We had another release today and there are two things in there that you should know about:
Timed assignment accommodations
Insights widget library
Timed Assignments: To start, the original assessment needs to have a policy with a time limit on it. Then, once that’s set, you will go to the Student Exceptions. Put in the student(s) name and select “Time accommodation” and adjust the amount of time that that student or group of students gets on the assignment. It’s that easy!
Insights Widget Library: Using this new functionality, you can pick the insight cards that make the most sense for you.
From the Insights tab, instructors will be able to “Add a Widget”
You will be able to view the available cards and pick the ones that make sense. Then, once the card is on your dashboard, you can always remove card and, even cooler, edit the card so that it works for you--for instance, adding a time range:
You can add a card more than once to have one version showing data for the last 7 days and one version showing data from ‘all time.’ You can also move the cards around to put the most important one first.
We will be adding more ‘cards’ throughout the year and we’ll be monitoring their usage so we know which insights are, well, the most insightful for our customers.
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Throughout the spring and summer, we’ve been listening to you and working on ways we can keep improving Achieve to make your experience and your students’ experience with the product better. As a result, here’s a long list of what you’ll see changed for Fall 2020 classes (and all of this is live as of today, save one noted item).
Start of Classes:
Students who attempt to register into an LMS deep linked course via the Achieve “ enroll in a new course ” option will see a message directing them to use their LMS. Instructors who attempt to use the “ invite students ” functionality will see a message alerting them that this invite functionality is not available to deep linked courses.
Under My Course, we have combined the Assignments and Course Plan tabs into one place, but with a filter that will allow you to select your View by Assignment or Course Content or Resource type.
The Browse tab has been retitled as Resources and the content reorganized and renamed to make it easier to find materials. In addition, we altered the view a bit so you can see more of the item name when you are selecting materials. In addition, we added a ‘select all’ option so you can find a series of content items, select and assign them at once.
We added navigation to make it easier to get back ‘home’ when you are in another part of Achieve.
If you are using Section Management, instructors will now always see “View Sections” that will take them to a list of their sections. Sections are now listed on a single page (or more than one page, if you have over 100 sections).
Section Coordinators can now add and remove questions from their assessments after students have started working and then push those updates down to restricted access sections. Once students have started the assessment in any of the sections, coordinators will see a new option that allows them to add and remove questions (but not to edit questions).
Each course will have an Orientation Quiz for you to assign to students (within the Welcome folder) to help students quickly understand how to work in Achieve.
As part of the assignment settings, instructors will have the option to add a time accommodation for students who get additional time on particular (or all) assignments. (This will be live before Fall 2020 classes start, but is not available yet.)
We have added the option to batch update gradebook category & assignment visibility, as well as the option to batch update assessment grading policies. (The latter is not in Read & Practice.) There is a new “add select all option” to the content library.
You will be able to name files and links while uploading your materials to the course. We have also added the option to rename files, assessments, writing assignments and links after those materials have already been added to the course.
In certain types of Assignments, we added tags to show if the answer is correct or has been revealed, and we added a new visual to show when the assignment is complete.
Instructors now have the ability to add weights to Gradebook categories. And for LearningCurve Adaptive Quizzing assignments, instructors and students can view the date and time when a student reaches the target score.
Diagnostics / Study Plan (only in English and Chemistry):
The study plan completion selector has more options (25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%) for the instructor to assign to students. In addition, for instructors, we combined pre- and final tests into a single reporting page for easier viewing.
Side by Side View of Writing Tools (English Only)
Instructors can turn on a side-by-side view to see any draft alongside the current draft including peer reviews, view comments from previous feedback, and highlight and comment in this side by side view.
Students can also turn on a side-by-side view to review instructor feedback and access content support just as they would in full screen mode. Students will also be able to draft in side-by-side mode, use simple format commands and access their revision plan and mark tasks complete.
Updates to Peer Review with Comment Tool (English Only)
Instructors are able to quickly scan all peer review comments made by a single peer reviewer and leave a comment. Instructors can come back any time and revise the comment to the student as new peer review activity happens. In addition, instructors can click on selected text and be taken to that spot in the draft for comment context.
Improved Peer Review Submission Tool (English Only)
With this new view, instructors can now efficiently monitor peer review activity from a single view. Instructors can click in to view peer writer submission and leave a comment, as needed.
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Test Security - We have had a number of instructors ask us about test security, and we also know that a lot of your schools already have programs for proctoring and browser lockdown. As such, we are not adding our own options for proctoring and lockdown (and be forced to charge for it accordingly), but rather we are providing more tools to make exporting our tests to load into your campus LMS easier. Directions to export a test created with Macmillan Learning Test Bank into your LMS are here .
In addition, each of the individual digital products that we offer have tools to help with test security. You can read through those options here . And we had a very useful webinar with Eric Chiang where he reviewed ideas for test security.
