be used to better support their transition to and success in college. Register today. 

 

SF.IMG-PH.[Headshot_Venaas].png
Presented by 
Matthew Venaas 
Research Manager at Skyfactor
Join the webinar, A Master Class in Teaching With Digital, on August 15 at 2:00 PM EST. You'll learn how impactful learning platforms can be for today’s students, and how the Bookshelf platform can help drive student engagement and success.

Topics include:
  • Using instructor tools for assignment creation and reporting
  • Analytics to track student progress and engagement
  • Student study tools such as flashcards, notes, and highlighters, as well as text-to-speech capability
Presented by:
Rainna Erikson -Senior Product Manager, VitalSource
Daniel Green - Director of Product Analytics, VitalSource
Hannah Mullis - Adjunct Instructor of Communication at William Peace University
Blair Tuckman, Senior Marketing Manager - VitalSource
Rainna Erikson
Senior Product Manager, VitalSource
Daniel Green
Director of Product Analytics, VitalSource
Hannah Mullis
Adjunct Instructor, William Peace University
Blair Tuckman
Senior Marketing Manager, VitalSource
Register today for this insightful webinar. 
Becky Anderson

Maintenance on 4/29/18

Posted by Becky Anderson Employee Apr 25, 2018

We will be performing system maintenance on Sunday morning (4/29) from 12:01am Eastern until 7am Eastern. This LaunchPad family of products will not be available during these 7 hours. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please plan accordingly and thank you for your patience.

Are you using Macmillan Learning’s technology in an interesting way? Do other instructors ooh and ahh over your course? Do students say, “I’ve never had a class quite like this!”?  If so, we want to hear from you!

 

From July 16-18, we are going to bring in a select group of faculty members to our New York Office. We want to hear from instructors using our technology in a new, different or generally brilliant way. If you are selected to join us, we will pay for your travel costs to our New York City office, meals, and two nights lodging in the city, and we hope to get your feedback on our technology plans for the future.

 

Apply Now! 

 

As part of the trip, you will also need to give a brief (15-minute) presentation for us on how our technology (LaunchPad, Sapling Learning, FlipIt, LearningCurve, SaplingPlus, Writer’s Help, WriterKey, Achieve Read & Practice, or Hayden-McNeil Custom Digital)  is changing your course, improving your teaching, or engaging your students. As part of the application to participate in Tech Ed Week, we will need a description about your presentation, and then at the meeting, we will record these presentations so we can share your great ideas across the country.


If you are interested and your participation in this sort of event at our expense is approved by your institution, please fill out the application, which is available at the link below.  The full rules are here. Confirmation by your ethics officer will be required if you are selected.  The application period ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on April 30, 2018. We will notify all who are selected at the beginning of May. Please let me know if you have additional questions and we look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks so much for taking the survey to let us know which day, if any, you have a preference for us doing maintenance. As a result of your feedback and our data on low usage times, we are going to do a monthly maintenance one Saturday/Sunday of the month, from midnight Saturday until 7am Eastern Sunday.

 

During the maintenance window, you will not be able to log in or do work in the LaunchPad family of products. 

 

The schedule for the next few months (all times Eastern) is:

Midnight April 28 until 7am April 29

Midnight May 19 until 7am May 20

Midnight June 24 until 7am June 24

Midnight July 28 until 7am July 29

 

I’ll share another reminder about these maintenance periods as we move into the fall. Thanks for your patience with us as we continue to work to keep the product running smoothly. 

 

(NOTE: We are NOT planning on doing a maintenance in March.) 

We will be performing maintenance between Friday, 2/23 11pm ET thru Saturday, 2/24 7am ET. During this time the following will be unavailable:

  • LaunchPad - Logging in, registrations and assignments
  • Writer’s Help
  • LaunchPad Gradebook

Please adjust your assignments accordingly. We have put a message up within the product as well, but please be sure to alert your students too. Thanks for your patience.

Student Store Instagram Contest Description

 

Calling all students! Do you have any tips and tricks to prepare for midterms? Tell us your best study tip in a short video for a chance to win a $500 gift card! Learn how to enter here.

As you begin a new semester, if you have any unanswered questions, you can:

 

 

Have a great 2018--and be sure to let us know if you need anything!

 

And for those of you who missed the email, here are some quick links that you might find useful at the start of the semester:

 

Becky Anderson

LearningCurve Works

Posted by Becky Anderson Employee Jan 16, 2018

We know that about 79% of all LaunchPad submissions are LearningCurve. We also know that LearningCurve has a 90% satisfaction rating with students. And I just got this tremendous quotation from a professor today:   "In the 10+ years that I've been teaching, I've never experienced students come to lecture so prepared and knowledgeable before; this is due to the Learning Curve assignments"

 

You can learn more on our LearningCurve catalog page, or check out LearningCurve in your LaunchPad (or SaplingPlus) course. 

We know that for people new to LaunchPad, they just want to learn the key functionality to get started--not all the pieces that the product offers. To that end, we just added a series of Interactive Guides to LaunchPad to get you up and running when you first log in. For instance, when you first go in to create a course, you will see the guide for how to create a course.

 

 

You can follow this step-by-step walkthrough to actually create a course. At the end of the tutorial, you will have a fully functional course to explore. All in all, we added seven interactive guides to LaunchPad, including ones on Course Creation, Dashboard Navigation, Course Activation, Instructor Resources, Gradebook Tour, Instructor Console, and Zero Out Past Due Assignments.

