Reconsidering the Value of Education Dec. 12 @ 12PM ET
College enrollments have declined steadily in recent years with hundreds of thousands of prospective students choosing not to pursue a degree. Students have to weigh the cost of college against the value they’ll take away from it. We all have a role to play in helping students realize the greatest possible value from their investment in their education. Join the Macmillan Learning team and a panel of experts for a conversation about what an education offers students, the decisions they have to weigh, and how we can work to provide value to every student.
What You’ll Take Away:
An overview of the state of college enrollments
An understanding of the role that instructors can play in making courses feel worthwhile for students
Ideas for making courses feel more relevant for students
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Addressing and Preventing Bias in Educational Technology Nov. 17 @ 1PM
Join the Macmillan Learning team and a panel of experts for a discussion about how to avoid bias in educational technology. What you’ll take away: Examples and impact of bias in educational technology; Tips for identifying equitably developed content and technology; Teaching tips for using technology to improve equity outcomes in your courses.
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Emphasizing Academic Integrity in Every Classroom Oct. 19 @ 12PM ET
New tools have created countless ways for students to cheat – and growing academic and socio-economic pressures have created more reasons for them to do so. some they might not even realize are dishonest. Join the Macmillan Learning team and a panel of experts for a conversation about mitigating cheating by fostering strong academic integrity in students. What you'll take away: An overview of the state of academic integrity today; An understanding of the value of focus on promoting integrity over monitoring and punishing cheating; and Knowledge of strategies that can be used to emphasize the importance of academic integrity with students.
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Promoting Critical Thinking Through Active Learning Sept. 29 @ 2PM ET
Research has consistently shown that active learning strategies require students to use and even develop higher-order thinking skills. Bringing active learning into the classroom can have many benefits, including the ability to help students build and reinforce critical thinking skills. Join the Macmillan Learning team and a panel of active learning experts for a conversation about using active learning strategies to help students analyze information and creatively solve problems.
What You’ll Take Away: An understanding of how active learning differs from passive learning; an overview of the cognitive skills that active learning can help students develop and practice; ideas for active learning strategies that you can use in your courses that can help support the development of long-term critical thinking skills.
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It's almost time to bring your students back to campus! Achieve makes it easy to create a welcoming, interactive classroom. This webinar is for Achieve users, old and new, who want to know what's new with Achieve and get a tour of features like Goal Setting and Reflection Surveys and iClicker integration. We’ll also discuss ways you can use these resources in your classroom, whether it’s a traditional brick-and-mortar classroom or a hybrid approach.
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It's almost time to bring your students back to campus! iClicker makes it easy to create a welcoming, interactive classroom. This webinar is for iClicker users, old and new, who want to know what's new with iClicker and get a tour of features like Focus Mode and Anonymous questions. We’ll also discuss ways you can use iClicker in your classroom, whether it’s a traditional brick-and-mortar classroom or a hybrid approach.
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The Student Login insights card is one of several insights in Achieve that can help you understand more about your students.
For instance, the Student Login insight card can help identify patterns of student engagement with the Achieve platform (e.g., help you identify students who are not entering into the Achieve platform in the first place).
After reviewing the Student Login insight card, if you find that some students may be disengaged or minimally engaged with the Achieve platform, these students may need additional support to appropriately seek help. Appropriate “help seeking” behaviors are important strategies that can help improve students’ learning.
“We must regularly ask, not only ‘What are you learning?’ but ‘How are you learning?’” (Weimer, 2012)
As you’ve probably noticed from firsthand experience, not all students seek help in the same way. For instance, some students seek help in order to learn (e.g., ask for hints but seek to solve the problem on their own) while others tend to seek help in order to obtain a correct or ready-made answer (1, 3, 4).
Students who tend to be more concerned about performance may avoid seeking help or seek help in non-adaptive ways. In comparison, students who are focused on mastering concepts and self-improvement tend to seek help in more instrumental or adaptive ways and are less threatened by seeking help (4, 5, 6).
If you’re interested in encouraging more adaptive help-seeking behaviors in your students, consider the following:
Encourage students to intentionally use feedback that is given to them. For instance, you could ask students to go back and try to re-solve a problem that they initially got incorrect then determine if and to what extent they need further assistance (7).
Help students tolerate uncertainty. This can help students normalize occurrences of “not knowing” and help transition such occurrences into desirable intellectual challenges (8).
