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Explore the latest trends, tips, and experiences in college life in this blog written by fellow students.

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PreK-12Higher EducationProfessional

  • Body Unboxed podcast illustration of person running.

    Podcasts: Study Smarter, Not Harder!

    Mikayla Wallace

    Podcasts have become a valuable tool in higher education, offering numerous benefits to students and educators. For students, podcasts offer a more conversational and engaging approach to learning. They can be accessed anytime and anywhere, allowing students to engage with educational content at their own pace. A study conducted by researchers at Kent State University found that students felt weekly podcast summaries enhanced their comprehension and helped with test preparation, resulting in higher mean test scores (Francom et al., 2011). For educators, podcasts offer a medium to extend their reach and share their expertise with a wider audience. Podcasts can also supplement in-person lectures by providing additional explanations, examples, and real-world applications. 

    In my experience, having access to a podcast that was hosted by one of my professors, who also wrote the textbook for the course, provided a credible resource that enhanced my knowledge of the subject. What made it particularly valuable was that all the information was seamlessly synced across various learning platforms, including online lectures, podcast episodes, and eText. As a student who appreciates multitasking, I found the availability of a podcast format to be a game-changer. It allowed me to engage with the course material without being glued to my screen or textbook. I could listen to the podcast while going for a walk, cooking, or commuting, which helped me make the most of my time. Moreover, one of the standout benefits of podcasts is the conversational tone they provide compared to traditional in-person lectures. The podcast format made learning feel more interactive and engaging, as if I were conversing with the professor. Additionally, I had the flexibility to pause, rewind, and replay sections, which allowed me to reinforce key concepts at my own pace and ensure a solid understanding. Overall, the availability and convenience of the podcast format, along with its conversational nature and self-paced learning opportunities, enriched my education.

    I am a fan of the Pearson Body Unboxed podcast episodes because they provide an opportunity to delve deeper into the concepts discussed in the textbooks, all while maintaining relevance and covering trending topics. What I truly appreciate about the episodes co-hosted by Dr. Joan Salge Blake is that every episode features real-world issues from some of the top nutrition scientists, writers, and researchers. This is especially important to me because I want to know that the information that I am listening to is current and accurate. Moreover, the podcasts have the perfect duration. As a student, I often struggle with extended periods of listening to a single person discussing a topic. Thankfully, the podcast episodes are around 30 minutes in length, allowing them to cover the key concepts effectively. This concise format also proves beneficial when it comes to note-taking for studying purposes. The Pearson Body Unboxed podcast episodes are invaluable resources that encourage students to focus on the essential concepts and provide a refreshing break from in-person lectures and textbook reading.

    Podcasts have revolutionized higher education by offering a wide range of benefits for both students and educators. The availability of podcasts from reputable sources provides students with additional resources and insights to enhance their understanding of course materials. Incorporating podcasts into higher education can enrich the learning experience and support student's academic success.


    Francom, J., Ryan, T., & Kariuki, M. (2011). The Effects of Podcasting on College Student Achievement and Attitude. Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology, 7(1). Retrieved July 12, 2023, from

  • Three-dimensional model of head and neck muscles with labels in Practice Anatomy Lab 4.0

    Dissecting Pearson’s Practice Anatomy Lab 4.0

    Micah Elpers

    Every student knows how hard it is to study for lab exams. You spend hours in lab making observations, doing experiments, collecting data, dissecting specimens, etc. just to leave and hope that you took enough photos and wrote down enough information to be useful later. These pictures are often blurry, and you can’t go back and look at your work to take better ones which makes it feel impossible to study for exams! This frustration is what makes Pearson’s PAL (Practice Anatomy Lab) 4.0 the perfect study tool for students! PAL 4.0 is a program composed of 3D models, diagrams, real life cadaver photos, flashcards, and so much more. It is designed to help students get the same experience online that they did in the lab. Now you don’t have to scour the internet looking for “sheep heart dissection” photos!

    PAL Learning Program 

    PAL 4.0 is designed to help students with challenging anatomical concepts. The program consists of all the body systems and provides students with various options for learning. These options include anatomical models, a manipulatable 3D model, cadaver photos, histology, and flashcards. All these different styles appeal to different learners! Some students may be wary of the cadaver photos so they can use the anatomical model instead. Some students are visual learners, and some are not. I love all the different formats; I always struggle trying to find diagrams that teach me what I want to know. PAL 4.0 allows me to study in ways I haven’t been able to before!

    Mastering 3D simulation

    In the PAL 4.0 mastering 3D simulation, you can interact with an anatomical model. The model can be manipulated and viewed from any angle. With the muscular system model, the muscles included in the group you’re studying are highlighted on the figure. If you click on a muscle, a textbox will appear and tell you the name, give you the pronunciation, allow you to hide the muscle, or isolate it. The isolation feature separates the muscle from the body and gives you a 3D image perspective of every angle of that muscle. This feature is incredibly useful because it demonstrates how the muscle looks on its own and how it fits with the body.

