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  • instructor teaching in front of a group of students in a auditorium setting

    Inclusive Access in Higher Education: Unlocking Student Success

    By Hilary Duplantis

    Inclusive Access (IA) provides students with a more cost-efficient, success-driven option for obtaining their digital courseware. This program incorporates the cost of their materials directly into their tuition, eliminating the rush to find the funds and correct material for the course at the start of a semester. In addition, it ensures students have their materials from the first day of class, setting them up for success right from the start. Pearson spoke with several people from a variety of roles to get their perspective on IA and how it benefits them, their institutions, faculty, and students.

    Michael Shiftlet is the Digital Publishing Coordinator on the Affordability and Access team at The Ohio State University (OSU). In his role he coordinates and facilitates communication between the publishers, faculty, and their registrar for a smooth IA implementation. Beginning in 2017, OSU started a small-scale pilot, delivering 50 Pearson titles to students in one course. They initially worked with instructors whom they knew were enthusiastic about supporting their students, would be open to the program, and had worked on other affordability initiatives prior. After the first semester's success, enrollment in the program slowly grew each semester, until they rolled out the program in Fall 2020.

    Sarah Cameron, Textbook Manager at West Chester University (WCU) campus bookstore, oversees the entire textbook department, from print to digital to IA. In 2018, WCU began their pilot of the program, hoping to see benefits for their students, both in cost savings and success with first-day access. Since then, they have slowly been adding more classes, with approximately 75% of the courses now participating in IA.

    Pearson also spoke with two instructors in the math department and a bookstore manager from a community college in the Western United States. One of the faculty recognized the value of IA many years ago and has been trying to adopt it at their institution. “Students didn’t have to work so hard to get access codes or to transfer temporary access to permanent access, there was cost savings, and all of that combined with how easily it integrated into Canvas were why I decided to move forward trying to get the permissions we needed.” With eventual approval, and in partnership with the bookstore manager, they decided to start small, piloting IA with two teachers in Fall 2023. They hoped that IA would curb the issue of students entering a course without their course materials, thus unprepared, resulting in falling way behind and potentially not being able to catch up with one instructor saying, “For me it was mostly about pedagogy and actual effectiveness of the classroom with students.” The other primary driver was the hope that it would save their students a significant amount of money.

    The program ran as expected, with a few initial hiccups smoothed out along the way, with the intended benefits noted this first semester. Therefore, they are expanding, adding a few more instructors in Spring 2024. “Luckily, the two teachers who were doing the pilot were not only fantastic but one of them, she has been fighting for Inclusive access for a long time. She’s the reason why we have a pilot because I have always said, you need to find a champion in the faculty.”

    Cost Savings for Students

    Since adopting IA in 2017, OSU is averaging around $7 million dollars per year in savings, with a cumulative total of around $26 million dollars in savings for their students, and an opt-out rate of approximately 0.5%. This cost effectiveness and convenience of course materials being part of the tuition has been appreciated by students, and those without access immediately noticed they were missing out, according to Michael. “Students were actually upset that their class wasn’t using IA. I think that was really the turning point for us and seeing that students were realizing the value of the program and what we were doing as well.”

    According to Sarah, WCU has saved their students approximately $4.1 million dollars since adopting IA in 2018. Sarah has noticed how the cost savings of IA is mutually beneficial as it saves students money, but it also brings business into the bookstore, creating profits for the bookstore, and less headache for the students. “This is really helping them come through us and still get that better price. I think it is good for both of us at the same time. I think it simplifies the process for all of us as well.”

    During the small initial pilot at the community college, students saved an average of $35 per textbook, and with 95 enrollments, that’s an overall savings of approximately $3,325. On top of these savings, students have also appreciated how simple the process was, “The fee they pay is definitely cheaper than the bookstore price and my students really, really, really like how simple it was with not having to go to purchase an access code separately.”

    Day One Access

    According to Sarah, faculty at WCU have appreciated the ease of day one access with IA for students, which has led to the vast majority opting to adopt the program for their courses. “With 75% of courses using it, you can tell they love it. They think it’s great that students are getting what they need on the first day of classes. There’s no stress with course materials when it comes to Inclusive Access.”