Promote learning and adaptive help seeking behaviors by providing students with explanations rather than direct answers (7).
Help students be metacognitive about their learning. Students who have stronger metacognitive skills seek help more effectively or adaptively (9).
Ensure you are clear and explicit with students about what skills or knowledge are needed to perform a given task, successfully complete an assignment, etc. You may ask yourself “What is the task that I want my students to do?” and “What do students need to know to do it?” (4).
Help-seeking can be associated with personal “costs” for some students. Be aware of this and try to establish classroom norms for help-seeking behaviors (e.g., rules or procedures by which students can obtain help like asking peers or interrupting lecture to ask a question) Consider leveraging technology to reduce “costs” of seeking help (4).
Build a learning environment where students have permission to identify confusions (11)
Keep in mind, help-seeking usually requires some degree of social skills that students may need help to master. For instance, prosocial skills can be beneficial for help-seeking. But students may need some guidance in the skill of asking questions (10, 12). Your students can use the following steps to help them ask questions:
Become aware that you need to ask a question or get help.
Decide what you would like to know more about.
Decide who to ask- someone who has the best information.
Think about different ways or words you could use to ask the question.
Decide on the right time and setting to ask the question.
Ask the question.
Weimer, M. (2012,). Deep learning vs. surface learning: Getting students to understand the difference. Retrieved from: https://www.lander.edu/sites/lander/files/Documents/About/Offices_Departments/academic-affairs/whiteboards/whiteboard-12dec.pdf.
Huet N., Motak, L., & Sakdavong, J. (2016). Motivation to seek help and help efficiency in students who failed in an initial task. Computers in Human Behavior, 63, 584-593.
Newman, R.S. (2002). How self-regulated learners cope with academic difficulty: the role of adaptive help-seeking. Theory into practice, 41, 132-138.
Karabenick, S. A., & Berger, J. (2013). Help seeking as a self-regulated learning strategy. In H. Bembenutty, T. J. Cleary, & A. Kitsantas (Eds.), Applications of self-regulated learning across diverse disciplines: A tribute to Barry J. Zimmerman (pp. 237-261).
Karabenick, S. A. (1998). Strategic help seeking: Implications for learning and teaching. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Karabenick, S. A. (2003). Seeking help in large college classes: A person centered approach. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 28, 37-58.
Webb, N. M., & Palincsar, A. S. (1996). Group processes in the classroom. In D. C. Berliner & R. C. Calfee (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology (pp. 841-873). Simon & Schuster Macmillan.
McCaslin, M., & Good, T. L. (1996). The informal curriculum. In D.C. Berliner & R.C. Calfee (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology (pp. 622- 670). Simon & Schuster Macmillan.
Tobias, S., & Everson, H. T. (2002). Knowing what you know and what you don't: Further research on metacognitive knowledge monitoring (College Board Rep. No. 2002-03). College Board.
Goldstein, A. P., & McGinnis, E. (1997). Skillstreaming the adolescent: New strategies and perspectives for teaching prosocial skills. (Revised ed.). Research Press.
Tanner, K. D. (2012). Promoting student metacognition. CBE - Life Sciences Education, 11, 113-120.
Gall, S. N. (1981). Help-seeking: An Understudied Problem-Solving Skill in Children. Developmental Review, 1(3), 224-246.
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Goal-setting and Reflection Surveys in Achieve include questions related to metacognition and self-regulated learning.
Metacognition represents an awareness of one’s own knowledge. When students practice metacognition, they are able to monitor and control their thinking processes (1). Being metacognitive can help students self-regulate their own learning more effectively (e.g., setting goals, regulating behavior).
Students may actually need stronger engagement skills, such as self-regulation, to learn effectively in today’s computer-based environments (2). Thus, instructors may need to provide assistance or “scaffolds” to help students regulate their own learning (3).
Fortunately, metacognitive skills and self-regulation behaviors can be taught (4). If you’re interested in supporting your students’ metacognition and self-regulated learning processes, consider asking students to complete the Goal-setting and Reflection Surveys in Achieve.
In addition, the following supports or scaffolds can be used to help students engage in self-regulated learning (5):
Provide students with guiding questions
Encourage student study habits using “plan ahead” prompts
Help students reflect using “look back” prompts
Teach students to use tools like concept maps or templates to help structure information as they are studying or learning
Provide students with higher-order questions and content-related goals
You can also consider encouraging students to ask themselves the following questions in order to prompt more metacognitive thinking (6).
