Skills and Key Features of Biology: How Life Works, 4e
Achieve for Morris, Biology: How Life Works , 4e includes multiple features which focus on building scientific skills. These can help students review skills they may have learned in previous courses and reinforce key biology concepts.
The Skills Primers are self-paced tutorials that guide students to learn, practice, and use skills, like data visualization and graphing, experimental design, working with numbers, reading and building phylogenies, and working with models. These short tutorials can be used throughout the course as refreshers to aid students with the core skills they need to work with data.
How Do We Know? Activities
How Do We Know? activities are designed to provide practice for students in the skills they need to think like a scientist. These activities are available in every chapter and accompany the How Do We Know? feature in the textbook—walking students through scientific inquiry and data analysis, and ending with application questions that extend to new information.
A key feature of How Life Works is that it connects key concepts to one another, highlighting the bigger relevance of understanding biology. Throughout the textbook, Cases and Visual Synthesis figures provide a framework for connecting and assimilating information. The eight Cases highlight topics, such as cancer and climate change, and showcase how concepts learned in individual chapters connect to these larger, relevant areas of biology.
Every Visual Synthesis figure in the textbook has an interactive counterpart in Achieve. Each interactive offers an immersive, highly visual learning environment that includes informative text, embedded animations, simulations, virtual tours, and links between interactives, helping students see how individual concepts connect to tell a single story. New to this edition: two new Visual Syntheses covering the History of Earth and Life, and Homeostasis can be found in the textbook and Achieve.
How Life Works Podcasts
The How Life Works Podcasts cover pertinent topics that relate directly to the material in the textbook. New to this edition: the authors of How Life Works interview a diverse selection of scientists about research topics, which directly align with each of the eight Cases found in the textbook. Each podcast includes background information about the author and a set of open-ended reflection questions that can be assigned to students.
Which features do you use? Comment below to let us know!
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Customize Your Course in Achieve
It’s important that you use Achieve in a way that works for you. Here are some strategies for personalizing your course:
When you create your course, you can choose a course populated with all the chapters and resources provided or you can build your course piece by piece from our library of content.
The pre-built course in Achieve includes several types of assessments, but Achieve also has a bank of questions available to instructors for ultimate customizability. These are some best practices on curating and adapting your course to fit your style.
Where To Go To Assign Content
In a prebuilt course, you can assign content directly from our Course Content page by clicking on the calendar icon next to the content item or from the resources page.
How to Find and Filter Content
In the Resources tab, you can see all of the content that has been assigned, and you can add new content. You can use the filters on the left to help you find what type of content you are looking for.
How to Edit Assignment Details
A checkmark appears next to an assignment that has already been added to your course. Click on the calendar/plus icon to edit student visibility, due date, etc.
How to Edit Assignment Content
From the Resource page, click into an individual assignment to view the questions and to edit the content. You can remove, add, or edit questions, choosing from several question collections.
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Achieve offers many options for post-class work to keep students progressing as the content becomes more complex.
Our titles include a bank of assessments that can be easily assigned through pre-built homework assignments or your own assignments using our easily sortable question library. The interactive homework questions in many titles feature targeted feedback and are available for each core concept in the textbook.
Animation and Media Assignments
STEM titles in Achieve contain a library of 2D animations, 3D animations, and simulations with accompanying assessments to help students visualize the complex processes they need to understand in this course. These can be assigned as homework, review, or as group work for students to complete.
How are you using these resources in your class? Let us know!
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Using Achieve and iClicker In-Class
Whether teaching in-person or online, Achieve has the resources you need to keep students actively engaged during class.
With Achieve’s seamless integration with iClicker, you can help any student participate—in the classroom or virtually. iClicker’s attendance feature gets students in class, then instructors can choose from flexible polling and quizzing options to engage, check understanding, and get feedback from students in real time. iClicker also allows students to participate using laptops, mobile devices, or iClicker remotes—whichever each student prefers. Additionally, we offer Instructor Activity Guides and book-specific iClicker question slides within Achieve to make the most out of your class time.
Instructor Activity Guides
The guides provide instructors with a structured plan to facilitate an activity that encourages student engagement in both face-to-face and remote learning courses. Each guide lays out for professors the best implementation for each activity and highlights the resources available for use in class, including presentation slides, iClicker questions, and student handouts. The guide displays the activity type, estimated prep and class time, implementation instructions, suggestions for remote implementation where applicable, and Learning Objectives for ease of use.
Activity Details: Approximate class time, Implementation effort, and best use case.
Activity Summary and Implementation suggestions for both in person and remote classes.
All resources and links to implement the activity.
Resources for the Activity
Activities typically include accompanying presentation slides (with iClicker questions) and student worksheets. All items, as well as guidance for best practices for activity use, can be found in the instructor's guide.
