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Jonathan Bratt

Requesting New Content

Posted by Jonathan Bratt May 31, 2016

The Sapling Learning content library contains a broad selection of high-quality questions, but there will likely be times that you can’t quite find the problem you’re looking for. When this happens, one of your options is to submit a request to our content team.

 

When we receive a request for a new problem, we first decide whether it would be a valuable addition to our library. If we determine that the problem would be a good addition, one of our subject matter experts writes it out in detail. The problem is written in full Sapling Learning style, including a complete solution and specific feedback. Next, the problem goes through at least two stages of internal review to ensure accuracy and quality. After passing review, the problem is added to our library.

 

From start to finish, this process typically takes about one week per problem, depending on the complexity of the problem. Questions involving graphics will generally take longer.

 

In 2015, about 80 of the new questions that we added to the physics and astronomy libraries were written in response to requests from instructors. Some of our best content has originated this way, so please keep the requests coming!

Before a new question goes “live” in the Sapling Learning physics library, it must first pass a rigorous internal review process. However, the question’s journey of improvement doesn’t end there. After a question begins to be read and answered by students, issues with it may become apparent. Sometimes, an instructor will suggest a correction or improvement to an existing question. When this happens, we evaluate and implement the changes as soon as we can. For minor edits, these fixes are often applied the same day.

 

Our internal content experts also work to identify and fix potential issues with existing questions. Each year, we compile comprehensive statistics on the performance of every question in our content library. Questions are ranked by how often they are assigned by instructors, how frequently students gave up or answered incorrectly, and many other criteria. Based on this data, certain questions are selected for revision or replacement.

 

We take the quality of our content very seriously, and it is our goal to be continually improving our existing questions, along with writing new ones. Your feedback is an important part of this process, so please don’t hesitate to contact us with your comments or suggestions.

Every question written for the Sapling Learning Introductory Biology, Genetics, or Anatomy and Physiology Libraries goes through an extensive process to ensure the highest possible quality and accuracy. All of the people who contribute to content development—authors, content reviewers, and final reviewers—are experienced educators with either a Masters or PhD in the biological sciences. At minimum, each question receives 4 hours of attention from one of your peers.

Our authors spend three to five hours in the initial authoring process, which includes researching how the topic is covered by most textbooks and writing the question, answer choices, hint, and solution. For each question, the author must also predict the most common errors a student might make and provide targeted feedback for each error. Next, a content reviewer spends at least 1 hour reviewing the question for its pedagogy and factual accuracy. A copy editor then looks over the question to ensure correct spelling and grammar. Finally, our content lead oversees the entirety of the subject and checks the question one last time.