 

Interactive Guide List

 

You can open them up by clicking on “Guides” on the right, or close them out with the x. We are testing these guides out this semester to see if you find them useful. Please let us know what you think by responding to this post (or by using the guides themselves)--and let us know if you have other topics that you think would benefit from a guide.

As of today, the LaunchPads for Gunn’s Speech Craft, O’Hair’s A Speaker’s Guidebook 7e, and O’Hair’s Real Communication 4e have a new video assessment program. We know that the best way for students to improve their public speaking skills is to give a speech and then watch themselves giving the speech with accompanying feedback--and this new assessment program makes that process so much easier!

 

So why did we do this and what do you and your students gain with this change?

 

The new assessment option will allow you to do the following:  

 

  • Instructors and students can record directly into the assignment.
  • Instructors can add comments and fill out rubrics in the assignment during live speeches and load directly into students’ assignments, all simultaneously.
  • When students finish giving a speech, instructors are done recording and assessing. And since the video and feedback is all in one place for students to reference for learning and improvement, the feedback loop is complete.

 

The program is simple to use with superior commenting, recording, and rubric assessment features. Features include:

  • Powerful feedback
    • Multiple comment delivery options for rich feedback. Comments are side-by-side with the video. Instructors and students can submit text comments or post audio, video, documents, or images as feedback.
    • Visual markers that map the plusses and minuses of the speech. Easy-to-set-up markers make it possible for instructors and students to call out key issues or positive points of the video. You can track every “um,” every speech citation, every use of eye contact, and students will see these markers mapped visually against their speech video.
    • Descriptive rubrics and publisher-provided rubrics that provide crystal-clear assessment. The rubrics in the new program provides more than just a number score for each criteria; they will now include written information on what each score means, i.e. what a 1 means, what a 2 means, etc. Instructors can create and edit their own rubrics, or they can use or edit ours.
  • Real-time feedback
    • Instructors can record each student’s speech directly into the assignment and assess it live while the student is giving the speech.
    • Students can see their video powerfully, paired with instructor feedback immediately.
    • When the speech is done, the instructor is done with their assessment. Because the grading work of the class is done at the end of the class hour, instructors get their lives back.
  • Mobile device-friendly: Through iOS/Android apps that will go live later in the spring, video can be recorded on a mobile device and loaded directly into an assignment. This is a huge improvement over LaunchPad.
  • Live streaming: Instructors who teach online public speaking classes bemoan the fact that students miss out on the live experience of giving a speech. With our new video assessment program, online speech classes can live-stream their speech video while the instructor and class assesses it in the moment.


We will be adding this to new LaunchPads as they release, going forward. If you have any questions about this exciting new part of LaunchPad, let us know! (And check out all the instructor directions here, to get started today!)

Becky Anderson

Upcoming Maintenance

Posted by Becky Anderson Employee Dec 21, 2017

On December 31st, from 12am to 8am Eastern, we will be doing maintenance on LaunchPad and Writer’s Help. During that time, you will not be able to log in or access grades. Your students will not be able to do any work in the LaunchPad family of products either. We have selected this day and time as it is historically a low-usage period for us, so hopefully this doesn’t cause you too much trouble.

 

In addition, please note that our Customer Support team is getting some time off at the end of the year.  The office will be closed on the following dates:  12/24, 12/25, 12/31, and 1/1. Please use the support documentation during that time to get any of your questions answered, or fill out the support form and an agent will get back to you when we reopen at 8am Eastern on the next day of business.

 

We have added this information to the pop-up that appears on the log-in page and first page in the product, but if you have any classes running over the Dec. 24 to January 2 period, please let your students know about the maintenance and the support hours as well as they may not read the pop-up.

 

If you have any questions, let us know.  And we look forward to working with you in 2018!

It is disheartening to know how many students don't realize that their LaunchPad includes the ebook--and we wanted to help fix that. So with the newer LaunchPads, we added an Orientation Quiz to help students better understand how to use LaunchPad. There is a short video to watch and a series of quiz questions so students know how to find assignments, reach out to tech support, locate their ebook, see their grades, and more. You can assign this to your class at the start of the semester to make your life, and your students' lives, easier. 

 

If your LaunchPad starts with a Welcome unit, open that up for the Getting Started Quiz that you can quickly and easily assign. 

 

LP Getting Started Quiz

 

Let us know what you think about this--and if you have any suggestions for improving this, we'd like to know that as well. And if your LaunchPad doesn't include this quiz to start, you can easily add it using these directions. Have fun! 

Inclusive Access is an option that ensures when students register for your course, they are charged for the course materials at a discounted rate. They save money and have access to course materials on the first day of class! 
How does this work?
  • Macmillan Learning works with you and your bookstore to find the best price and product for your students. 
  • The format of the product is often dictated by your school but any Macmillan product is available for adoption including LaunchPad, Writer's Help, and our ebooks.

 

Contact your rep to learn how to offer Macmillan content via Inclusive Access or check out our website for more info.
Becky Anderson

Are you ready for 2018?

Posted by Becky Anderson Employee Nov 27, 2017

So the end of the semester is around the corner...and then the next round of classes will start up shortly. 

 

What should you do to make it all go smoothly? Prepare now! 

 

Check out information on reviewing, changing or exporting grades for fall, as well as creating and activating new courses for spring. And don’t forget to sign up for training to make sure you have all the information you need to make the next semester even better! 

Let us know if you have any questions—and have a great rest of the term!