    One of the math instructors found the day one access to course materials curbed students’ excuse of not having the materials to do their homework. It has also led to students getting started off and running, fully prepared right from the start, ensuring no one falls behind as they wait for their finances or materials to show up. “Well, I thought it was great that on day one I could expect them to do their homework rather than waiting a couple days while they got their money together and went to the bookstore and bought their access code, and so on and so forth. From day one, I expect them to do their homework and there’s no reason they can’t.”

    Convenience

    The comfort of knowing what their tuition fee will be, including the cost of their materials, is a huge relief for students, according to Sarah. It gives them time to plan ahead and prepare instead of scrambling at the start of the semester, which could potentially cause them to fall behind. “They know what they need to pay ahead of time. If they need to save up for it, they can see it a couple months ahead of it. It gives them time to prepare rather than trying to run around and find the best price at a bunch of places. They don’t have to worry about finding their materials. They know they are going to have what they need that first day of class.”

    The bookstore manager sees the all-around convenience and benefits for all involved saying, “Honestly, I think for students it’s just convenient, cheaper, and easier. For us, it’s nice to have those guaranteed sales. It’s also nice for the school.”

    Building Partnerships

    Being part of IA has also increased communication between the bookstore, faculty and students, making it more of a partnership for Sarah. “This has created a lot of relationships with us, the faculty, and the students. We even have a good group of students that will tell us their true opinion of what they think. If they have taken the class, if they need that book. If they think Inclusive Access is best, which most often it is.”

    The bookstore manager noted that in addition to the guaranteed sales through the bookstore, a couple benefits are even more fulfilling; the idea that they are helping students and building relationships with faculty. “The overall sense of being able to deliver products to the students for the faculty, which really helps relationship-wise. We make sure the students have what they need from us, when they need it, and make sure they are fully prepared. We are the school’s partner in doing that. We take that pretty seriously. So, when we can provide them with something that makes that whole process easier for them as they are trying to navigate college, which can be very daunting at times, is really nice.”

    For Michael, working with Pearson to implement IA has been invaluable. The partnership they have developed right from the beginning has ensured smooth implementation and prompt resolutions. “The team has been good about getting the faculty what they need before the semester, that gap between ordering and the semester starting. I’ve had great experiences with everyone there. The primary reps and those in supporting roles have all been awesome. I’ve really enjoyed working with everyone at Pearson. From day one, the staffing has always been excellent. When I have been in touch with Pearson, resolution is always quick and smooth. I have a great working relationship with the team there.”

  • Two students discussing content on the laptop in front of them

    Active learning and engagement in the classroom

    By Rachel Droste

    Students don’t know how to study. 

    As a former instructor of undergraduate students, I would hear students say they are too busy to study, and when they do study, they aren’t sure what to focus on. Research shows students spend their study time rereading their notes or textbook, highlighting too much, and don’t know what they need to prioritize1. These poor study habits create frustration as students cram for exams but still get low grades. I was left wondering; how can I help make learning more engaging and robust for my students? 

    Active learning is an effective and efficient method to remember more. 

    Learning science shows that students need more effective strategies to optimize their limited time and keep them engaged during learning2. Active learning practices can make learning dynamic for the student and can promote efficiency in the study session. The term “active learning” comes from the ICAP framework3. In this framework, the level of engagement is categorized based on the level of interaction the student has with the learning material.  

    When students are rereading text or listening to lectures without taking notes, they are engaging in passive learning behaviors. Passive learning has the worst outcomes for learning4. Active learning habits – such as outlining key concepts, comparing ideas, generating hypotheses, or reflecting on questions – allow learners to deepen their understanding in a shorter amount of time. Active learning does not mean learners are physically active; rather, learners are actively creating new ideas and connecting to the material in a way that benefits their learning. 

    Frequent, shorter study sessions work best. 

    Students that regularly engage in active learning while studying outperform those who cram right before the exam5. While last-minute cramming is common, research shows that information is quickly lost soon after a long study session. To avoid the decay in memory, spacing 20–30-minute study sessions across multiple days or weeks can lead to greater memory retention. Essentially, frequent brief exposures to the material can lead to better memory performance on the test, even when the exposures are for shorter durations of time.  

    Instructors can help students set up a schedule to study and break up homework into smaller chunks. 

    Students need support in active learning. 

    Students need guidance to stop passively learning and use more active practices. Instructors can teach students the benefits of active learning and integrate opportunities for it in the classroom. Here are a few ways you as an instructor can encourage your students to be active learners. 