Active Lecture Slides
These brief, visually interesting slides are designed to hold students’ attention in class with graphics demonstrating key concepts and real-world examples. Each slide deck also contains iClicker questions that can be used during lecture.
Let us know how you’re using Achieve during class this term!
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Using Achieve Pre-Class Activities
Achieve has a multitude of features that can be assigned as pre-class, in-class, or post-class work. Here are just a few of the key features we see used best as pre-class work.
Learning Curve Adaptive Quizzing puts the powerful concept of “self-testing to learn” into action and strategically develops personalized study plans that directly address students’ gaps in knowledge. Adaptive quizzing provides personalized question sets and clear feedback based on each student’s correct and incorrect answers—offering an easy way for students to prepare for class by reviewing the e-book and then assessing their understanding of the key concepts.
Instructors can use the reporting features of Adaptive Quizzing to evaluate class performance to get a sense of what their class needs to focus on, attuned to the individual needs of each student.
Instructors can see how many questions each student answered before reaching the target score, how many students have completed each activity, and how individual students are performing, as well as composite results for the class as a whole.
This can help guide how much time is spent in class on certain topics or concepts.
Each question includes a topic-specific link that guides students to the e-book so they can use that material to assist them in answering the question correctly. Referencing this additional material doesn't cost students any points. Students can also Get a Hint for fewer points or Show answer for no points.
Students receive instant feedback after each question in Adaptive Quizzing. Not only does this assist with retention, it also corrects them immediately on any misconceptions or mistakes.
Students who are unprepared or who need more help will receive as much practice as they need to master a concept. At any time during an Adaptive Quizzing activity, students can click on links to online instruction for more explanation and examples. This way, students can receive guided help before attending class.
Reading can be assigned prior to class, ungraded or for points, to help students come prepared.
Most of our titles include a variety of engaging animations, which can be assigned pre-class or post-class. Many animations that match the chapter content are provided with 6–8 assessment questions. These are designed to aid students in connecting their visual understanding with the core concepts in the chapters.
Each chapter has a 10-question assignment that can be used to check reading comprehension and pre-class preparation. These assignments cover the entire chapter but can be modified and edited to suit professors’ individual needs by editing wording or adding new questions via our question banks.
You can customize your course in a way that works best for your students. Let us know how you use these features of Achieve!
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Introducing Goal Setting and Reflection Surveys in Achieve
When Macmillan’s Learning Science team was doing research to develop Achieve, both students and instructors told us that they needed more than just discipline content; they needed tools to help students be great students, regardless of the course content. There are five surveys in Achieve designed to get students to set goals for themselves and reflect on their learning throughout the semester. For each survey you assign, you will receive insights on the strategies students are using, how they think the semester is going, and how you can target interventions and support based on your class.
Our Learning Science team's data suggests not only do students like the surveys, but that using Goal-setting and Reflection Surveys positively impacts student course performance.
Students completing up to 2 surveys perform 2-3% better on their course grade than their peers not completing surveys.
Students completing 3-5 surveys perform up to 5.5% better on their course grade than their peers not completing surveys.
Students completing their surveys also complete up to 36% more of their assigned Achieve activities.
Goal-setting and Reflection Surveys help students pay attention to their needs in the course and self-advocate throughout the semester. These surveys can offer you a better sense of what your students are struggling with and help you notice classroom trends.
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What’s In Your Achieve Course?
Hello, Instructors! As you and your students continue to learn this term, we want to be sure you’re making the most out of your Achieve course. This series will show you the types of content in your Achieve course.
Beyond the platform itself, what sets Achieve apart is the content. In Achieve, content is organized to meet your unique course goals. You can easily see in the learning path which assessments and media resources are aligned for their pedagogical usage: to prepare for class, to be used during class time, and for review after class time.
This allows instructors to provide a high degree of structure to the course work they assign. This benefits all students, but especially those who come into the course less prepared.
Although we suggest content for pre-class, in-class, and post-class, feel free to mix and match and make it your own. Arrange material in a way that works best for you and your students.
The Achieve course is built around the e-book, providing a structured framework of content, media, and assessments for your students. The e-book in Achieve is more than just a flat PDF. The e-book can be accessed directly to be read section by section. The e-book is also included in our adaptive quizzes, allowing students to reference back to sections in the book as they work through formative assessments.
These are a few key features of the e-book:
Audio: The Read-Aloud option allows you to listen to the text. You can also fast forward or rewind and change the reading speed.
Font: Easily change the font style or size. You can also select day/night mode or change the line spacing to personalize the reading experience.
Highlight and Notes: Select any text to highlight it or add notes. As students work through the book, these notes are compiled into a notebook for them to easily reference later while studying.