Lastly, we have moved most of our test banks to the Macmillan Learning Test Bank, accessible only only to a verified instructor. With this system you can:
Create paper or online tests that you can export to your LMS using your web browser;
Drag and drop questions to create tests;
Create and edit your own questions and edit publisher-created question sets.
Learn more here: https://macmillan.force.com/macmillanlearning/s/article/Getting-Started-with-the-Macmillan-Learning-Test-Bank .
Engaging Students - We know that one of the biggest concerns if you end up moving to a fully or partially online class is keeping students engaged. While each of our products have active aspects, we are proud to offer the market's leading student engagement solution, iClicker. Our attendance feature automates taking roll, then you can choose from flexible polling & quizzing options to engage, check understanding and get feedback from students in real time. Best of all, iClicker works seamlessly with your existing content and any other software or tools you'd like to use in your virtual, hybrid or in-person class. We also have great webinars on fostering student curiosity and engaging students online that I’d recommend.
Volume / Load - We anticipate that many more instructors are likely to try digital solutions for their students as classes are moving to hybrid or fully online options this fall. As such, we have been planning for a large uptick in student usage and making adjustments to our servers accordingly. We feel very good about our preparedness for a significant increase in student users in all of our platforms.
Instructor Training on Digital Products - We are anticipating that a lot more instructors are going to be in need of training with more digital product usage and with changing class formats. Beyond our standard training options, including time with our Learning Solutions team and our self-help documentation , we are also doing intensive training with our entire team so we have more people available to train you. In addition, there are help guides within the products and we have a group of Faculty Consultants (colleagues) who are also available to help. For this to be successful, however, we request that you don’t wait until the day or two before classes start before you request training. 🙂
Professional Development - Throughout the spring and summer, we conducted a wide variety of webinars with a number of our fabulous authors and customers and we recorded all of those webinars. You can find all the recordings here , and they cover both general teaching tips (Online Teaching, Inclusive Teaching) as well as tips for particular disciplines or products. Check out the options!
Student Training on Digital Products - We will continue to add to and refine our First Day of Class Materials for students for you to send to students or use on the first day of class so they know what you are asking them to do online, why, and how to get started.
Customer Support - Our fantastic customer support team stands at the ready to help you and your students with any issues that may arise. You can find the team (as well as a variety of help articles) online here: https://macmillan.force.com/macmillanlearning/s/
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The Online Learning Consortium has developed a series of scorecards “with the necessary criteria and benchmarking tools to ensure online learning excellence for the entire institution.” ( https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/consult/olc-quality-scorecard-suite/ )
With that in mind, we at Macmillan Learning thought it might be useful to point out a few places where Achieve can help you get a ‘good score’ on these various objectives. This article is focused on the introductory Quality Scorecard for Digital Courseware Instructional Practice but includes a few additional topics that appear on other scorecards and seem relevant here.
Learning Objectives: In Achieve, instructors can see which assignments are tied to which Learning Objectives (LOs), and how students are doing on those particular LOs. Learn more about the Reports and Insights in Achieve to see how reporting can help you build and maintain a quality course.
Build on their knowledge : Within Achieve, students are asked to build on their knowledge from earlier chapters to show skills and understanding in later chapters.
Even distribution of work: Instructors can set up assignments, as tied to Learning Objectives, to make sure there is an even distribution of work across the class time, and to confirm that students have access to and are using a building blocks approach to learning.
System Requirements: As students register for Achieve, they are provided with the system requirements for the product. This information is also provided in the registration information for instructors to share with students, such as the First Day of Class tools .
Feedback: On the content side, many of the homework assignments in Achieve give students detailed, useful feedback if they get a problem wrong (not just “wrong” but an explanation of what was wrong and how to fix it) so they can learn from their mistake, try again, and succeed.
Help: Whenever one is working in Achieve, one can access “Help” in the upper right, which includes links to help articles to read as well as information on contacting Customer Support through email, chat or phone.
Relevant Activities: Each Achieve course, as makes sense for the course and discipline, provides students with the tools to understand, practically, how the concepts they are learning apply to the real world, from writing feedback to economics principles to learning about how biology applies to everyday life.
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Following the ideas of Bloom’s taxonomy, every course in Achieve starts with more basic concepts and moves up through Application to Evaluation, allowing for students to practice and assess more advanced thinking skills throughout the course.
Learning Outcomes: In Achieve, Learning Objectives (LOs) can help instructors see which assignments are tied to which LOs, and how students are doing on those particular LOs. Learn more .
Active Learning: In Achieve, students receive access to iClicker , Macmillan Learning’s student response system, to engage students in the course content, both during live classes and outside of class. Learn more about the integration between Achieve and iClicker .
