Skip navigation
All Places > Macmillan Learning Digital > Blog
1 2 3 Previous Next

Macmillan Learning Digital

141 posts

Did you know that you can drag and drop items in the Launchpad calendar? Or batch update your settings in Sapling? Do you have the 411 on Achieve Read and Practice?

 

Whether you know the tips and tricks or not, receiving training from your Learning Solutions Specialist (or LSS for short) will help get you “in the know” on the digital platform you’ll be using this semester and how to best utilize it for your own course goals.

 

So, who are the Learning Solutions Specialists?

The Learning Solutions Specialists (LSS) are part of the Customer Experience group. Each Learning Solution Specialist is a discipline expert that is responsible for helping instructors have a better experience with Macmillan Products. When speaking to instructors, that LSS can demo the product and give you a preview or give you a full blown training, from content familiarity to functionality and best practices.

 

Why Should I Meet With An LSS?

45 minutes can change your entire semester. While you may explore your Macmillan product on your own once you have been given access, our LSS team can highlight key functionality that you may have missed and share best practices on how to implement the many learning resources.

 

There are many benefits to meeting with an LSS:

-1-on-1 Meetings focused on your needs and questions

-Understand the best practices used by many other instructors

-Learn with a guide

-Discover Tips and Tricks

-Start getting your class setup while on the meeting

 

What Happens After my meeting?

Traditionally, after meeting with the LSS in your discipline, you will be sent a follow-up email that will recap what you spoke about, include technical support info and knowledge article links, as well as an extension of help offered for any further questions you may have about your educational digital platform.

 

As you can see, there are many benefits for taking time to meet with a Learning Solutions Specialist. This time will be well spent and save you time throughout the semester.

 

Schedule a demo or training.

THE FUTURE OF ON-LINE LABS

 

Bill Heslop at Learning Science on Smart Worksheets

Monday, October 14th at 1:00 PM EST

Bill is going to show how student-entered data worksheets could be the answer in your lab, providing students with immediate feedback on their own lab results and saving TAs a ton of time grading--that they can use helping students in lab instead.

WATCH THE RECORDING

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lab Simulations - for online learning and to enhance all classes

Wednesday, October 16th at 1:00 PM EST

Starting some online labs? Want to do more to prepare your students for lab? Learn more about Hayden McNeil's Lab Simulations and how they can benefit your lab and your students.

WATCH THE RECORDING

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.

 

Image result for toolbox image
 
Becky Anderson

Checklist for Sapling

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 Sapling and SaplingPlus this semester.

 

Course Set Up – Prior to Term

❏ Bookmark the Sapling log in page:  https://www.macmillanlearning.com/college/us/digital/sapling

❏ Attend a training and feel confident in your ability to use Sapling

❏ 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 Sapling, make sure your integration is set up correctly (and the Client Success Team has been notified of your integration plans). 

❏ Bookmark Instructor Help and know how to contact Customer Support AND the Client Success Team

❏ Set up a new course for the new term. (You can copy your existing course or work with the Client Success team to create a new course.) 

Edit Existing assignments or create new assignments for your students to complete.

❏ Confirm that your assignment settings match the goals of your course.  

❏ Confirm that your course is available for students to enroll into. (The client success team can help you with this.)

❏ 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. 

❏ Explain to students why you are having them use Sapling 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 SaplingPlus, 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 Sapling (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 Sapling in your course.

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: https://www.macmillanlearning.com/college/us/digital/launchpad/

❏ 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.

Learning Curve quizzes are a great tool to help students review material and prepare for classroom discussion, and they also provide us with metrics to indicate what students might be struggling with so we can better tailor our classroom time to meet the student’s needs. Students often ask “how can I better study for exams?” and sometimes ask for review sheets or some way to test their knowledge prior to the exam, so they can see what they know and what they do not. Showing student how to properly use Learning Curve quizzes to help them study for exams provides them with a critical tool for learning and developing metacognitive skills.

 

When it comes to studying, a lot of students’ report reading and re-reading the text, highlighting as they go, but these strategies have been demonstrated to be relatively inefficient in terms of learning (Dunlosky, et al, 2013). If we can direct them to utilize more high-impact practices, such as self-testing, we can encourage learning as well as promote the development of study skills that can benefit them over the course of their academic career and beyond. To help our students better learn material and prepare for exams, we can direct them back to the Learning Curve quizzes and explain to them how to use them as a study tool.

