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Contributor
What classroom tricks do you use to get students to use the MindTap apps?

Hello,

 

What tricks or tips do you have for encouraging students to use MindTap Apps.  There are excellent tools but my students don't seem to be using them or have any desire to "play" around with them.  Do any of you have any suggestions?

 

Thanks,

Sherri

Accepted Solutions: 2
Commenter
Answered

Good question! I take time during the first week of class to show my students some of the main, or most important apps I want them to be aware of. I show them how to use them and ask them to access them while we are in class. That way it serves as a tutorial, but also we can talk about how to use the apps. I also assign them homework that asks them to use certain apps.

Frequent Commenter
Answered

Great question!  Our students are strategic thinkers who respond to incentives.  I require them to use some of the apps, primarily the Aplia homework, but I demonstrate things like the Adaptive Test Prep in class.  The key is to do it about a week before an exam.  After the test, when some of them are smarting because they didn't do as well as they would have liked, I demonstrate it again.  

 

In my online classes, I remind students about the Adaptive Test Prep a week or so before each exam. It is also my go-to app when students are unhappy with their performance and don't know how to improve their grades.

 

Amy

 

 

Other Answers: 8
Frequent Commenter
Answered

I have found that students are very strategic, so the best way to get them using apps is to incentivize their use of various apps. In my public speaking classes, I not only require students to take quizzes (CNow), I also require students to create and submit outlines using Outline Builder, and I require them to record and submit practice speeches and peer review using the YouSeeU app. In other classes, I require students to engage using Connect Yard.

 

I do find that it's extremely helpful to show students how easy it is to navigate these apps in the classroom. It's well worth the time we spend, for example, building a sample speech outline together. The first week of class, I also highlight the tools embedded in the text, especially the ReadSpeaker, which students love (I'm not sure what it is about listening to your textbook while washing the dishes, but that is a favorite activity)!

 

Hope these ideas help!

 

Diane

Contributor
Answered

I have never used the MindTap apps but I have a similar experience with the study tools in CNOW - students don't use them much. So one thing that has worked for me to get students to participate is integrating such activities with an assignment or project that has at least 5% of the final grade. It is also good to understand how these apps will help students with mastering the topics and prepare for exams, so that those can also boost participation.

 

I am also eager to find out what other techniques have been used by other faculty in getting students to use different supplemental resources for a course (like videos, apps, etc.) that are not directly tied with any part of their grades.

 

Sinjini

Contributor
Technology
Education
Answered

Great question!  Tricks?! or develop a method to your madness.  Once you sale the required materials in the course then incorporate in-class activities that utilize each resource that you use in Mindtap.  Creating small group or paired activities in class will allow students to first become comfortable navigating Mindtap while they have the support of their peers and teachers. This allows for them to  be familiar with how to utilize the resources when they are completing outside homework and projects!

Rajone A. Lyman, M.Ed.
Cengage
Answered
[ Edited ]

First thing was I had my learning consultant help me understand what each app was for. This way I could point out things I felt would be beneficial to students if they came to me with questions. I have also had my learning consultant come in during one of my first few classes to talk to students about Troubleshooting and additional resources in MindTap. I'm thinking of reworking a project I already do for my course to include the pathbrite app to encourage them to take advantage of this new feature. 

Frequent Commenter
Answered

Show them. I find that students focus only on what is placed directly in front of them; they do not explore the tools in MindTap on their own. If you are teaching face-to-face, carve out a few minutes to demonstrate one of the apps in class. A few days later have a conversation with the class asking them how they used the app.

 

If you are teaching on line, either create a screencast of using the app or host a synchronous meeting where you demonstrate the use of the app. You can record the synchronous meeting to allow students who did not attend the meeting to view it later. Create a discussion board for students to discuss how they used the app for class.

The follow-up discussions let the students know that you find using the app valuable, and creates a culture of peer sharing. 

Valued Contributor
Online Learning
Babson College
Answered
[ Edited ]

I agree that getting students used to using an application like MindTap can be challenging, so some things that I do are to remind students about the testable and important course material in MindTap at the start of each class session. It only takes a minute or two and it gives me a chance to engage with students using the application. Currently, there is not a way (that I'm aware of) for the Instructor to see what shows up in the MindTap mobile app, so I can't speak to that. Instead, most of my students use their laptop to access MindTap for their course work, which is great! As soon as a means for instructors to view the mobile app becomes available, I'll happily check it out!

 

Another 'tip' both myself and @Scott_Rudeen use is to build into the course presentation an opportunity to use the "you decide / you justify" module in the classroom for one or two sessions. This will engage students with MindTap and since you're 'showing' them the value and simplicity of the module, they will likely feel less apprehensive in using it. You can do the same with the Q&A following the video vignettes that may be in your course.

 

The goal is to get the students to see that MindTap is not just another application they have to access, but rather it's an academic tool they can use to get more out of their course and dive deeper into the material. If it's real and relevant to you the instructor, most of your students will see it as important for them as well. 

 

My only caution/reminder is to be certain to link your MindTap back to your institutions' LMS so your students get used to seeing and using both! At some time during the semester, technology will fail, so having a backup plan is always a great idea!
~
@Eugene_Matthews

Valued Contributor
Online Learning
Babson College
Answered
[ Edited ]

I like to start my course off with a pretest to get a baseline for where my students are - this gets us a jump start into the course conversation and engagement.

Frequent Commenter
Answered

I always feel that students should just do what we ask them to do without always being rewarded, ie kids getting a trophy in sports for participation, however, that is not in their nature. What I do to encourage their use of Mindtap is to make assignments in Mindtap part of their grade and assign points. I really do not like having to give points for getting students to do their work but it is a way to encourage their use of the Mindtap product.