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  • College student looking at a laptop while studying in a group

    A Partnership for Success: How Carlos de la Lama uses MyLab to empower instructors and students

    Carlos de la Lama has integrated Pearson’s MyLab platform into approximately 80% of the courses he teaches.

    How did Pearson earn pride of place in the curricula of an esteemed higher ed math instructor with decades of experience?

    Carlos attributes his long partnership with Pearson to the strong relationships he has cultivated with Pearson representatives. These connections keep him at the forefront of technological advancements and enable him to utilize MyLab’s many resources to help his students succeed.

    Emphasizing accessible learning materials

    Pearson’s commitment to supporting every learner with accessible content and platforms is a primary reason why MyLab is Carlos’s go-to resource.

    When Carlos was teaching at Southwestern College in 2017, the school updated their accessibility standards and requested that any publisher they work with comply with the new changes.

    Many publishers refused, but Pearson saw SC’s change as an opportunity for growth and collaboration. By partnering with SC, Pearson ensured its platforms were accessible and became one of the few publishers that could provide services to the institution.

    Recently, the commitment to accessibility begun at SC earned Pearson the prestigious Global Certified Accessibly Certification (GCA) from Benetech.

    Balancing structure and customization in math instruction

    As an instructor, Carlos finds MyLab’s wealth of diverse and difficulty-tiered questions unparalleled. This flexibility allows him to tailor assessments and homework to meet the unique needs of his students.

    For example, Carlos strategically deploys MyLab in courses with historically low student success rates, such as Intermediate Algebra. By incorporating MyLab content into assessments and finals, spacing them strategically over weeks, and introducing pre-assessments as non-credit prerequisites, Carlos has been able to significantly improve math test scores, indicating heightened student engagement and mastery.

    For face-to-face courses, Carlos recommends starting small and carefully structuring individualized homework. Emphasizing the development of prerequisites, he believes, has been instrumental in his success.

    In hybrid or online courses, he says the same principles apply, with added considerations for assessment administration and leveraging MyLab resources to foster engagement.

    Helping students find success

    For Carlos, Pearson’s MyLab is an indispensable ally, shaping not only his teaching methodologies but also contributing significantly to increased student success. In the ever-evolving landscape of education, Carlos’s story stands as a beacon for instructors seeking to elevate the learning experience.

    Want to know more? Discover how to transform your teaching with MyLab Math.

  • College students looking at a laptop together on campus steps

    Transforming Education with Revel: Empowering Instructors & Increasing Student Engagement at North Carolina A&T

    By Liz Lebold

    North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (North Carolina A&T) is the leading public historically black college and university (HBCU). This renowned institution demonstrates its commitment to diversity and inclusivity with a student body of 13,300, where 89% are underrepresented minorities. Offering an impressive array of 54 undergraduate and 41 graduate degrees, the university provides first-class education to all.

    The key figure in this educator spotlight is Dr. Antoinette Maldonado-Devincci, an instructor at North Carolina A&T since 2016. She has made a remarkable impact on her students by incorporating Revel into her Biological Psychology (PSYC 361) course. Her choice to adopt Revel was driven by its contemporary, student-friendly content, which explores emerging areas like epigenetics.

    Keeping Students Engaged

    However, it's not just the content that makes Revel stand out for Dr. Maldonado-Devincci. She found Revel's interactive features and diverse resources to be highly effective in catering to different learning styles, resulting in increased student engagement. She compares Revel to "MindTap on steroids," highlighting the wealth of resources the platform offers to get students involved in the learning process, such as the shared writing assignments, which replace traditional discussion boards. They foster peer interaction and significantly reduce her grading workload.

    Diversity in Assignment Options

    One of the core strengths of Revel, according to Dr. Maldonado-Devincci, is the ability to provide multiple avenues for students to earn grades outside of traditional testing methods that are less intimidating than standard exams. The platform's iterative approach to learning, alongside bite-sized chunks of content and in-chapter quizzes, fosters a less punitive assessment process than a single high-stakes exam. This approach not only eases the pressure on students but also creates a more supportive and constructive learning environment.