Animations and Media: Animations play right in line with the text.
Self-Assessment: Check your knowledge with in-line answers to the end of section questions.
Which feature of Achieve do you and your students like best? Comment to let us know!
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iClicker and Achieve: Active Learning in the Math and Statistics Classroom
Resources for the math and stats classrooms are not in short supply. You could choose several tools for your course, but switching between multiple programs within a single class period can quickly become problematic.
Together, Achieve and iClicker are an exceptionally effective and convenient pairing for making a math or statistics classroom more interactive, and, because iClicker is integrated into Achieve, managing the two programs really feels like managing one .
iClicker and Achieve pair seamlessly, and when using them together you gain access to additional capabilities including:
Taking attendance with the click of a button
Setting up ice-breaker questions so students can get to know each other (and you can see who would work best with each other in group assignments)
Boosting engagement with polling questions
Providing opportunities for whole-class participation in a low-stress environment
Offering tighter feedback loops where students are more concerned about getting the right answer to a question rather than what their overall grade is
Creating automatic review resources based on the questions you ask, with iClicker, in class
At the very heart of iClicker’s functionality is active learning. iClicker is designed to get students involved in the lesson they’re learning by instigating a two-way conversation with immediate feedback.
Tip: Use iClicker to ask entrance questions such as:
What do you remember most from our last class?
What part of the homework gave you the most trouble?
Based on your students' responses, you can then pivot your lesson plan for the day to address common issues.
iClicker is also a great tool for:
Think-pair-share activities. Put up a question all students answer. Before sharing the answer, ask students to talk to each other about why they picked their response. Asking the same question a second time will show whether students shifted their answer choice. This is a dynamic way to engage students and get them talking with each other.
Virtual hand-raising. This is a great alternative to having a chat that gets out of control if you’re teaching virtually or in a hybrid format. It brings a little order back into the course and is a more official way for students to communicate with you.
Confidence checks. Using the anonymity feature in iClicker, you’re able to have students answer a question without having to feel like they’re going to get singled out. This is perfect for the question, Do you understand everything we just covered? Having to raise your hand in front of everyone to respond is embarrassing, but iClicker makes it anonymous and easy.
How Achieve Keeps Students Organized
Another way to utilize features in both Achieve and iClicker is to help get students organized. Within Achieve, students can see their to-do list of assignments as well as the big picture with an entire course content view. Because Achieve and iClicker are integrated, even iClicker work is listed for students to see. This helps prevent students from claiming they didn’t know what the homework was.
You can also assign adaptive quizzing to keep students on the right learning path. It’s a great pre-class assignment to get students organized with the right terms and concepts.
As the instructor, you have the ability to decide what content you want students to see in Achieve, and what you don’t, so you’re able to highlight those features that will really help students keep it together.
How Achieve Reinforces Math and Stats Concepts
Being able to assign iClicker questions within an Achieve assignment means more coverage that related to the topic you’re teaching. Students can answer a question in class in real time and get scored immediately. Then, you can put the same question into Achieve for students to answer on their own time through the program’s interface.
Try this example, suggested from one of our Achieve for Calculus users:
Ask your students to use the Target question to find the inflection point on a graph, then you can select the area in which the right answer falls to grade the question.
How Achieve Supports Instructors
Two features in particular allow Achieve to give instructors a break in their own workload: pre-built activity guides and assessments.
Activity guides span varied topics throughout the course. Topics are timely, relevant, and interesting to students.Instead of having to come up with what to do from scratch, Achieve presents a step-by-step guide for preparing and implementing the activity. You get everything you need to do, including tools like worksheets, presentation slides, and even iClicker questions when available.
Take a closer look at Instructor Activity Guides:
The assessment engine within Achieve is mobile-friendly and meets accessibility standards. Students can see it and use it on any device. It links the interactive e-book, hints, course-specific resources, and a variety of tools that can help with homework assignments. The assessment engine also gives students detailed feedback as they work, making it easier to address any errors or misconceptions.
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The Winter Olympics are almost over, but there's still time to engage your stats students with some new online learning tools and resources. Check out some of our winter sports examples and problems, and see how Achieve is changing the game.
Kokoska's Introductory Statistics: A Problem-Solving Approach, 10e helps students develop the fundamental lifelong skill of solving problems and interpreting solutions in real-world terms. Take a look at this Sports and Leisure example:
Tour Achieve for Kokoska 10e to see the tools and resources designed for use before, during and after class.
Students apply their knowledge with the following snowboarding problem from The Basic Practice of Statistics, 9e.
Take a tour of Achieve for BPS 9e to see the digital resources that support in-class learning as well as independent studying.
