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94 Posts authored by: Becky Anderson Employee

On Saturday, 10/28 from 4am -7am Eastern, we will be performing maintenance work on LaunchPad and Writer's Help. During that time slot, both LaunchPad and Writer's Help will be unavailable. Please adjust your assignments or plans to do work accordingly. 

While we are waiting to have "Spring 2018" added to the LaunchPad dropdown as part of the course creation process, there are no issues if you want to create your full course now tagged to another semester, and then go in later and change that semester to Spring 2018. We want to encourage you to avoid procrastination! 

As of today, 70 LaunchPad titles have the link to the new ebook under the Help Menu. We wanted to give students the opportunity to access the mobile-optimized and accessible ebook, as well as give offline access. (You can look to see if your book has this functionality.) 


So how does this work in LaunchPad?


Go to HELP in the upper right of your course. You will see the option for “Download Offline eBook.” Click on that. (If you don't see that option, then your book doesn't have this functionality, unfortunately.) 


You will then to go to a new log in page.


Enter in your email address to create an account.


That will then opened the book on your bookshelf:


Then, if you want to do the app, you need to download the “Macmillan Learning eBook” app and use those same credentials that you just created, to log in and see the book on your device.


If you go to another LaunchPad course that has the offline ebook, simply enter in your existing username and password, and you will then see that additional book appear on your bookshelf. (You will not need to create another account.)


For more information, directions, and visuals, check out the article in the support community

Thursday, September 7th at 2 PM EST, Professor Benjamin White and Macmillan Learning will host a 20-minute webinar where he will share his strategies and approaches to thinking about and incorporating digital resources effectively into his classes. A brief Q&A session will follow to address any questions you might have on these topics.


Register Now:


If you can't join us, we will record this and post the recording in our Webinars on Demand Community. 

About the Host:


Benjamin White—a professor of psychology at Blinn College—has been successfully incorporating digital assets into his courses for over seven years and has been at the forefront of utilizing technology in his courses to provide better educational opportunities for his students. He serves as the faculty fellow for the Center for Teaching and Learning at Blinn College, where he delivers professional development talks and workshops to faculty several times a semester on various aspects of pedagogy, teaching, presentation strategies, and learning.



One of the greatest benefits of using LaunchPad is how easy it is to customize to create the perfect course for you. But not everyone knows that you can do all these things, so here’s just a short refresher on how you can customize your own LaunchPad course.


First off, you need to choose the correct LaunchPad course to begin with. Make sure you are using the author and version of the book that best matches your course goals. (And we have lots of books available with LaunchPad, so this can be daunting. Work with your local representative to find the best book for you, or you can see what we have by browsing our catalog.)


Once you have the base course selected, next comes adjusting the content. You can re-name and re-order chapters/units, delete existing units, or add new units. You can add additional resources to your course, like your syllabus or student policies, discussion boards, outside links, video assignments and more. You can pull in resources from our resources tab that are in the course, but not assigned.


You can create or delete assignments that we have created for you. You can edit existing quiz questions or add your own quiz questions. You can pool questions for greater variety and security in your assignments. You can create video assignments. And for all of these assignments, there are a variety of settings that you can adjust, such as number of attempts, time limits, or ordering of questions.


Since so many people using LearningCurve so extensively, you should know that you can remove topics in LearningCurve, as well as adjust the target score.


You can manage your roster, dropping students from your course, creating groups for assignments or for various accessibility reasons, or emailing some or all of the students in your class. You can change assignment settings for particular assignments or particular students.


If you want to know more, check out all the articles in our support community or reach out to us if you have additional questions. We love to be able to tell you, “Yes, we can do that!”

As you may recall hearing from us earlier in the year, the LaunchPad team has standing Wednesday releases scheduled. As a result, we’d like you to assume that between 4 am and 8am Eastern on Wednesdays we may be having a release that may require downtime. You should not have assignments due then just in case.


Using that same model, the team would also like time for more advanced work, like database improvements, on the weekends this summer. Consequently, there is the possibility for a release every Saturday in June and July from 3am to 8am Eastern for all products in the LaunchPad family of products; do not have any assignments due during that time. We will return to our standard release schedule in August, as the Fall classes will be starting; the additional release windows are only for June and July.

We hope that by giving you advanced notice, even though we may not use every Wednesday and every Saturday, that it makes scheduling your short, intense summer classes that much easier.

Please note that you may have received several e-mails from a Macmillan Learning employee attempting to share a Google document with you.


Please delete these e-mails immediately. Additionally do not click on the 'Open in Doc's' invite button.


If you did click on the 'Open in Doc's' -- please don't attempt to login to the site you are directed to.


If you attempted to login to the site, please change your password immediately.


There appears to be something going around, since we are getting external emails from customers that have this same issue. 

The recent LaunchPad release had a number of items in it, but there are three items that I’m particularly excited about: 

help links to the new support community, access expiration information in the roster, and passcode protected quizzes.


For support, we have a new Support Community for ALL our digital products (which hopefully you know about already). The support links in the entire LaunchPad family of products were re-set and now go to this new support community. Check it out!


For the roster, in any LaunchPad course, an instructor can go to the Instructor Console - Roster & Groups, and now see all of their students along with the accurate Access Expiration Information. This will be especially useful in the first few weeks of classes, when students are using temporary access, to remind them to purchase full access



Roster Image


For quizzes, instructors now have the option to add a passcode (not a password, since that requires more stringent policies like letters, numbers, symbols, etc) to a particular quiz to limit student access to that quiz.