    Diminishing the Grading Burden

    Revel's efficiency simplifies content management and diminishes the burden of grading for Dr. Maldonado-Devincci, allowing her to assign content and quizzes without being overwhelmed by grading responsibilities. The platform's intuitive course creation and management features are user-friendly, benefiting experienced users and adjunct instructors. Dr. Maldonado-Devincci appreciates the convenience Revel offers, making her teaching experience seamless.

    In Dr. Maldonado-Devincci's words, "I appreciate being able to assign all the content and quizzes, so they get more interaction with the material without overloading me when it comes to the grading aspect of it."

    Support for Educators

    Pearson's dedicated support has been pivotal in Dr. Maldonado-Devincci's success with Revel. A Pearson representative provided essential support during course creation and the first semester.

    Dr. Antoinette Maldonado-Devincci's Revel success story at North Carolina A&T underscores the transformative impact of digital learning platforms. A combinations of Revel's engaging content, diverse resources, and Pearson's support have empowered her as an educator and enriched the learning experience for her students.

    Read more about Dr. Maldonado-Devincci's experience with Revel in the full instructor spotlight.

    What can Revel do for you and your students?

    Learn more about Revel.

  • A stethoscpe resting on a computer keyboard.

    4 Engaging Features of MyLab Medical Terminology

    By Roena Clarke

    Other higher education instructors ask me what I use to keep my students engaged in courses that involve a lot of memorization and how do I build confidence and deepen their understanding in the material?

    I teach online Medical Terminology as well as nursing courses for three different colleges. MyLab Medical Terminology by Pearson has been one of my go-to resources for 12 years because it helps me keep my online students invested in their learning.

    Features that make learning dynamic and fun

    Medical terminology, outside of being difficult, can be tedious at times. With all those root words, prefixes and suffixes to remember, students are essentially being asked to learn a new language in the span of a single course. A spelling or pronunciation error could be vital to a patient’s life.

    To help my students overcome this challenge, the features of MyLab Medical Terminology are designed to promote active learning, which makes the process of mastery more enjoyable and effective.

  • College students listening in a lecture

    The Success of the First-Ever Learning Catalytics Summit

    By Pearson

    At Pearson, we’re always listening to faculty and students and, recently, we kept hearing one refrain over and over — classroom engagement was at an all-time low. Fortunately, we knew just what to do. In fact, we had a solution ready.

    For years, Pearson’s Learning Catalytics interactive student response tool has been helping instructors and students connect in meaningful ways. As soon as we knew classroom engagement was lagging, we knew we needed to host a Learning Catalytics Summit to help more instructors learn how to use — and make the most of — this incredible tool.

    On August 1, we hosted the first-ever Learning Catalytics Summit to great acclaim. Attendees participated in four different webinar sessions hosted by Learning Catalytics experts. Each session focused on a specific advantage of Learning Catalytics, but they all spoke to the ways the student response tool can help instructors see learning as it happens.

    The overall message: Learning Catalytics is a powerful student response and assessment tool. As session-leader Aaron Warnock said, “Learning Catalytics — and I cannot exaggerate — revolutionized my classroom.” Brad Mehrtens concurred in his session, adding, “Learning Catalytics makes a huge difference in student engagement at any scale.”

    How Does Learning Catalytics Work?

    Designed to work on laptops and all common smart devices, Learning Catalytics gives instructors a way to connect directly to students and know when everyone is following a lesson and when some are falling behind. This real-time assessment allows instructors to adjust their teaching in-the-moment and address student confusion before it becomes a problem.

    Learning Catalytics empowers instructors to:

    • Engage students with 18 question types that include graphing, drawing, multiple choice selections, open-ended dialogues, and more
    • Identify misconceptions and monitor responses to find out where students are struggling
    • Facilitate peer-to-peer learning with automatic grouping of students so that every group has a member who understands the material

    These features are available whether the class is in-person or online, making Learning Catalytics useful in every teaching environment. As Brad Mehrtens said about his experience using Learning Catalytics with even difficult-to-connect-with classrooms, “[The students] were there, they were engaged. [Learning Catalytics] works… It’s the only thing that works.”