    See the real thing

    I always struggled in classes that didn’t have hands-on applications, like theoretical math, biology at a cellular level, etc. I always learn better when I can see what something looks like in real life. While seeing a cadaver can be shocking at first, being able to identify things you’re learning about, in real pictures, can change how you see them. A drawing of a deltoid muscle doesn’t show the detail that a picture of the real muscle can portray. The PAL 4.0 cadaver photos allow you to see the intricate details of the human muscular system. This has helped me with exams because I remember where those muscles are in my own body. 

    Who doesn’t like flashcards?

    I haven’t met a college student who doesn’t use flashcards for at least one of their classes; they are an easy way to learn definitions and simple topics. In anatomy, flashcards can be hard to use. How can I make flashcards for something I have to identify? Pearson’s PAL 4.0 provides students with excellent flashcards for every body system and specific region. Once you select a deck, you can choose to study them all or just some of the structures. PAL 4.0 then creates the personalized deck just for you. You’re then presented with an image of the structure you want to study; the other side of the flashcard has the definition. You can zoom in and out of the picture and pan it to get the full idea of the image. There is also an option to quiz yourself. A multiple-choice question will appear and ask you to identify the structure you saw. This amazing feature prepares you for any anatomy diagram a professor might throw at you.

    Between the flashcards, the cadaver images, and the 3D simulation, PAL 4.0 really has students’ success in mind. School can be incredibly overwhelming, especially when you don’t have the materials you need to succeed. Thankfully, Pearson consistently equips students with resources to minimize the stress of college.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

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    Accounting made easy with MyLab

    Calli Jansen

    Assets, liabilities, and stockholder equity are three things that come to mind when you think of accounting. At surface value, these topics don’t seem to be super complicated, but when you begin applying them to balance sheets, income statements, and statement of cash flows, things can really start sinking quick! As a business major who one day hopes to open her own assisted living facility, the basics of accounting seemed like pretty important topics for me to master. The learning aids in Pearson’s MyLab Accounting have been a key to this process.

    Personalized feedback

    While I was taking my accounting courses I found myself constantly referencing the Help Me Solve This feature located within the homework section. It gave me personalized feedback for the concepts in each assignment. It also offered examples for me to work with and directed me to applicable sections in the textbook to help further my understanding. This learning aid helped me master how to create a balance sheet and solidified my understanding of assets and liabilities.

    Additionally, because of the algorithmic style of how the questions are created from the text, the Help Me Solve This feature provided me with unlimited opportunities to apply my knowledge from all angles. This also coincided with the personalized study plan that was offered through the MyLab. The study plan was tailored to my needs based on test and homework results. It created interactive tutorial links to specific topics I was struggling with as well as guided solutions and tons of learning aids.

    eText Anytime

    Another great thing that comes within the Help Me Solve This feature is the option to open the eText to the portion I was struggling with. The book was easy to navigate because of its organization as well as its options to highlight and take notes all in one place, even when I wasn’t connected to Wi-Fi. I liked that no matter where I was and no matter the circumstances, I could study and keep up with my homework.

    All of these tools collectively helped me earn a 4.0 in my accounting courses and gain a thorough understanding of the concepts of accounting. I now have a foundation that has helped me grasp more concepts that I have encountered in other business courses. The Help Me Solve This feature definitely contributed to my success in the required accounting coursework and my level of confidence in my ability to correctly use accounting skills.


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    MyLab Accounting: My survival tool for managerial accounting

    Avni Bali

    As a Supply Chain and Finance double major, I never liked taking classes that were not of my interest. At Rutgers Business School, however, all students are required to take two accounting classes, one being managerial accounting. This class is noted as one of the hardest classes and every student always hears, “protect your GPA, don’t take this class until you have to!”

    My Lifesaver

    With a strong fear that this class would probably ruin my semester, I was nervous. However, once the class started up I was introduced to Pearson’s MyLab Accounting. MyLab became my lifesaver and helped me push through the tough material.The ability of having access to the e-text allowed me to study anywhere and anytime. The text correlated to the homework, so when tackling those problems I was able to read through the material to understand it better.

    Breaking It All Down

    MyLab also breaks down each question into multiple steps, showing how the numbers build up. We were given in-class problems to attempt and I was able to solve them because the broken down problems in MyLab helped me understand the concepts.This was a source of confidence for me as I took the course. Accounting is not a topic that interests me highly, but working through MyLab made it easier for me to push through.

