Transitions: Launch Pad to Achieve Day One

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This week I’m transitioning my US History I class from LaunchPad to Achieve


Summer session begins on Tuesday so I’m quickly educating myself on the differences between LaunchPad and Achieve, in preparation for working with students in the classroom. This week’s blog will share some of the materials I plan to use as we start Summer Session. I’ll follow up later in the month to share how things are going so far! 


First things first: I use The American Promise (9th edition) for both sections of my US history survey classes. Summer Session One at my college is six weeks long. We meet in person twice per week for three hours and ten minutes each meeting.


I don't expect the transition from LaunchPad to Achieve to be an issue for the students as many of them are in my classroom for the first time and are not wedded to the LaunchPad system as I am! Nonetheless, to help us all with the technology I’ve requested a cart of laptops from our IT Department for our class meeting times so that each student will be able to complete these first assignments in our physical class space, getting help when necessary. This is something I hope to continue doing with future semester students – taking some of the “lecture” out of class time and replacing it with students completing work on their own or with a partner in class. This, I hope, will provide those who need additional support an opportunity to ask questions while we are sharing physical space. 


Since our first meeting will be 3 hours long with the students not yet having access to their textbooks or any assignments beforehand, I plan to utilize two Achieve tools on the first day to help the students get to know the software and me to get to know the students.


Here are two short videos sharing the resources I will use on the first day of class: the Achieve Orientation Quiz and the Intro Survey. Bear with me as this is the first time I've added video to my blogs!



I'm excited to read the student surveys after our first meeting and hopeful that they will help guide me in the kinds of assignments I use with students during the semester.  Stay tuned!




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About the Author
Suzanne K. McCormack, PhD, is Professor of History at the Community College of Rhode Island where she teaches US History, Black History and Women's History. She received her BA from Wheaton College (Massachusetts), and her MA and PhD from Boston College. She is currently at work on a study of the treatment of women with mental illness in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century Massachusetts and Rhode Island.