    Walk students through features that enable active learning. 
    Take some class time to show students how to use all the available digital learning tools, such as highlighting, flashcards, and quizzing. These eText features are easy to use and have been built to promote active learning. 

    Create opportunities for reflective thinking. 
    Active learning practices can be embedded into the course's structure by assigning opportunities to reflect. Activities that prompt active thinking can happen both in and out of the classroom. Discussion boards asking students to challenge a topic, assigning students to instruct others on a topic, or creating a visualization that structures a topic are all examples of ways to prompt active learning. 

    Demonstrate how to take notes and study. 
    Leading by example can be the best way to change behavior. By providing an outline or talking about what to focus on while studying, instructors can curb students from wasting time rereading. Students should have a clear understanding of what is most relevant to prepare them for an exam. 

    Encourage frequent testing. 
    Practice makes perfect. Therefore, regular low-stakes test sessions can help students gain exposure to the material and testing experience before taking a high-stakes exam. Regular testing can also guide students to know exactly what they are struggling with. Offer students frequent opportunities to quiz themselves on the material and provide clear feedback to help them know what to study next. 

    Promote collaboration. 
    Research shows that students learn best in a community, and learning from peers can save time for the instructor. AI tutors can also answer questions and prompt students to engage in active learning practices. 

    Signs that your students are studying effectively 

    Ensuring students are using the best study habits can be tricky. You can ensure your students are being productive outside of the classroom by looking for a few signs. According to the ICAP framework, students that are actively learning can: 

    • ask insightful questions 
    • discuss, challenge, and debate 
    • instruct others 
    • draw connections between concepts 

    Integrating active learning in your course 

    When I was looking for ways to get my students engaged and promote better study habits, I found that educational tools like digital flashcards and collaborative notetaking prompted more active thinking. Pearson offers a dynamic learning experience built to help students engage in active learning. Together, we can help students leverage the benefits of digital tools for learning. 

  • Image of student taking notes in a notebook, while reviewing content on their laptop

    Optimizing Learning with Pearson LMS Integration

    By Hilary Duplantis

    Jerilin Morris, Blackboard Administrator at The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences (TCC), and Paula Lee, LMS System Administrator at Lee College, both work with their bookstore and Pearson to integrate courseware into their institution’s Learning Management System (LMS), currently Blackboard. Jerilin has been the Blackboard Administrator at TCC for 10 years, while Paula has been the System Administrator at Lee College her entire 16 years there. Both of their responsibilities include ensuring the integration between the courseware and their LMS in the instructors’ courses are working appropriately. They attend to any issues and answer any questions that may arise from both instructors and students based on the integration process.  

    Integration with Pearson 

    LMS administrators have experience with a variety of publisher’s integration capabilities. Oftentimes the beginning of the semester can pose an issue when it comes to integration as students have to access their course materials through their LMS, which can be confusing for some students. With Pearson, Jerilin sees how much smoother it is during those first weeks of the semester saying, “The LMS integration with Pearson is basically seamless. For instance, students were having issues with a previous math product and every semester I just dreaded the first week because students would need so much help. I haven’t had any of those issues since we switched to Pearson.”  

    In addition, Jerilin sees the value of LMS integration for students’ useability as it is less cumbersome and creates an intuitive way to access course materials. “It’s seamless for students. There are just too many clicks on different products. Without even realizing it, they’ve crossed a bridge between two different software products. Things really got easier for students when they got that single sign on and then all their material is just right there.”  

    Access Pearson’s LMS integration allows for grade synching and assignment linking, direct from courseware into the LMS system. Paula feels this ease of use and set up is helpful for instructors. “The flow of the LMS integration with Pearson is good. It is simple to set up. The flow of grades syncing back up and setting up the links is straight forward, which is nice.” Jerilin agrees this process is beneficial saying, “The Pearson content is so specific that it’s a perfect fit for our courses. The integration is a much smoother process with Pearson and the grades synch automatically.” 

  • A diverse group of students sitting in a classroom, focused and engaged.

    What Students Love about Pearson

    By Hilary Duplantis

    It’s the season of love, and at Pearson, there’s nothing we love more than helping students succeed. This Valentine’s Day, we asked students how Pearson helps them in their courses, and we’re excited to share the love!

