How Achieve Can Help with Excellence in Online Instruction

Macmillan Employee
Macmillan Employee
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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.”  (


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. 


Faculty Engagement

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.





Student Engagement

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


Course Fundamentals

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

Additional Tools:

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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