    I highly recommend students using their MyLab to its fullest potential. There are so many features in there that will help you succeed and strengthen your skills. It is a tool that really helps give students assistance on topics that could be hard. The breakdown of problems, simulations, and e-text resources are the features that made my accounting experience worthwhile. For a class that was required and is one of the hardest at Rutgers, I was proud that I not only survived but did well. MyLab helped me succeed.


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    Mastering Environmental Science: A Key to Success

    Teyana Pryor

    As a Business Management major, I will admit that science is not my best subject. In fact, it’s my least favorite subject. But it is a general graduation requirement for my degree so I chose to take Environmental Science. I was prepared to struggle a little in this course but soon became aware of a tool that helped me achieve my goal of making an A.

    A Financial Perk

    I registered for Science 1101 for Fall 2017 and we had to use Pearson’s Mastering Environmental Science to complete our homework. I wasn’t aware of the length of time that I would receive access, until I registered for 1102 the next semester (Spring 2018) and discovered that I did not have to purchase another access code! Any college student knows the financial struggle behind purchasing access codes. Other products would have only given me access until a few weeks after the end of the semester. I purchased Mastering Environmental Science one time in August 2017 and I have access to it until February 2019. THAT IS INCREDIBLE and music to any college students’ ears! It was one less item I had to worry about purchasing and one step closer to success in my science course. If your university has similar requirements, take the courses back to back to save money! That is, hands down, one of the biggest perks of Pearson’s products.

    What helped the most

    The Study Area within Mastering Environmental Science was the biggest help while taking these courses. It tested my knowledge on a topic by providing multiple opportunities to get the questions right. At the end, it would show me which topics I mastered and the ones I needed to work on a little more. It definitely helped that the professor pulled test questions from the homework as well. Regardless of which section I was in, there was always a button to refer to the eText, and it opened in a new tab so I could have it right beside the window that my homework was on.

    I did take both of my required science courses back-to-back and I made A’s in both courses. I even commended the department on making the decision to use Pearson as their access to homework online. Any student should consider using Pearson products for their classes, regardless of whether they are required or not. There are study tools within the product that ensure that you are prepared for exams and are studying the materials in an efficient manner. I can confidently say that Mastering Environmental Science played a major role in my success in science 1101 and 1102.


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    MyLabs and Mastering: Improving Results for Math Students

    Jennifer Brown

    As a student at Lake-Sumter State college, I often used online math labs, such as Pearson’s MyLab and Mastering, to do homework and submit quizzes. I found the program extremely beneficial, especially during my statistics course. Students need to be aware of the advantages of MyLabs and Mastering so they’ll will be more prepared to make the most of the resources included. Here are the four tools I found to be the most helpful.

    Help with Homework

    The prerequisite section within MyLab Math helped me master the skills I needed to get started on my homework. This section was usually available before the actual course content was. When I took Liberal Arts math, I used this section frequently. It had been a year since the last time I had taken a math course and I felt I had lost some skills. Math is a process that requires you to master one section before moving on to the next. During this course, I went through multiple sections of the prerequisite section to review and hone in on the skills I thought I had forgotten. As someone who has struggled with math, this section was invaluable as I went through not only Liberal Arts Math, but also Statistics.

    Communicate with Instructors

    During my Introduction to Statistics course, perhaps one of the best tools I found through MyLab Math was the Email Your Teacher tool. It was a life-saver for the problems where I became stuck while preparing for an upcoming test. My professor was so prompt about replying to our questions via email. Due to the fact that all our homework was turned in through MyLab Math, she knew each problem we covered and whether any related problems caused other students to struggle. Likewise, when I took a developmental math course, this tool was a great asset for me. As a first-year student, taking a developmental class was embarrassing, but it certainly paid off when I earned an A in the course. I often emailed my professor about questions to make sure I worked problems correctly.

    Learn through Examples

    I also often used the “Example” tool when I was in my first math course of college. The tool was tricky to use at first. I realized that if you chose to use the example tool you forfeited your chance at trying the problem on your own and the points associated with that. Sometimes I had trouble understanding the examples themselves because they were explained in a more complicated manner. The great thing was that students in my course took the initiative to bring their laptops into class to show our professor problems they were stuck on and we would review them before class.

    Review for Tests

    One last benefit I found from the MyLab Math was using it as a review for my upcoming tests. For one of my math courses, the professor created a section just for reviewing problem sets. When I started studying for a test, I used this section along with reviewing previous homework assignments by redoing the problems. A unique factor in this program was that it included multiple options for a problem. That is, if I wanted to do a similar problem, I could just reset the problem and go through the different options for that problem. Like my professors stated, practice is key! This review was just what I needed to prepare for my exams because most questions were like our homework assignments.

    I highly encourage any student to consider using MyLab Math for their upcoming math classes. This helpful study tool saved my math grade. Whether it be an intro level or an upper level statistics course, the benefits of this product are endless.