    Features and tools

    From the convenience and accessibility, to the interactive and engaging features and tools, MyLab and Mastering have become the study buddies that students adore. Over 90% of students agree that Pearson helps them come to class better prepared and ready to learn. With personalization features that help students pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses, what’s not to love? One of the most popular features is the ‘Help Me Solve This’ tool in MyLab, which walks students through problems step by step. One student says, “I love the feature, it allows me to get my questions answered without having to be in person!” It’s important that students can work their way through problems they don’t understand without having to wait for extra help.

    Whether it’s built-in homework help or premade practice quizzes and flash cards, Pearson is always ready to help students save time studying. MyLab and Mastering cater to each individual student, helping them understand where they’re struggling or excelling in real time, “MyLab and Mastering are especially useful for topics that I may not be so strong in, as they give little reminders and tips to study specific problems.” says one student. When students are able to break down exactly what sections and problem types they struggle with the most, they don’t have to struggle looking for ways to fill the gap. Pearson is already there to guide them in the right direction. It’s a match made in academic heaven!

    Studying, reading, and homework, wherever you are

    Pearson makes it easy for students to stay on top of their assignments with the flexibility and accessibility that allows students to take their courses with them. On commutes students listen to the audio of their textbook or catch up on studying with their P+ app. “Pearson gives me the flexibility to have easy access wherever I am” says one student, “I can use it across multiple devices.” And with features like embedded videos, study tools, and interactive problems, 80% of students agree that Pearson products are more engaging than a traditional textbook. The convenience and ease of use MyLab and Mastering provide help students stay on top of their assignments. Students find they’re more organized when they use Pearson in their courses with one student saying “it’s so easy to navigate and it helps me stay on schedule and makes me more efficient when studying.” With the right tools, everyone has the opportunity to thrive in their courses, and at Pearson we love that we’re able to provide those tools.

    MyLab and Mastering are designed to meet students where they are, whether that’s physically on the go, or academically in class. Our tools and features help move students along in their courses without feeling like they’re being left behind. Over 77% of students recognize that MyLab and Mastering play a huge role in helping them sustain engagement within course materials, and many students use Pearson to help understand in class lectures better.

    Thanks for the LOVE!

    We love to hear from students, and we’re so proud to be able to spread that love this Valentine’s Day! And we LOVE to be able to partner with students to provide purpose-built learning platforms that help them achieve their academic goals. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • 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

    By Hilary Duplantis

    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.

  • Instructor standing in front of a class of diverse adult students

    Transform your teaching with MyLab Math

    By Callie Daniels

    “Do the right thing for every student, every time.”

    Callie Daniels has lived by this motto since she first heard it as an undergraduate education student.

    Now, after 30 years as a higher-ed math instructor, Daniels understands how truly important that advice is — and has taken her time to share her teaching knowledge in a new webinar.

    “Math is challenging, and some of our students are barely hanging on.”

    She likens struggling math students to cowboys in a rodeo, holding on to their horses’ saddles for dear life.

    “It’s hard to know what their needs are going to be when they get to us,” Daniels says, “but if we can determine the right thing and just do it, then that’s the best we have to offer our students.”

    Her statements highlight a key dilemma for educators: How can you continuously offer your best to students while avoiding burnout?

    “MyLab uses your time wisely and your students’ time effectively.”

    Author Callie Daniels knows that when higher ed math instructors have the right tools at their disposal, it’s much easier to meet students where they are.

    Engaging, interactive resources like MyLab Math and eTextbooks can help you empower learners and more easily identify and address your higher-ed math students’ needs.

    In her 30-minute on-demand webinar, Daniels explains how to tailor MyLab Math and eTextbook resources to your unique teaching style and objectives

  • Schematic illustration depicting a hybrid of a brain and circuit board

    AI in Higher Ed: A Partnership

    By Pearson

    With the prevalence of artificial intelligence (AI) becoming more widespread since ChatGPT first launched in November 2022, professors and students alike have wondered how to use this newer technology effectively and ethically in the higher education landscape. With this in mind, Pearson conducted a webinar with professors, authors, and students from across the country to discuss some of the concerns, benefits, and best practices when it comes to utilizing generative AI. 