    What Did the Learning Catalytics Summit Cover?

    The summit’s four unique sessions provided a wealth of information on how Learning Catalytics works and how instructors can use it in all kinds of classroom settings and situations. An hour-long each, the sessions included:

    “Unleashing the Power of Learning Catalytics in a Hybrid Environment” with Aaron Warnock

    Aaron Warnock’s session focused primarily on the way Learning Catalytics’ question-and-answer function helps instructors connect with students and students learn better in hybrid environments. Aaron showed audiences how students can answer questions by drawing graphs, clicking on different regions of an image, highlighting relevant information, evaluating complex problems, or simply filling in a multiple choice answer.

    Aaron noted that the different question types give instructors a lot of flexibility in the ways they monitor student learning. Plus, the questions make it easier to get students to answer without them feeling uncomfortable, because everyone participates and no one feels put on the spot.

    “When I saw Learning Catalytics for the first time, and the eighteen different question types that are available, I was instantly sold,” Aaron said. “It creates a fantastic, engaging learning environment for students.”

    “Transforming Large-Classroom Activities with Learning Catalytics” with Brad Mehrtens

    Being a professor who routinely teaches classes as large as 600 students, Brad Mehrtens understands the challenges of connecting with students. In his session, he spoke to how Learning Catalytics helps him keep students engaged in even the largest lecture halls.

    After regularly watching class attendance dwindle — particularly after the COVID-19 pandemic — he started using Learning Catalytics. He immediately had a much better sense of how well his students were learning and, to his delight, attendance evened out.

    “I was as deflated by the pandemic as anyone was, and Learning Catalytics has made me excited about teaching again,” Brad says. “And I don’t say that lightly. It has completely recharged my battery and made it fun to be back in the classroom”

    “Connecting with Learning Catalytics for Success Throughout Your Course” with Pamela Sandstrom

    A number of years ago, Pamela Sandstrom was using other types of student response tools — but that all changed. “Once I switched [to Learning Catalytics], I’ve never even thought about using any other instant response system because of how much [Learning Catalytics] can do,” she said in her summit session.

    Centered on the ways Learning Catalytics can positively impact a course at multiple moments and in numerous ways, Pamela’s talk discussed how useful the real-time data on student learning is to her instruction.

    “Learning Catalytics provides formative assessment,” she said. “But to me that means that I don’t have to wait till the test, or even till the end of the lecture — [I can see] how they’re doing in the class real time”

    “The Tips and Tricks You Need to Know About Learning Catalytics” with Terry Austin

    During his session, Terry Austin shared his screen to demonstrate exactly how Learning Catalytics works and all the ways he can customize it for the needs of a specific class. As an instructor who has been using Learning Catalytics for a decade, he had a lot of great tips and tricks, ranging from linking Learning Catalytics to a Pearson Mastering class to using it to improve seat maps to incorporating it into classroom presentations.

    “Learning Catalytics is clever,” Terry said, noting how much the tool is capable of doing. As attendees to his session and the summit as a whole learned, he was right. Learning Catalytics can empower instructors to assess student learning in-the-moment, improve student engagement, and make classroom time much more successful.

    As Terry noted, there’s a good reason he’s been using Learning Catalytics for a decade.

  • Professor engaging with students in a discussion.

    Tips to help instructors create inclusive assessments

    By Dr. Terri Moore

    Inclusive Assessing: Are All Students Able to Demonstrate What They Know?

    Inclusive teaching is at the forefront of many discussions among educators in public schools as well as higher educational institutions. And while these discussions can be challenging in some arenas, I believe that teachers would agree their highest achievement is their students’ learning, mastering the course content and applying their new knowledge to their future goals. Success as a teacher equals the highest percentage of students possible demonstrating their course competency throughout the course in formative assessments and at the end of the term with summative assessments of their mastery.

    However, often overlooked in discussions of DE&I are ideas about equitable assessment types. For me, the question is: Am I offering assessments that truly give opportunities for my diverse group of students to demonstrate what they know or have learned? Or am I just relying on my older methods of testing that leave some of my students without a way to show me they really know the material? Am I just asking the wrong questions, or asking them in a way that is confusing or challenging to some groups of students?