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    eBooks: A Nerd's Perspective

    Rena Ansbacher

    There is no denying it, I am pretty much the nerdiest nerd you will ever know. I love books. Really, I LOVE all of them. I love hardcover books. I love soft cover books. I now love electronic books, but I didn’t at first.  Contrary to many of my millennial counterparts, I didn’t jump on the “digital eBook craze” right away. In fact, for the longest time I actually preferred physical books over eBooks – until I came across a tool that saved my grade.

    Physical books might sometimes be heavy or difficult to lug around, especially before a big exam, but I absolutely enjoy the feeling of having a tangible book in my hands! My hesitation towards trying eBooks included that physical books don’t need an internet connection or an additional access code to view them – which means I can view them anytime or anywhere.  

    However, there are some significant disadvantages that may far outweigh the advantages of physical books. For example, physical textbooks get out of date. I have purchased the wrong edition of a textbook for an important class too many times to count!

    There is a big advantage towards electronic books that I recently discovered –  Pearson eBooks usually include MyLabs. I cannot express how amazing MyLab is! Whenever available, I take full advantage of all the great things MyLab has to offer. Even when my class does not use a Pearson textbook, I often buy access to a similar book related to the same subject that offers MyLab. I like to utilize the built in study materials such as Dynamic Study models that adjust my studying towards subjects that need the most attention!

    MyLab offers index cards that are amazingly accurate and provide me the focus I need to perform well on my homework assignments and exams. There is also a proliferation of practice quizzes and practice homework assignments that are spot-on to my needs. What is perhaps my favorite feature would have to be how amazing MyLab is at gauging where my trouble areas lie and providing me with more questions in those areas to help me understand them better through more repetition. This is in contrast to other products that simply ask the same questions over and over again hoping that something will click. Thanks to MyLab, I was able to pass all my classes with flying colors.

    Despite my hesitation towards jumping onto the eBook bandwagon, I must admit now that my nerdy self is an eBook fanatic because of the additional features. You cannot get Dynamic flashcards or practice quizzes that adapt to your needs in a printed hardcopy version of a textbook. So despite not having the “feel” of crisp pages beneath my fingertips, I am more than willing to trade it for tools that will better my grade and my understanding of the subject material.


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    Getting a Foot in the Door: How I Used MyLab IT To Jump Start My Nursing Career

    Kayleigh Burke

    When I was five years old, my younger sister was born with complications resulting in a prolonged hospital stay. Sitting at the bedside, I watched in fascination as the nurses ran the show. It was almost like a dance the way they flew around the room, checking on patients, giving medications, and comforting loved ones. I was immediately drawn to the field. Nursing was my calling.

    Searching for a way to begin

    Fast forward fifteen years later and I was finally ready to apply to nursing school. However, the year long wait between applications and beginning the program seemed to drag on forever. As I awaited my acceptance I felt it was time to enter the medical field, even if it meant starting at the bottom. Unfortunately, with no medical license or experience, even starting at the bottom turned out to be difficult. Hoping to get a foot in the door, I began taking medical assisting classes. To my surprise, a computer science class that I had signed up for on a whim ended up being my golden ticket.

    Doors began opening

    This computer course used Pearson’s MyLab IT software to simulate scenarios in which Microsoft applications may be used in a professional setting. The simulation sessions allow for user-friendly, interactive learning so that the information will not be forgotten. Each time a section of the course is completed, Pearson awards the user with a digital badge to declare proficiency in the subject. At first, I just used these badges to spruce up my previously barren LinkedIn page. But after reflecting on how much I had learned using Pearson’s interactive learning style, I realized that these badges were more than decorations. With my new proficiency in Microsoft applications, I saw doors open up on the administrative side of medicine.

    My IT skills set me apart

    I applied for an administrative position at a local medical organization and heard back promptly. The first question the hiring manager asked was in regards to my experience using Microsoft applications, and, more specifically, Excel. Impressed by my Pearson’s MyLab IT software experience, she invited me in for an interview. Being familiar with Microsoft Excel, Word, Access, and Powerpoint were skill-sets that helped set me apart from other candidates during the hiring process, despite my lack of experience in the field.

    Training the trainers

    Shortly after being hired, I found myself sharing tips and tricks about using Excel with colleagues who were supposed to be training me. Microsoft Excel has many innovative features, but, without the proper training, most of these features go to waste. There is definitely a difference between understanding how to use Excel versus using Excel to its full potential. Sharing what I learned from MyLab IT training has improved efficiency throughout my entire department. Using Microsoft Excel continues to be a crucial part of my job, and Pearson’s program prepared me to use the program effectively within the work place.

    A solid foundation

    Now, as I finish up nursing school, I remain a valued employee within this organization. In a few months, I will graduate and hope to transfer to a nursing position within the same organization. Thanks to Pearson, I was able to begin my career path and build a foundation for my future.