    The moderator, Dr. Peter Foltz from the University of Colorado and NSF AI Institute for Student-AI Teaming was joined by Dr. Amos Olagunju, Professor of Practice at the University of Kansas, Dr. Terri Moore, Professor at Eastern Florida State College, Dr. Ramesh Sharda, Vice Dean for Research and the Watson Graduate School of Management, Watson/ConocoPhillips Chair and Regents Professor of Management Science and Information Systems in the Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University, Kylie Guzman, student at Western Kentucky University, and Saige O’Rourke, student at the University of Tennessee.

    Impact of AI

    Generative AI, such as ChatGPT, has already significantly impacted the way professors and students approach higher education. Amos feels there have been many facets that have been transformed such as academic outcomes, ways to engage students in critical thinking, writing, analysis, and creation of course content. In the analytics and data science field, Ramesh sees a potential reduction in the time professors need to create content, as they can use AI to generate custom sets of data. He also believes that “ChatGPT can be used as a friend to reduce academic integrity issues.”

    When it comes to application research, Ramesh has seen that with ChatGPT, better quality academic papers can be produced. It can help with literature reviews, summarizing research gaps, design experiments, and generating regression charts or histograms. One consideration he noted is that ChatGPT can also create fake references that look entirely legitimate. Other, broader, AI applications he noted include customer support and IT coding. He can see how there is potential for a lot more research on AI saying, “I think there are quite a few research opportunities in terms of testing the effectiveness, efficiency, and validation of the technologies used. So, at least in the short term, there is an opportunity to build a research portfolio where you have the testing of this technology.”

    There are a variety of ways students can use ChatGPT to assist and enhance their learning. Kylie uses it for brainstorming. She will input the topic and then tailor the response to match her unique voice. She also uses it to help understand scholarly articles when they are complicated or unfamiliar. She will input parts of the article and ask it to rephrase, summarize, and/or explain it to her in a way that resonates with her. Saige also uses it for brainstorming but finds it to be beneficial when she is in a rush as the immediate generated responses save her time. As a professor, Peter also sees the benefits of using AI for brainstorming. He suggests using AI for students’ writing to help generate ideas but cautions that clear documentation of their process is necessary. “You tell students that they can use it for the first part but then they’ve got to write on their own all while submitting all of their processes that they went through.”

    Instead of taking teaching opportunities away from professors, Ramesh sees that AI is creating more instances where the human touch, the human voice, the human reflection, is needed. “ChatGPT is creating a much larger role for professors because there is only so much that students can do with a computer. The professor needs to be there to both check the assessment and keep the human side of it... It falls more on the professor to figure out where the assessment lies and how to keep that connection to the students so that they’re both able to assess them at a more personal level but also keep them more motivated as they are working.”

    AI considerations

    Ramesh also discusses the “generative” aspect of ChatGPT allowing researchers to create synthetic data efficiently for use in other research. The same capability can also be used to create custom datasets for use by each student in class assignments so as to minimize the incentives for cheating.

    There is uncertainty about how to best use AI without allowing it to become a crutch or another easily accessible way for students to cheat. There is also a lot of confusion by professors and students on how to effectively use AI which has impacted expectations, with Saige saying, “The roles of professors and students are changing and shifting. We all have different ways of using AI and maneuvering the classroom to avoid cheating and use it in a productive way... We want to embrace technology, not rely on it.” Kylie agrees, commenting, “I see AI as a resource, not a solution.”

    Cheating is an all-too-common issue in higher education. With the advances in AI, some professors are concerned there will be even more opportunities for cheating, without the more straightforward ways of determining who is and isn’t cheating. This has prompted Terri to consider how she is designing her assessments in an effort to curb this potential issue. She no longer asks multiple choice questions or uses tests that she has used often in the past, as they are easy to find online. Now she asks students to explain concepts from the course and how they apply to their individual real-world experiences. “It requires more grading on my part but what I tell my students is, learning is not easy. If it is easy, you’re probably not learning. Assessing isn’t easy. Unless it is costing you something as a faculty member, you’re probably not assessing their real mastery. So, I am challenging myself to look at different ways of assessing and saying, perhaps the cheating is too available because the way we’re assessing is too easy to cheat. I also begin to think about the reasons behind the lack of integrity in our students with their academic honesty.”