While students are planning how they’ll approach a learning task, they can ask themselves:
What am I supposed to learn? What prior knowledge will help me with this task? What should I do first? What should I look for in this reading? How much time do I have to complete this?
As students are monitoring their understanding or performance, they can ask themselves:
How am I doing? Am I on the right track? How should I proceed? What information is important to remember? Should I move in a different direction? What can I do if I do not understand?
When students complete a learning task, they can ask themselves:
How well did I do? What did I learn? Did I get the results I expected? What could I have done differently? Can I apply this way of thinking to other problems or situations? Do I need to go back through the task to fill in any gaps in understanding?
Meichenbaum, D. (1985). Teaching thinking: A cognitive-behavioral perspective. In S. F., Chipman, J. W. Segal, & R. Glaser (Eds.), Thinking and learning skills, Vol. 2: Research and open questions. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Winters, F., Greene, J., & Costich, C. (2008). Self-regulation of learning within computer-based learning environments: A critical analysis. Educational Psychology Review, 20, 429-444.
Azevedo, R., & Hadwin, A. F. (2005). Scaffolding self-regulated learning and metacognition – Implications for the design of computer-based scaffolds. Instructional Science, 33, 367-379.
Halpern, D. F. (1996). Thought and knowledge: An introduction to critical thinking. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Devolder, A., van Braak, J., & Tondeur, J. (2012). Supporting self-regulated learning in computer-based learning environments: Systematic review of effects of scaffolding in the domain of science education. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 28, 557-573.
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education. (2011). Just Write! Guide. Scanlon.
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How can you leverage the Time-on-Activity data provided in two of our most used insight cards on the Achieve Dashboard to help students better self-regulate their time?
Time plus energy equals learning. There is no substitute for time on task. -Chickering & Gamson (1987)
“Time on task” metrics typically try to capture the amount of time students spend attending to or actively engaging in course-related or learning-related tasks (2; 3).
Research suggests that time on task is positively related to student learning in computer-based environments (4; 5; 6). But students may need support to learn good time management skills or habits (1; 7; 8).
Educators can leverage technology to help students better self-regulate their time. For example, instructors can use Achieve insights to review student time on task and then intervene by sharing resources or study suggestions, encouraging students to spend additional time, etc. as they deem appropriate. Goal Setting and Reflection Surveys in Achieve can also help students set goals and reflect on their time spent doing on-task behaviors like studying for class.
Beyond amount of time spent, the quality of time spent also influences academic performance (9). To help students engage in quality time-on-task behaviors, instructors may consider the following (10; 11):
➢ Thoroughly explain the demands of the task (e.g., assignments, homeworks, projects). Students often struggle to appropriately assess the demands of the task at hand (7).
➢ Provide rubrics, criteria, or examples and model desired skills, where appropriate. This gives students an idea of what it looks like to have mastered given knowledge or skills.
➢ Scaffold or guide students through more demanding learning outcomes or goals. Students may need assistance, and improvement-oriented guidance, as they practice using new knowledge or skills.
➢ When they’re ready, give students opportunities for independent practice. Engaged time-on-task is imperative during this time when students are working on tasks without assistance from instructors or peers.
1.Chickering, A. W. & Gamson, Z. F. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin, 3-7.
Carroll, J. B. (1963). A model of school learning. Teachers College Record, 64, 723-733. 3. Prater, M. A. (1992). Increasing time-on-task in the classroom: Suggestions for improving the amount of time learners spend in on-task behaviors. Intervention in School and Clinic, 28(1), 22-27.
Cho, M. H., & Shen, D. (2013). Self-regulation in online learning. Distance Education, 34(3), 290-301.
Krause, U.-M., Stark, R., & Mandl, H. (2009). The effects of cooperative learning and feedback on e-learning in statistics. Learning and Instruction, 19(2), 158-170.
Wellman, G. S., & Marcinkiewicz, H. (2004). Online learning and time-on-task: Impact of proctored vs. un-proctored testing. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 8, 93-104.
Ambrose, S., Bridges, M. W., DiPietro, M., Lovett, M. C., & M. K. Norman, (2010). How learning works: 7 research-based principles for smart teaching. John Wiley & Sons. 8. Pascarella, E. T. & Terenzini, P. T. (2005). How college affects students: A third decade of research, Volume 2. Jossey-Bass.