How does this passcode setting work? As an instructor, go to an existing quiz, or create a new quiz. On the settings page, you will now see the option for a passcode (see below). That code will be visible to the instructor as they type in the word/number combo. (The passcode has to be 8-20 characters with at least one capital letter and one number, but it can’t include special characters.)



After the instructor saves those settings, when the student goes to take the quiz that has a passcode set, they will have to input the passcode in order to gain access to the assignment. They can not get in without the passcode, nor will the system shut them out after x number of attempts.



Caveats: Once the instructor has used the passcode option, they can’t use the option to “allow save and continue” as well. In addition, at the moment, the passcode can only be used for the entire class; coming soon, the instructor will be able to adjust the passcode for groups or individuals.


Let us know what you think of this, as I know I'm excited about these improvements in functionality.

I just found out that the i>Clicker / REEF team keeps all their webinars archived here, including the most recent one on The Mobile Conundrum: Pros and Cons of Technology in the Classroom with professors Allison Soult from the University of Kentucky, Leslie Hendrix from the University of South Carolina, and Edna Ross from the University of Louisville. 


If you're looking to learn more about how you can incorporate a student response system into your classroom, check these recordings out! 

Check out this new webinar from our colleagues at i>Clicker / REEF

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 2:00 PM - 2:45 PM ET


Smart devices and laptops are an essential part of our day-to-day lives, but should they be part of the classroom?

At iClicker, we are fully committed to providing state-of-the-art hardware and mobile student response solutions. But we believe the decision on whether or not to allow mobile devices and laptops in the classroom lies with you, the educator. To help you consider the pros and cons of going mobile, we invite you to join three longtime faculty users, each with a different perspective. Sign up here.

Becky Anderson

Tech Ed Week 2017

Posted by Becky Anderson Employee Apr 3, 2017
From June 26-28, 2017, we are going to bring in a select group of faculty members who are successfully using our technology (LaunchPad, LaunchPad Solo, LearningCurve, Writer's Help 2.0, FlipIt, Sapling Learning, WriterKey, or Late Nite Labs) to talk about how that technology is improving teaching or engaging students.

We will pay for your travel costs to our Austin, TX office, meals, and two nights in the city, and we hope to get your feedback on our technology plans for the future. In exchange, we ask that you give a brief (15-minute) presentation for us on how our technology is changing your course, improving your teaching, or engaging your students. We will record these presentations for sharing with others.

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. The full rules are here.Confirmation by your ethics officer will be required if you are selected. We will notify all who are selected at the beginning of May.

Please let me know if you have additional questions.
Becky Anderson

New Support Community

Posted by Becky Anderson Employee Mar 31, 2017

Starting today, the help pages and customer support form that you’ve been using will transition to our new Digital Product Support Community--which is contained within this site. In this new community, you can read knowledge base articles, create support cases, view product tutorials, and more.


How is this better?

  • You can easily get answers to simple questions and known issues at the touch of a button
  • You can create a support case, and follow it through the system to resolution
  • You can request additional articles or make suggestions to improve our existing articles
  • This new support community is already part of the Macmillan communities that you already know and use, making one stop shopping even easier.


Post to the new community and let us know what you think!

Just this week we released a new feature to all LaunchPad and Writer’s Help courses: REEF Integration. REEF, i>clicker’s mobile response system, enables you to poll and quiz students using the devices they already bring to class--smart phones, laptops, tablets, and even i>Clicker remotes.


What does this mean? As of today, you can link your REEF course to your LaunchPad course and quickly synchronize your students’ grades to LaunchPad. This allows students to have single sign-on with REEF and LaunchPad, and keep all their grades in one spot. We have a quick explanatory video for you.


How does this work? In REEF, navigate to your REEF course’s Settings and copy the link from the LMS Sync tab (which is accessible from the REEF Settings icon/page).


LMS Sync in REEF



Then in LaunchPad, you will select “+ Add a new assignment” and you will now see the option for “Reef Course Link”.

+Add New in LaunchPad


Set up the assignment, making sure to paste in that URL from REEF. Voila!  You now have a column for REEF in your LaunchPad gradebook.


How much does this cost? As of today, 6 months of REEF access is only $5 when packaged with a Macmillan Learning Product. What a deal!


How can I learn more about REEF or this integration between REEF and LaunchPad and get access to REEF? Reach out to your local Macmillan Learning representative for more information.

Becky Anderson

March 18 Maintenance

Posted by Becky Anderson Employee Mar 8, 2017

On Saturday, March 18th from 4am -8am Eastern, we will be performing scheduled infrastructure maintenance work on LaunchPad and Writer’s Help. During this maintenance window, the LaunchPad application will be inaccessible by instructors and students. 

Yesterday I had the privilege of listening to Donovan Livingston do a live version of his spoken word poem "Lift Off" that garnered so much attention from the Harvard Graduate School of Education's Convocation last year. (If you haven't seen it, it's 6 minutes long, very powerful, and I'd highly recommend it.) In addition, he spoke a bit about the impact that the teachers mentioned (and not mentioned) in the poem had on him. He spoke of Ms. Parker, who in 7th grade encouraged him to harness all his energy and taught him to debate. He talked about his high school teacher who wouldn't let him do spoken word at his high school graduation (but reached out immediately after his Convocation talk to congratulate him.) And he talked about all the people he met along the way, both at Harvard and before, who helped him become the person he is, who influenced him so much, and who allowed him to make that moving speech. It was a great reminder of the impact that teachers can have on students, and humans on one another.