    Using AI to generate an entire assignment does not allow for development of critical thinking skills, creativity, or unique human expression. In order to negate this issue of using AI to do their work, Saige suggests, “Students should be encouraged to work with AI instead of having it do the work for them. This way they can continue to be creative with their minds, let that creativity flow, and use it for brainstorming instead of a crutch.” Terri agrees about the importance of creativity, not just for students completing assignments, but for professors creating assessments. She feels that modeling creativity encourages students to engage in cultivating their own creativity as well. “If I am relying on things that are on Quizlet, I’m certainly not doing my job. I’m not giving students a creative assessment that lets them show me their creativity in return.”

    In addition to creativity, Kylie maintains that developing critical thinking skills is also a necessity in professional life. “I think it’s just as important to be teaching critical thinking because growing as a young professional, that’s what’s going to get me places. Even if I use AI as a tool, I need to make sure critical thinking is a foundation of it.” She feels it is also important for professors to foster passion in their students which also encourages the creativity and critical thinking aspects saying “Professors have to make sure that the student is actually passionate about what they’re learning because if there’s no passion, they are not going to want to learn, no want to be creative, no want to be critical, no want to look deeper into what is taught to them.” Amos sees AI as a tool to enhance students’ creativity and critical thinking, both of which prepare them for their careers. “AI is here to help promote human creativity. However, as we prepare our students for teamwork in the real world, they must realize the importance of divergent thinking. But of course we can use the artificial intelligence tools to boost students’ analytical and decision-making abilities and to heighten their creativity.”

    Best practices

    Institutions and individual professors need to establish academic honesty policies with clear expectations for students on how AI generated content is to be utilized and the consequences if they use it to cheat. This is also set out in pointed conversations with students about what cheating really is and that AI is only to be used as a tool. “We are going to have to be open and embrace this as a wonderful, wonderful tool for our classes.” Peter cautions professors against using various tools that claim to determine whether assignments were generated by AI as they have high false positive rates. Instead, he agrees that relying on a set of policies is the best practice.

    As part of these academic policies, Amos and Terri believe students need to understand that any use of AI needs to be cited, just as any other reference would need to be. In the syllabus Amos clearly states the consequences of cheating and incorrectly citing or leaving out references. The first instance is a warning, the second includes a penalty. Terri is also very clear about the consequences of cheating in her syllabus. They will get a zero on their assignment, but she allows them another attempt at the assignment, with students understanding they will not be able to achieve full credit due to the cheating. “I think you have to allow students to make errors and use it as a learning moment to teach students about academic honesty.”

    Setting clear expectations for students is something Saige also feels is of the utmost importance. It is critical, especially in these early days of incorporating AI into higher education, to be upfront about how students are supposed to use AI and what professors are willing to allow. “Having a conversation about it and not ignoring it anymore is a really big thing. Just be clear on guidelines and expectations because some professors may encourage using AI to its fullest while some encourage it only to tailor it to yourself. We don’t know where to go if there’s no guidance.”

    In an effort to embrace AI generated content, Terri shared an example of her colleague who uses ChatGPT for an assignment. The colleague requires students to create an AI generated essay which they bring to class, and they discuss how they can make it more personal, more human. This leads to discussion about what it means to be human, which Terri believes will become a more prevalent topic of conversation the more AI is utilized. “I think we’re on the cusp of an amazing, amazing adventure in education.”

    Keeping the human connection with their professors and peers motivates students to engage deeper with a course, according to Saige and Kylie. Saige appreciates it when her professors are personable and approachable. She feels this makes the classroom dynamic and relationship with her professor unique. “Small, personal, interactions with my professor make me want to pay attention in class versus if I am treated as just another ant in the ant farm of their classroom because if I am, I am not going to want to pay attention just as much as they don’t want to teach in the large lecture hall. So, I think treating your students as people is important. We are all people either trying to get a job done or do our job.” Collaboration with her peers is incredibly motivating and fosters creativity for Kylie, especially collaboration with those that have the same major, minor, or focus as her as this presumably means they have similar interests and passion for the field. “We all share our experiences and share different ways we are either loving what we’re learning or struggling with what we are learning... When professors can encourage us to work with one another, I think that’s the best way to cultivate creativity.”

    Conclusion

    Artificial intelligence has the ability to change the higher education landscape in a positive way. As long as there are academic honesty policies and expectations in place, both professors and students can thrive with its use. Used in a thoughtful way, panelists believe it can support students’ creativity and critical thinking, as well as help professors create materials and assist with assignments. AI can be a valuable supplement in the classroom, but it cannot replace the human connection or voice. 

  • 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