Five Tips to Drive Success Using McGraw Hill Connect® in Medical Terminology

By Tim Jones, Oklahoma City Community College

I started teaching when "technology" featured transparencies, overhead projectors, and filmstrips. This summer, I am completing my 34th year in education.  I have taught college/university classes since 1990 and have experienced many changes in and updates of technological tools. After using Connect for Medical Terminology since 2013, these are the top five things in Connect that have made a significant difference in how I teach my class, which has been in an online-only format.

  1. Connect "How To" information
    To assist students in getting started with class, the "how-to" information at  is included in my course syllabus and also posted in the LMS for my online class.  Having the information available for students as video, PowerPoint, and PDF is a great timesaver.  I refer students to that information first, and then they can follow up with me or with Tech Support if there are still things that they don't understand.
  2. Reading Assignment
    Some of my students use both SmartBook® 2.0 as well as a hard-copy textbook. For students who use only the SmartBook 2.0, I have loaded the Welcome Chapter as a read-only assignment in Connect.  Although there is no graded SmartBook/Connect work for this chapter in my online class, it's important that students not skip reading the Welcome Chapter since that chapter is important in establishing a foundation for the entire class.
  3. Connect Team Members
    Whenever I have submitted a suggested revision about a question that might be assigned to students in SmartBook/Connect while I am updating my class to use material from a new edition, members of the Connect Team have always responded promptly to confirm when a correction has been made.  
  4. "Record your voice" Questions
    On several of the assignments required for my students in Connect, I chose five "record your voice" questions from the bank in Connect.  Listening to students' pronunciations and grading their work gives me useful information about words that are difficult for students to say.  When I grade their work, I leave both written and recorded oral feedback so that students have ongoing input from me about their progress in pronouncing medical terms.
  5. Application-Based Activities
    These are great items for multi-modal learners!  Students see the animation/video, hear the narration, and read the captions if they turn them on.  Although these are short activities, students must focus their attention carefully in order to answer the questions correctly.  

With each class that I teach, I find something new to do in Connect.  My summer online class includes one application-based activity for extra credit each week.  At the end of class, I will check with students to see if these should remain extra credit or if one application-based activity each week should be part of required graded course work.  The many things available in Connect have helped me keep my online course fresh and interesting so that my students and I keep learning more with each new class. 

Timothy Jones

Timothy Jones has been an adjunct instructor at Oklahoma City Community College since August 1994. He has previously taught Art Appreciation, English Composition, French, and Mythology at the college.  Tim started teaching online in 2001, assisted in developing the first online offering of Medical Terminology in 2007 and has been teaching online from Omaha, NE for OCCC since January 2013.  SmartBook/Connect have been used for Medical Terminology at the college since 2016. Tim may be reached at

Tips I share with students To Be Successful in Medical Terminology:
  1. Communicating effectively with the instructor can be very important for students to succeed in class. If you encounter any circumstances beyond your control that affect your ability to do your best work in this class, please contact the instructor as promptly as possible! 
  2. Before you do anything for class, please be sure to read the entire syllabus.  The syllabus contains important information that may answer many questions students have if they take the time to read the syllabus carefully.  
  3. Be very careful not to confuse deadlines for other courses with the deadlines for this class. You might find it helpful to set a reminder on your phone (or however you remind yourself) for completing required course work.
  4. Once you have set up Connect for class, please check that your system has been optimized for best results. For a computer compatibility check, use the Student Trouble Shooting Website at
  5. There is required online homework to complete in SmartBook/Connect. SmartBook is the adaptive ebook in Connect. You will find an overview of SmartBook 2.0 at . A Connect Orientation for class is posted in Connect.
  6. is the McGraw-Hill Higher Education Digital Technical Support website for Student Resources. On that page, you will find information about Student Resources, Registration & Access, etc., as well as a “Contact a Technical Support Representative” Quick Link (live chat, email, phone). *Please resolve any questions about or problems with Connect by the end of the first week of class. 
  7. In SmartBook, you may click on the arrow next to many of the terms listed in the Word Analysis and Definition charts to hear the word pronounced, or you may look up words in the Audio Glossary within Connect.
  8. Consider using redi for flashcards and the ReadAnywhere app, which includes offline access to Connect.
  9. After you have completed some SmartBook/Connect work, you might choose to do some of the Recharge or Self Study activities in Connect. These are entirely for your own practice and do not generate a grade that is counted as part of required coursework. 
  10. When you enter how a word should be divided, if that is asked in a SmartBook question, please be careful to enter the word parts and division markers as specified below.
    How To Indicate Word Part Divisions in SmartBook Practice
    To enter the medical term respiratory with separators for division that will be accepted by Connect:
    First Box enter       respir    
    Second Box enter   -                (only - nothing with two items and an or)
    Third Box enter       a  
    Fourth Box enter     -  
    Fifth Box enter         tory   
    First Box enter         respir  
    Second Box enter      /         (only  /  nothing with two items and an or)
    Third Box enter         a  
    Fourth Box enter      /           (only / nothing with two items and an or)
    Fifth Box enter         tory  
    The separators must be either -  or /  as single items,  not  "- or /" written together.  The answer in the system indicates - or / since either separator will be accepted individually.
  11. As you work on SmartBook/Connect activities, you might find it helpful to keep track of any question for which you don't submit a correct answer the first time. Review that material before you take the Exam in the LMS over each week's assigned chapters.