    I have become aware that there is a huge gap between asking my students to parrot back the course content on a multiple-choice test and truly assessing their mastery of that content. Can they apply that content? Are they able to reason with this new information at the highest level of learning? Have I given them the opportunity to reach the peak of Bloom’s Taxonomy?

  • Man studying in a college library

    Cultivating Empowered Learners: An educator spotlight on Pearson eTextbooks

    By Pearson

    Justin Hoshaw, associate professor of biology at Waubonsee Community College, knows that an educator must always search for more effective ways to support their students’ learning, which is why he has used Pearson's cutting-edge online learning platforms and eTextbooks in his classes for years.

    Recently, Justin and a colleague conducted an extensive evaluation of their microbiology course, which included the consideration of new options for the course’s primary textbook. During their search, they reviewed Microbiology: Basic and Clinical Principles by Lourdes P. Norman-McKay. Both were so impressed with the eTextbook that they were the first educators in the country to adopt it — even before it was officially published.   

    eTextbook features that support student learning

    eTextbooks offer an array of unique features to support students’ learning.

    1. highlight and take notes
    2. search for a specific term or idea
    3. make flashcards based on key concepts
    4. listen to the audio version*

    The benefits of making the switch to eTextbooks

    Previously, Justin encouraged his students to buy the print version of his course’s textbook, but he changed his mind after witnessing the many advantages of eTextbooks for students and educators.

    For students, the ability to highlight and take notes in the eTextbook can help with overall comprehension. And when it’s time to prepare for assessments, they can use their annotations (as well as the learning objectives that accompany each section) to focus their study efforts and maximize their efficiency. As Justin says, “There are some students that are going to go back and reread the whole chapter when studying for an exam. No, let’s go back and look at those highlights. Look at the comments you added into the text. It will save you time. It will help you focus on those important concepts that you’ve already highlighted and already commented on. You are going to be more successful reflecting on that information.”

    The Pearson+ mobile app that offers both the eTextbook and audiobook options is especially beneficial for busy students. The convenience and flexibility of accessing their course materials on the go helps them keep up with their assignments. “There is a benefit to being able to go through and read the text, but then having the audio to listen to as they are reading, I think that really helps reinforce the information for the students. It helps keep them on track,” says Justin.

    As an educator, Justin also finds many of the features of eTextbooks and the Mastering online learning platform helpful, particularly the instructor dashboard. The analytics provided within Mastering Microbiology help him understand how his students are interacting with the eTextbook. “That was something that caused me to take a second look at having students use the eTextbook, the ability for the faculty member to go in and identify how long students have spent reading, how many comments they’ve made, how many highlights they’ve made,” he says. This is valuable information that Justin can use to support students who are struggling or falling behind in the course.

    The feature Justin found most impressive about Norman-McKay's eTextbook in particular was the way the content guided students through the learning process. "What clinched the deal was the study recommendations and coaching throughout the text,” he says. “I had never seen so many tips for students to keep in mind that would help them understand the material. It was as if the instruction was already embedded into the text and coaching them along.”

    Justin’s students agree that the layout of the content and the tone of the writing made them feel more engaged with the information. “They felt like they had a tutor right there with them while they were reading the text, Justin remarks.

    Pearson partners with innovative authors to create enriching experiences that meet learners where they are and inspire them to love learning. Justin’s experiences with Pearson eTextbooks and online learning platforms has convinced him that he made the right choice to switch from print to digital.

     

    *Audiobook available in most titles

  • Smiling African American teacher giving lecture.

    Tips to Help Instructors Feel Inspired at the Start of a New School Year

    By Dr. Terri Moore

    They’re BAAAAAAAAACK!

    We survived teaching through the COVID-19 pandemic, teaching in the early days post-pandemic, and this year we thought we would be returning to some new normal in our classrooms.

    But wait, there are new (and not so new) mine fields I’m expected to navigate?!