Romero, M. & Barberà, E. (2011). Quality of e-learners’ time and learning performance beyond quantitative time-on-task. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 12(5), 125-137.
Marzano, R. J. (2007). The art and science of teaching: A comprehensive framework for effective education. ASCD.
Popham, W. J. (2009). Instruction that measures up: Successful teaching in the age of accountability. ASCD.
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In Achieve, we offer a series of Goal-Setting and Reflection Surveys that instructors can assign to students. What is the benefit of these surveys? Here's a great response from one of our researchers at Macmillan Learning:
Goal-setting and Reflection Surveys (GRS) are intended to promote self-regulated learning behaviors. GRS is foundational to life-long learning(1).
GRS occurs when students can regulate aspects of their thinking, motivation, and behavior during the learning process(2). In practice, this can look like:
Students setting their own achievement goals for the course or semester;
Students selecting which study strategies they will use (e.g., time management, collaboration, self-testing);
Students reflecting on their self-confidence and whether they are on- or off-track in terms of what they hope to achieve;
Students monitoring progress and revising study plans when necessary.
Applying GRS strategies in online learning environments has been shown to help students improve time management, metacognition(3), and engagement in course assessments(4). Overall, students who are more self-regulated tend to be more persistent and higher achieving(5; 6; 7).
Using Achieve, instructors can help students hone their self-regulation skills(5; 2; 8; 7).
Kurbanoglu, S. S. (2003). Self-efficacy: a concept closely linked to information literacy and lifelong learning. Journal of Documentation, 59(6), 635–646.
Pintrich, P. R. & Zusho, A. (2002) Student motivation and self-regulated learning in the college classroom, in: J. C. Smart & W.G. Tierney (Eds) Higher Education: handbook of theory and research (pp. 55-128). Agathon Press.
Broadbent, J., & Poon, W. (2015). Self-regulated learning strategies & academic achievement in online higher education learning environments: A systematic review. The Internet and Higher Education, 27, 1-13.
Kizilcec, R. F., Perez-Sanagustín, M. & Maldonado, J. (2017). Self-regulated learning strategies predict learner behavior and goal attainment in Massive Open Online Courses. Computers & Education, 104, 18-33.
Pintrich, P. R. (1995) Understanding self-regulated learning. Jossey-Bass.
Robbins, S. B., Lauver, K., Le, H., Davis, D., Langley, R., & Carlstrom, A. (2004). Do psychological and study skill factors predict college outcome? Psychological Bulletin, 130, 261–288
Zimmerman, B. J. & Schunk, D. H. (2001) Self-regulated learning and academic achievement: theoretical perspectives. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Schunk, D. H. (2005). Self-regulated learning: The educational legacy of Paul R. Pintrich. Educational Psychologist, 40(2), 85-94.
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In Achieve, you can see all sorts of data about your students, which is great--except when you are overwhelmed by data. Here is one brief example of what you could do with information gleaned about your students from our research team here at Macmillan:
After viewing Achieve Insights for your course or students, here are some ways you can leverage strengths-based approaches to share feedback with students:
Help students identify talents or tasks performed exceptionally well (1).
Prompt students to consciously think about how to maximize performance in these areas of talent (1).
Encourage students to engage in more adaptive thinking around their performance by asking them to reflect on a time when they were successful; What strengths or talents did they use during that time? How did they use their strengths during that time (2)?
Focus student attention on resources available to them and their preferred future outcomes, rather than past histories or problems (3).
Promote healthy self-acceptance and internalization of the fact that everyone is fallible, nobody’s perfect.
Fredrickson, B. L., Tugade, M. M., Waugh, C. E., & Larkin, G. (2003). What good are positive emotions in crises? A prospective study of resilience and emotions following the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11th, 2001. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 365-376.
White, M. A., Waters, L. E. (2015). A case study of ‘The Good School:’ Examples of the use of Peterson’s strengths-based approach with students. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 10(1), 69-76.
Warburton, D. E. R., & Bredin, S. S. D. (2019). Health benefits of physical activity: A strengths-based approach. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 8(12), 1-15.
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When you enter your Achieve course as an instructor, you are presented with options to add items such as quizzes, assignments, and readings; you can also build your own content directly into the course, upload your content from outside of Achieve, and link to other websites. It is important to keep accessibility in mind when creating or adding any type of content to your course.