Consistent Design: Throughout the development (and subsequent deployment) of Achieve, we review to make sure if you do something following X rules here, you should do the same thing following X rules there. We do a fair amount of testing with both students and instructors to make sure the design is logical and easy to use.
Logical Progression: The content of Achieve follows the content of each relevant e-book, moving from easier or foundational topics to more complex and higher level topics.
Accessibility: Learn more about the focus on accessibility at Macmillan Learning and within Achieve.
Course Documentation: Every course that is available fully or partially online should include course documentation such as the syllabus, grading policy, and student ethics. Such documentation is easy to post within Achieve .
Faculty Support: Once you have made the decision to use Achieve in your course, Macmillan Learning offers a variety of tools to help you get up to speed including links to help articles to read as well as information on contacting Customer Support through email, chat or phone. In addition, we offer training on Achieve , and training on LMS integration and the use of iClicker .
Downtime Tracking: Macmillan Learning is happy to provide our most recently downtime statistics, as needed, for the time period you request. In general, we are over 99% uptime.
Security Measures: Within Achieve, we have a variety of different tools, depending on your assignment type, to help you with assignment security , including using time limits, question books, question order scrambling and assignment visibility.
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As more courses move online, one question we keep getting is, “How do I offer assessments in the most secure way possible?”. If you are using a Macmillan Learning digital product for your online class, here are some suggestions below to help you with assessment security. For LaunchPad Users: Set a Passcode - Requires a student to enter an instructor-specified Passcode to begin the quiz. Limit the Number of Attempts - For higher stakes assessment, only allow students to submit the assessment one time. Time Limit - This ensures that all students are provided the same amount of time to complete a quiz. If the quiz is not completed within the time limit, the quiz is automatically submitted when time expires. The time limit will also limit students’ ability to look everything up or get too much assistance. Scrambling - Instructors use this setting to randomize the order of question, the order of answer choices, or both. Feedback Control - This gives instructors the control over what information is available to students after they submit a quiz, such as whether to show the correct answers. Visibility - Instructors use the Visibility setting to "hide" a quiz from students until a specific date and time. Hide Grade - Instructors can elect to hide students' quiz grade until the due date has passed. Question Pooling - can further add to the variability of the assessment so that not all students receive the same questions on the exam and instead receive a random set of questions from a set of them. Instructors can set up multiple pools within one assessment to ensure students receive the right number from each desired topic the test should cover. You can see all of these settings explained in this article on setting up assignments: https://macmillan.force.com/macmillanlearning/s/article/LaunchPad-Tips-for-setting-up-assignments and the article on question pooling: https://macmillan.force.com/macmillanlearning/s/article/LaunchPad-Creating-a-quiz-with-question-pools For Sapling and Achieve Users: For Assessments, use the Quiz / Test policy and add a time limit also. https://macmillan.force.com/macmillanlearning/s/article/Sapling-Learning-View-or-change-mobile-assignment-grading-policies Time Limit - This ensures that all students are provided the same amount of time to complete a quiz. The time limit will also limit students’ ability to look everything up or get too much assistance. https://macmillan.force.com/macmillanlearning/s/article/Sapling-Learning-Make-an-Assessment-timed Use question pools - Although many of our questions already contain variation, using Pools can further add to the variability of the assessment so that not all students receive the same questions on the exam and instead receive a random set of questions from a set of them. Instructors can set up multiple pools within one assessment to ensure students receive the right number from each desired topic the test should cover. https://macmillan.force.com/macmillanlearning/s/article/Sapling-Learning-Create-and-edit-question-pools-in-mobile-assignments Scrambling - Randomizing the order the questions are delivered could also be a viable option so no one has the same question 3. This can be set in the Grading Policies for an assessment. https://macmillan.force.com/macmillanlearning/s/article/Sapling-Learning-View-or-change-mobile-assignment-grading-policieshttps://macmillan.force.com/macmillanlearning/s/article/Sapling-Learning-View-or-change-mobile-assignment-grading-policies Visibility - When assigning the assessment, instructors should use the visibility settings to ensure students don’t see the exam until the instructor is ready for them to see it. By setting the student visibility to a certain date range, instructors can choose exactly when the assessment becomes visible to students and when it closes from visibility. For higher stakes tests, it is recommended that this window be as short as possible. https://macmillan.force.com/macmillanlearning/s/article/Sapling-Learning-View-or-change-mobile-assignment-grading-policies
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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!
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As you start to prep for your next round of classes, don't forget that we have syllabus inserts and presentation decks for you to use to help students get registered with Achieve, LaunchPad, and Sapling.
Please view the following presentation slides and download the attached syllabus inserts, input your course information, and share them with your students prior to your first day of class. You can post them in your learning management system, e-mail them, or print them out to distribute in class.
If you want to make any changes to the presentation slides, go to File > Make a copy and edit the copy you create.
Good luck and let us know if you have any questions as you start up classes!
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