 

When students study material in the same way that they will be asked to recall it later on an exam or quiz, we find an increase in performance for that material, this is often referred to as the testing effect. When students prepare for a standardized exam, like the SAT or GRE, they are encouraged to take practice exams in order to assess what they know and identify areas where there is are gaps in their knowledge. Roediger and Karpicke’s (2006) investigation of the testing effect demonstrated that students who tested themselves on the material perform better than students who reviewed the material for the same amount of time despite the former group of students spending less time initially on the material than the students who simply re-studied. Roediger and Butler (2011) build on the testing effect and repeated retrieval, demonstrating that an expanding interval between retrieval attempts provides better retention. We can use these findings to benefit our students by explaining to them that learning science has informed us, through evidence-based research, that the best way to study is to do it in little bits, spread out over time, and repeated self-testing can be an efficient way to learn and practice material.

 

Explaining the testing effect to students and how to use Learning Curve quizzes more effectively has the potential to increase student grades and engagement with your course. These best practices give them better control over their success in your course. When we explain to students how to better use their study time, we can help them become better learners in all their courses.

 

Best practices:

  1. Let your students know that re-reading and highlighting may seem like they are working, but actually provide the least benefit to learning. Let them know that instead of taking more time to study, they use the time they already allocate to study more efficiently.
  2. Direct them to the Learning Curve quizzes as a way to test their knowledge and study for exams.
  3. Tell your students that if they get a question wrong, do not copy the question and correct answer to review later, instead write down the concept that the question was about, look it up and then write down (in their own words) their understanding of the concept. Inform them that this helps get the idea into your memory, copying the question and answer may feel like work, but is not helping you understand.
  4. Encourage your students to study often, in small blocks of time. Very few students I’ve spoken to enjoy cramming for 8 hours the night before an exam. Let your students know that they should study in the same way personal trainers will tell you to work out, in small blocks of time and with concentrated effort.
  5. Tell your students about the testing effect (there are many you-tube videos you can show in class or put on your LMS) and how it works. Encourage them to prepare for exams by reviewing Learning Curve quizzes and taking notes.

 

 

References

Dunlosky, J., Rawson, K. A., Marsh, E. J., Nathan, M. J., & Willingham, D. T. (2013). Improving Students’ Learning with Effective Learning Techniques: Promising Directions from Cognitive and Educational Psychology. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 14(1), 4–58. doi:10.1177/1529100612453266

 

Roediger, H. L.; Butler, A. C. (2011). "The critical role of retrieval practice in long-term retention". Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 15 (1): 20–27. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2010.09.003

 

Roediger, H. L.; Karpicke, J. D. (2006). "Test-Enhanced Learning: Taking Memory Tests Improves Long-Term Retention". Psychological Science. 17 (3): 249–255. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01693

 

 

BIO

Benjamin has been teaching psychology courses at Blinn College, a two-tear open enrollment community college located in Bryan, Texas, for the past 10 years.  Benjamin integrates a host of student success components into his course to help his students with college skills, such as studying, time management, and presentation skills. In addition to teaching, he is the Faculty Fellow for the Center for Teaching and Learning at Blinn College, and provides instructors of all disciplines with several workshops a##nd presentations each semester. He presents on a wide variety of topics concerning andragogy, teaching methods, and student success with a goal to provide faculty with different perspectives and methodologies to promote success for themselves and their students inside and outside of the classroom.

We are delighted to report that you can now add your TAs (or SIs) to your course without the help of the Client Success Team.

 

In the left-side menu of your course, if you hover over Course Management, you will see Teaching Assistants. Follow these directions for all the details on how to add a TA and what that role means in your course.

 

And while you’re looking at the Course Management button, note that you can Duplicate Your Course as well--a handy feature to remember for future semesters! 

 

I hope this gets your semester off to a good start! Let us know if you need anything else. 

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.

 

 

We will be performing system maintenance on Sunday morning July 21st  from 12:01am Eastern until 7am Eastern as well as Friday morning July 26th from 6am to 9am Eastern. Sapling will not be available during these ten hours for students or instructors. Please change any assignment due dates as needed. 

We apologize for the inconvenience, but one of the benefits of this maintenance are some improvements to Sapling. Based on customer feedback, we are making a number of changes to the gradebook in Sapling Learning and SaplingPlus. These updates should be available to users mid-day on Thursday, July 18th. These improvements include:

 

  • We are making the report names more intuitive, using Gradebook and Student Report instead of Grader and User report. 
  • Clicking on Student Report shows a list of students and the overall grade for each student
    • The list can be sorted by student name or grade
    • The list can be filtered by typing in student names above the list
    • Clicking on a student name goes to the grade report for the individual student
  • The export pages have an improved page to select the grade items included in the file. You can now preview the download as well. In addition, export shows Excel by default.
  • From the gradebook, individual grades can be edited by clicking on the grade. Viewing the submitted work and grade details are available on a menu next to the grade item.
  • Scrolling grades to the side keeps the navigation tabs at the top of the page.
  • When “Show Hidden Items in Gradebook” is set to No, grade items that are hidden (set on Categories and Items) will not be shown on the full Gradebook view.
  • On the Categories and Items page, the icons have been updated. The buttons were moved to the top. The columns for "Keep the highest" and "Drop the lowest" are on the simple view. And Reorder Gradebook has been moved to a button next to the other buttons.