Here are some tips from our accessibility team to keep in mind as you go through the course creation process:
Tips on Creating Accessible Courses
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As you may know, our student response system, iClicker, is included with some Achieve courses at no additional cost. What you may not know is that iClicker can be used to change the conversation in your classroom. Rather than hearing from just the handful of eager students sitting in the front row, iClicker empowers every single student in the class to participate. iClicker offers you a variety of ways to interact with your students. You can use a simple fill in the black to do a concept check before lecture. Multiple choice questions offer the opportunity for think, pair, share activities, where students answer on their own, then discuss results with their classmates, and respond again to reflect what they’ve learnedLearn how to use from each other. Anonymous questions allow for candid classroom dialogues without fear of judgment. These questions types and many more make it easier for you as an instructor to quickly evaluate student understanding, spark discussion, and engage the class as a whole. iClicker also makes it easier for your students to take an active role--students report that they are more confident participating in class and that the anonymity of iClicker makes them more likely to participate. Our Learning Science studies have shown that male and female students engage equally in iClicker activities. iClicker helps to shift the classroom conversation to include everyone, whether you are teaching in a huge lecture hall, an intimate symposium, or completely online. Interested in learning more about iClicker? Explore the iClicker Website Book a Demo Dive Into Learning Science Research Results
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Regular and Substantive Interactions? What’s that supposed to mean? It seems every new memo brings a new requirement for online teachers, so when the latest one required that our online courses verify the use of regular and substantive interactions, it was tempting to just shake my fist at a new “mandate” or complain about additional work. The other option, of course, was to really consider the design of my online writing class. Was I providing substantive interaction to my students? How do well-developed online writing courses – or any courses for that matter – naturally provide us with ways to interact with our students in ways that actually make meaningful connections with the content and with each other?
At its basis, the federal requirement that online courses provide “regular and substantive interactions” ensures that we aren’t just handing our students a package of material and wishing them good luck as they work through the class materials. At its best, it provides a menu of effective practices that are already embedded into our writing classes while offering the opportunity to add some new tools to our belt.
One characteristic of RSI is that the instructor initiates the interactions, and there are multiple ways we do this. We set up welcome messages, we create discussion boards, and we invite them to come by our office hours, but how can we initiate conversations without adding extra work for ourselves? Providing personalized feedback on an assignment is considered an instructor-initiated interaction, and how we choose to phrase that feedback can go a long way towards encouraging the students to interact with us. Instead of writing a comment about WHAT a student did in an essay, why not ask a question about WHY the student made a certain writing decision? Instead of asking students to write a reflective paragraph about their graded work, why not ask them to write a revision plan based on your feedback and bring it to their next conference? Make feedback an invitation to a conversation rather than the ending point of an assignment.
Another characteristic of RSI is that interactions are frequent and consistent. This can be something as simple as laying out a clear communication schedule letting students know they can expect an email every Monday and Friday or posting weekly announcements. It can, however, also be providing more frequent feedback on assignments. No, we can’t grade more essays, but we can add more checkpoints to what we already assign, more scaffolding to larger projects. We can turn big projects into multi-step projects, especially if we stop defining “drafts” as completed essays and use drafts to check just one part of the project – the thesis, a synthesis of a source, body paragraphs without introductions or conclusions. These take less time for an instructor to check and present students with more frequent interactions at points where that feedback can still affect change in the final product.
Of course, our interactions must also be substantive, which simply means that we need to provide our students with actionable feedback. Telling them what is right or wrong with their work simply isn’t enough for students. Our feedback needs to direct students to the tools they need to build their skills. This can take the form of links to relevant textbook sections, interactive grammar tutorials, or even links to extra mini-lectures designed by the instructor. Sometimes, it’s not enough to lead the horse to water, we really do need to show them how to drink.
None of these concepts are new. They’re already available to us and many of us use them in our online and traditional classes already. New calls to document RSI shouldn’t be seen as additional work but as a way to highlight what we already do well and to reassess whether the way we offer feedback invites conversation or simply justifies our grades.
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We have had a bunch of new features release for both Achieve and iClicker and if you want to see them in action, join us for a webinar where you can see how the new stuff works, learn why we added new functionality, and ask questions of our experts.
Sign Up Today
Achieve is January 7th at 2pm EST
iClicker is January 20th at 2pm EST
We will record both, so if you sign up, you'll get the recording emailed to you automatically or you can always return to our recordings page to see what else we have for you.
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