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Are you watching the Winter Olympics? Macmillan has statistics examples and problems to compliment your watching experience! With downloadable data sets and guided practice, Achieve for Statistics deepens your students’ statistical knowledge while giving you an insight into class performance. Built-in coaching tools—hints, detailed feedback, and fully worked solutions—guide students toward the correct answers. By stating, planning and solving the problem, students gain a better understanding of concepts.
Check out the following exercise from Chapter 2 of The Basic Practice of Statistics , 9e.
Watch the video below to learn more about our data sets and video technology.
Find your rep or request access to Achieve to see this data set and more!
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Use the 2022 Winter Olympics to boost student engagement in your statistics course! The right example could spark your students’ interest in the material–something that is especially important after the last couple years. Check out the following example from The Basic Practice of Statistics , 9e to see how ‘randomness’ turned silver to bronze in 2006.
The Basic Practice of Statistics , 9e uses examples and exercises from a wide variety of topic areas that use current, real data to provide students insight into how and why statistics are used to make decisions in the real world.
Achieve for The Basic Practice of Statistics , 9e connects the trusted Four-Step problem-solving approach and real world examples in the book to rich digital resources that foster further understanding and application of statistics. Watch the video below to learn more about Achieve and the resources available for statistics.
To learn more, request access to Achieve or contact your rep today!
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With the Olympic Games returning for the Winter, we’re looking at the stats of our favorite teams and Olympic athletes! Take advantage of this opportunity to introduce some of the harder statistics concepts and use examples that are current and relevant.
Request access to Achieve and see how the e-book engages students with real-life examples and interactives. The e-book offers highlighting, note-taking, offline access, and screenreader functionality.
Data sets and Video Technology Manuals are available for commonly used statistical software, including Excel, SPSS, R, Minitab, and many others.
Take inspiration from the content and cover of Kokoska’s Introductory Statistics: A Problem-Solving Approach!
Learn more about Achieve for Statistics or sign up for a demo for a one-on-one tour.
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Research experience is essential for the ongoing education of many students. As an instructor, you may have developed research tasks, implemented them into your course, and sought supporting personnel to ensure your students learn the essentials. CUREs, or course-based undergraduate research experiences, provide undergraduates a form of apprenticeship-style research experience.
Dolan and Weaver’s A Guide to Course-based Undergraduate Research offers guidance and some of the best practices on how to provide research experiences outside of the lab. One of the first things to take into account when planning to implement a CURE, is that students bring with them certain types of background knowledge and skills, and have different areas of knowledge that need to be developed. Knowing about your students skill levels should help guide the structure of the CURE, including which instruments and materials will be needed, which sections of the project will be “practice” versus novel exploration, and how much time will be devoted to each aspect of the experience.
If you would prefer to adapt an existing CURE, you can choose to do so separately from other instructors who teach that CURE, or you can join a group of users implementing the CURE at multiple other institutions.
Consider these existing programs:
Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) at the University of Texas at Austin: https://cns.utexas.edu/fri
Science Education Alliance-Phage Hunters program (SEA-PHAGES): https://seaphages.org/
How do you introduce research experiences in your course?
To learn more about developing and implementing CUREs, get your copy of A Guide to Course-based Undergraduate Research today!
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As winter break approaches and students prepare for final exams and projects, instructors are busy writing and grading those finals and discovering how well students actually understood the material. With the mix of available virtual and in-person courses, the consideration of different types of assessments becomes very complex.
Courses in STEM disciplines often cover a large amount of material that tends to encourage superficial learning instead of the more ideal deep approach to learning. Additionally, STEM courses seem to have a threatening and anxiety-provoking assessment system.
Summative assessment is the assessment of student learning; it is usually an exam, final project or report that provides a score on that student’s performance but rarely offers timely or effective feedback. But these final exams and evaluations are inherently necessary in the framework of our education system. What remains is to learn how to use summative assessment as a learning tool. Consider the ideas in the table below for your own test-taking processes.
During the test
Immediate feedback assessment technique
Prior to return of the test
After the return of the test
Highlighting missed material
How do you make use of summative assessments?
Explore the various types of assessments and strategies for their use in Assessment in the College Classroom.
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Available for the first time with Macmillan's new online learning tool Achieve , Susan Karr’s Environmental Science for a Changing World 4e uses an engaging, journalistic approach. The resources in Achieve are designed to provide opportunities for students to deepen their Environmental Science knowledge, while instructors gain insight into class performance and comprehension.
NEW Decision Point Simulations A short video sets up the activity addressing the dilemma or topic from various perspectives. Students are asked to make a decision based on the information given. Students can see the environmental, economic and social impacts of their decisions.
How would you use these tools to encourage active learning in your classroom?
Learn more about Achieve for Environmental Science
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