 

In addition, we are making changes to the Assessments Editor tool.  These updates should be available to users mid-day on Thursday, July 25th. These updates include:

  • Updated visuals and labels throughout for better readability and usability.
  • On the Assessment tab, we renamed “Shared” item sets to “Related Set” for easier understanding. 
  • With regard to re-ordering items, we added a “Reorder” button, restyled the “Move here” and “Move to top/bottom/Pool” target zones, and added animations and highlighting of moving items. 
  • We retired the Settings tab and replaced it with a Grading Settings button on the Assessment tab. We also revamped the policy dropdown to quick-view Template cards (to make life easier) and condensed the canonical system policies to four: Homework; Test/Quiz (formerly Test); Unpenalized (formerly Practice); Student-Comment Quiz (formerly Test with student comments). We also converted other, old canonical policies and custom policies into Custom Templates cards. 

 

We hope you will find these improvements worth the inconvenience. (We will be updating the help files shortly and your Client Success Team will be able to help with any questions as well.) 

Today we had a release that allowed us to share some much-asked-for changes to the way the homepage in Sapling works.

 

  • Instructors can now select multiple items on the course home page, including assessments, labels, and resources

  • Selecting multiple items (or single items) allows the items to be moved, deleted, or have the visibility status toggled

  • The move option opens a new menu with an outline of the course showing the possible locations to where the selected items can be moved

Did you know that you can drag and drop items in the Launchpad calendar? Or batch update your settings in Sapling? Do you have the 411 on Achieve Read and Practice?

 

Whether you know the tips and tricks or not, receiving training from your Learning Solutions Specialist (or LSS for short) will help get you “in the know” on the digital platform you’ll be using this semester and how to best utilize it for your own course goals.

 

So, who are the Learning Solutions Specialists?

The Learning Solutions Specialists (LSS) are part of the Customer Experience group. Each Learning Solution Specialist is a discipline expert that is responsible for helping instructors have a better experience with Macmillan Products. When speaking to instructors, that LSS can demo the product and give you a preview or give you a full blown training, from content familiarity to functionality and best practices.

 

Why Should I Meet With An LSS?

45 minutes can change your entire semester. While you may explore your Macmillan product on your own once you have been given access, our LSS team can highlight key functionality that you may have missed and share best practices on how to implement the many learning resources.

 

There are many benefits to meeting with an LSS:

-1-on-1 Meetings focused on your needs and questions

-Understand the best practices used by many other instructors

-Learn with a guide

-Discover Tips and Tricks

-Start getting your class setup while on the meeting

 

What Happens After my meeting?

Traditionally, after meeting with the LSS in your discipline, you will be sent a follow-up email that will recap what you spoke about, include technical support info and knowledge article links, as well as an extension of help offered for any further questions you may have about your educational digital platform.

 

As you can see, there are many benefits for taking time to meet with a Learning Solutions Specialist. This time will be well spent and save you time throughout the semester.

 

Schedule a demo or training.

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! 

 

 

Thanks for your usage of Sapling and we hope you’ll continue to work with us. In fact, if you tell us by 4/20/19 that you'll be using Sapling in the summer or fall, we think it will make you healthy, wealthy and wise. How so? Because if you tell us now, then we’ll send you one of our great trade books--and you can choose which one...
 
 
 

 

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 
Becky Anderson

Moving to HTML5

Posted by Becky Anderson Employee Feb 26, 2019

For Fall 2019 classes, almost all of our Sapling users (except those in Chemical Engineering and Organic Chemistry) will have the option to start using Sapling in HTML5.

 

What are the benefits of moving to HTML5?

  • With Flash going away, there will be NO PLUGIN needed to run Sapling.
  • Sapling will then run faster on more browsers.   (For the best user experience, we recommend that you run a browser check. Go to HTML5test.com to see your status).
  • We will have more accessibility options.
  • HTML5 also provides a better platform for upcoming additions to features and functionality.
  • More modern and intuitive user experience
  • Assignment preview and reset has more options
  • Improved analytics such as item analysis
  • Mobile accessible for tablets and target Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA
  • Previewing assignments is easier
  • Building and editing assignments is easier
  • MolDraw for Lewis structures and molecular geometry

 

What do you need to do to move to HTML5?

If you are planning on using Sapling for the Fall 2019 semester, the sooner you let the Client Success Team know, the better. They can start building your course now in HTML5 before the start of classes.

 

How can you get training on this?

Just sign up for one of our training classes sometime this spring!  https://macmillanlearning.com/Catalog/event/training-demos/Sapling/Training

 

When do you have to move to HTML5?

Flash will be retired in December 2020, so you will be definitely need to by the end of 2020.