Keeping courses engaging, finding innovative ways to enhance learning, offering timely feedback and empowering students to master concepts are key tenets of learning at COCE. The Course Development team is always looking for ways to improve our courses to enrich the student experience and bolster student success. In many cases learning resources provided by third-party vendors provide content that is impractical to develop in house.
CengageNow, MyLab, Mindedge, MasteringA&P and Connect offer interactive, personalized study tools with features that include customizable content, video tutorials, real-time assessments, interactive games, adaptive study models, tailored learning guides and more.
Our third-party learning resources meet student needs with:
- Engaging content: We look for resources that support student learning through a combination of visual, audio and textual activities. Our learning resource partners build lessons that include video as a major content area and help students who may be struggling. For example, in MyMathLab, students who struggle with a mathematical concept can see videos explaining the steps needed to complete a calculation, while students who are not struggling can progress without it.
- Automated assessments: With discussion boards, short papers, blogs, wikis and final projects, our curriculum is writing intensive. With a lot of writing comes an incredible amount of grading, which slows turnaround. To help identify and support struggling students and to provide more immediate feedback on student performance, we look for learning resource partners who provide quizzes, homework and simulations that score students immediately. We continue to support those courses with discussion boards and in some cases a final project that will help students continue to develop the writing and communication skills a 21st-century workplace requires.
- Access and scale: Learning resource partners enable us to deliver high-quality, expensively produced learning materials at a price that is comparable or below the average price of a textbook, with more functionality. We try to keep the price below $100 per student. Many vendors issue a scholarship code that can be used for a limited number of students; we’re seeing increasing need among our lowest-income students, who couldn’t afford to take the class any other way. This is one way we can add media-rich content with the latest in assessment techniques while keeping development costs low.
Third-party learning resources are available in a number of our math and accounting courses. We’ve recently added two in fine arts and will soon add more in psychology and history.
Providing online students with extra help when they need it is key and can be a challenge in a 24/7 learning environment. NetTutor is an online tutoring service that promotes student learning through coaching and collaboration. NetTutor offers a Writing Center, On Demand and Scheduled Tutoring, and Offline Questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Students in writing- or math-intensive courses can also access Smarthinking, an online tutoring service that has no additional costs for students and features live tutoring, writing reviews, and question and answer services. Undergraduate students can use Smarthinking for assistance with writing in all subjects and with math, accounting and finance courses. Graduate students can use it for writing assistance.
“We believe these courses keep us at the forefront of engaging learners and supporting faculty,” said Associate Vice President for eLearning Amy Stevens. “We are excited to continue working with new vendors to support student success.”