    • ChatGPT??
    • Political climates influencing what and how we teach??
    • Continuing updates to accessibility??
    • Commitments to inclusive teaching??

    I feel a weariness creeping in as I struggle to stay enthusiastic about this new school year. So, I sought solace from like-minded educators and sources to help renew my excitement and confidence about stepping into the limelight with a whole new, unknown group of students.

    I found this quote from a fellow teacher.

  • Guy with a telescope looking up at the moon.

    Get Ready for the 2023 & 2024 U.S. Solar Eclipses!

    By Jeffrey Bennett

    No matter what your field of study, you probably remember the excitement of the 2017 total solar eclipse, which was the first in the US in nearly four decades. Tens of millions of people traveled to the path of totality, and the rest of the country saw a partial solar eclipse. Now we are approaching an even more exciting, back-to-back pair of US eclipses (shown on the map above):

    • Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023: The “warm-up” event: An annular solar eclipse, in which the Moon will not quite fully block the Sun (so that the Moon will be surrounded by a ring, or annulus, of sunlight).
    • Monday, April 8, 2024: The big event: A total solar eclipse following a path from Mexico up through Texas and toward the northeast. More than 30 million people live within the path of totality, and nearly half the U.S. population resides within a about a 5-hour drive of the path.

    Both eclipses will provide a great opportunity for educators everywhere — and in all disciplines — to take advantage of the excitement to promote education and outreach. The “all disciplines” comes about because eclipses are truly interdisciplinary events. For example, besides the obvious connection to astronomy, eclipses involve mathematics and statistics (in modeling how they occur and doing the necessary calculations to predict and understand them), social sciences and history (in considering the many impacts that eclipses have had on human civilization), the arts (prose, poetry, music, painting), and much more.

    This means that it is time to start planning for how you will take advantage of this great opportunity. For those of you teaching at the college level, consider taking the following four steps:

    1. Be sure you know where you are located relative to the eclipse paths. You can do this using the free app “Totality by Big Kid Science”, which you can download from the iOS or Android app stores. Based on your location, decide whether you will plan to stay put or travel to the eclipse paths.
    2. Also use the app to find the local time for each of the eclipses, and critically important: Because the total eclipse is on a Monday (April 8, 2024), ask your college to ensure that all students, faculty, and employees can be outside throughout the local eclipse. (The annular eclipse on 10/14/23 is a Saturday, so it should pose less of an issue.)
    3. Plan campus events for the eclipses. Most people find it more fun to watch the eclipse as part of a large group, plus this means you can have speakers to help explain what is happening (and how to watch safely) and to make interdisciplinary connections. You should also have your astronomy department (or anyone else with the necessary equipment) set up telescopes with solar filters for solar viewing.
      Note: It is very important to emphasize safe viewing of the eclipse; it will be very helpful if your campus can provide eclipse glasses for the event, but be sure you get the glasses only from a vendor that has been approved by the American Astronomical Society (see the “approved vendor list”).
    4. Look for outreach opportunities to ensure that the educational potential of the eclipses will be realized throughout your local community. For example, you might create a temporary “eclipse outreach club” that will give college students an opportunity to share their understanding and enthusiasm with local schools.

    Want to learn more? If you are teaching astronomy, be sure to see our updated section on eclipses in Chapter 2 of the new, 10th edition of The Cosmic Perspective.

  • Student working at a laptop computer

    Using Mastering Microbiology to Empower Student Learning

    By Warner B. Bair III, Ph.D.

    Mastering Microbiology is the online Learning Management System that accompanies the textbook Microbiology: An Introduction. Mastering Microbiology is packed full of instructor friendly resources that aid in student learning and understanding. These resources give students 24/7 access to learning opportunities, allowing them to take ownership of their learning. The Mastering Microbiology resources range from providing students with important background knowledge, to adaptive study tools, to clinical based applications of Microbiology. The resources in Mastering Microbiology are pedagogically focused to provide clear explanations of complex concepts and to engage learners in the material by providing practical applications of microbiology concepts.

