For Fall 2020, your students using Sapling now have the capability to set their own assignment notifications. On the front page, students will see their assignment status:
And students can go to “Manage Alerts” to customize the alert timing and frequency.
Alerts about upcoming due dates will be sent to students based on their custom timing settings.
Please be sure to tell your students about this--and we’ll add a note in the product as well.
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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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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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As the semester comes to a close, you'll need to start thinking about wrapping up student grades and then creating your new course for the next semester. Here are a few links to help: LaunchPad: For this semester: Make sure you zero scores for unsubmitted assignments. Make any other changes to student grades. Export your gradebook (as needed). For next semester: Copy your existing course (and update the due dates) or create a new course. (And, if needed, branch from a course Master to create section copies.) Update the assignments (changing questions, changing due dates) as needed to meet your course goals. Make sure your course is available for students. Sapling / SaplingPlus: Make any final changes to student grades. Export grades (as needed). Copy your course or let the Client Success Team (email@example.com) know if you wish to use Sapling next semester. Update the assignments as needed to meet your course goals (whether that means changing the questions or changing the assignment settings). Achieve: Make any final changes to student grades. Export the grades (as needed). Either copy your prior course or create a new course. Update the assignments as needed to meet your course goals. And once you've done all that, consider yourself ready for the next semester!
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This week, we are making some improvements to the Assessments in Sapling that we wanted to tell you about (since we’re so excited). The Item Analysis & Student Analysis tabs will be combined to a single tab called “Responses”. Under “Responses”, you will see “Question Overview” which has the information formerly shown in the “Item Analysis” and “Performance Overview” that covers the old “Student Analysis” information. There will be a counter bubble to let you know when responses have been submitted from students on an assignment. There’s a new graphical comparison of all the questions in the assignment in the navigation dropdown of the Question Overview card. The Performance Overview card will now only show a subset of students, so it will now load more quickly for larger courses. You should see all these changes by the end of this week--and we hope you’re as excited as we are! ( We are also working to update the help documentation to help answer any questions you might have. ) Good luck with the rest of the semester!
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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.
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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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If you have students who want to get the print book to go with LaunchPad, LaunchPadSolo,or SaplingPlus, please be sure to alert them to the options at the Student Store. store.macmillanlearning.com Why rent textbooks from Macmillan Learning? Renting textbooks can help students save money throughout their college career. Textbooks rentals are available from 3 months to 1 year—choose the duration that works best. The best part of all? We offer free shipping for all hard-copy textbook rentals with immediate 14-day access to the online e-textbook.
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Did you know that you can integrate iClicker into your LaunchPad or SaplingPlus course to keep all your grades in one place? And that you can use iClicker for attendance? With iClicker, us e GPS technology to ensure that students are attending class. No more attendance codes that can be easily shared via text! Learn more or sign up for a demonstration.
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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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