    The Mastering Microbiology resources available for Microbiology: An Introduction include:

    In The Clinic Videos: These videos bring to life the scenarios of the “In the Clinic” features that open every chapter. The videos introduce a microbial disease and ask questions linking microbiology concepts to disease pathology. This helps students transfer their knowledge of microbiology to clinically relevant settings.

    Pedagogy – The “In the Clinic” Videos are designed to take concepts found in the disease chapters towards the end of the book and move them forward in the class, introducing disease pathology in concert with the microbiology that explains the how and why behind the pathology. This connection between microbiology and disease pathology occurs in a clinical setting highlighting how microbiology understanding can be transferred to patient care. These real-world examples engage learners and help students develop critical thinking skills.

    How to Assign – These assignments can be assigned after class to allow students to apply the new information they have learned. These assignments can also be used in class to provide active learning and/or peer to peer learning in class. An instructor can show the first part of the video and ask students to hypothesize answers to the questions. This will provide a scaffold for student learning while the instructor lectures over the content. Later on, the class can come back to the videos to see content application and spark classroom discussion. In an online setting, instructors can assign these after chapter reading assignments to apply and assess knowledge students have gained.

    MicroBoosters: MicroBoosters are a suite of brief video tutorials that cover key background concepts students may need to review or relearn prior to diving into more complex microbiology content.

    Pedagogy – Complex microbiology concepts often build from prior knowledge based in biology and chemistry. In a one semester Microbiology class, instructors are pressed for time to cover all of the microbiology concepts in detail, and they may not have time to cover all the background material as well. The MicroBooster video tutorials allow students to learn and review key background knowledge, ensuring they come to class prepared.

    How to Assign – MicroBoosters can be assigned before class to give students the background knowledge they need for lecture topics. Assigning Microboosters before class allows the instructor to review student grades prior to class to determine if students know the needed background information for the lecture. In an online setting, Microboosters can be used either as a warmup before chapter content is assigned, or at the start of the class in a background introduction module.

    Interactive Microbiology: Interactive Microbiology is a dynamic suite of interactive tutorials and animations that teach key microbiology concepts. Students actively engage with each topic and learn by manipulating variables, predicting outcomes, and answering assessment questions.

    Pedagogy – Interactive Microbiology takes a scaffolding approach to presenting complex materials. This concept allows different microbiology concepts to build on one another, helping students to understand the answers to questions and mimic the type of thought process that would occur clinically. Each module starts with a case study to provide students with a real-world hook that increases interest and engagement. The activities use state-of-the-art animations to bring cell biology concepts to life and ask questions that allow students to own their learning and connect microbiology concepts to clinical applications. Interactive Microbiology helps to bridge the core concepts of microbiology like morphology, genetics, and metabolism, with the more advanced concepts of microbiology like pathology, immunology, and pharmacology in a realistic manner that makes the learning genuine.

    How to Assign – Interactive Microbiology assignments can be assigned as post-lecture material, reinforcing and providing application for lecture content. These assignments can also be used to introduce upcoming lecture concepts, helping students connect basic knowledge with more advanced concepts.

    Micro Lab Explorations: Micro Lab Explorations are branching style lab activities that use a Choose Your Own Adventure™ approach to teach lab techniques and concepts. These decision-tree style lab exercises present a clinically based scenario that walks students through the process of using microbiology lab knowledge to solve clinical problems.

    Pedagogy – Decision-tree style lab exercises are designed to increase student ownership and interactivity in online environments, by allowing students to engage in the narrative of the lesson. Students are not just passively watching content, but rather directing the path of the content, answering questions, and learning from their mistakes in a low-stakes environment. These activities also help students develop critical thinking skills by linking microbiology concepts and lab techniques with clinical applications.

    How to Assign – Because Micro Lab Explorations contain videos on how to perform certain lab techniques, they are perfect to assign as pre-labs prior to in-person or virtual labs. Students will not only see the proper way to perform lab techniques but will also learn about the concepts behind the lab and how these lab techniques are used to aid in clinical diagnosis.

    Interactive Labs: Interactive Labs for Microbiology is a suite of online microbiology lab simulations. These interactive labs allow students to perform lab techniques virtually, while receiving guided feedback.