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How to Tailor Your Course with McGraw Hill Connect®

Students can no longer be taught in straight lines in an increasingly diverse world. It is more important than ever to find ways to tailor the teaching, which personalizes the learning experience for each student.  

Luckily, McGraw Hill Connect provides instructors with a variety of features that can be used to cater to individual student needs. Some of these include:  

  1. Adaptive Learning Assignments: Use this resource to create a learning experience that adapts to the needs of each student. The versatile feature ensures that the assignment adjusts to the student’s ability and provides them with instantaneous feedback. Therefore, each student will learn at their own pace and the information builds based on their understanding of the topic. This prevents students from getting bogged down in material they already know, as they can move forward if they are already proficient.  

  2. Reading Assignments using the eBook in Connect: Create individualized or topic-specific reading assignments for students to complete. These can be offered as low-stakes or voluntary assignments so students can pick and choose which they wish to complete and how far they wish to proceed. The eBook allows you to select specific topics within chapters and link them for the students to read. This is useful if there are only certain parts of a chapter where you want them to focus.  

  3. Virtual Labs: In your course that has a lab component, Virtual Labs is a great interactive tool that can be used for pre-lab preparation, online lab courses, post-lab review, make-up labs, or used with a textbook. It helps students gain confidence before the in-person lab, so they are set up to succeed.  

  4. Student Performance Reports: By using the Performance Reports feature, instructors can take a deeper dive into student performance by generating a variety of reports:   

  • Assignment Results: The report provides assignment scores listed individually by students and are color-coded into high, medium, and low score ranges. This helps to quickly identify students based on how they have performed on a particular assignment.  
  • Student Performance: You can generate an individual student report. This gives you a snapshot of any student’s performance and highlights their scores, status of assignments, and time spent on each assignment.  
  • At-Risk Report: Connect can quickly generate a list of at-risk students that enables you to identify which students are at risk of falling behind, so you can quickly take steps to assist the student(s).  
  1. Range of Assignment Types: Connect allows you to assign a wide range of assignment types—multiple-choice questions, reading assignments, written assignments, discussion boards, concept-based questions, etc. This allows you to create assignments that match the specific needs of your students.  

Additionally, here are some general tips you can follow to enhance the student learning experience and bridge the gap between student comprehension and learning:  

  1. Assign Collaborative Work: Have students work in groups and share information. This is a good way to lessen the pressure and burden on each student. Students can learn from their partners and build valuable lessons in teamwork skills.  

  1. Provide Regular Feedback: This is key to student learning and engagement. By providing regular, detailed feedback, students will understand what they need to do. The feedback should cover areas of strengths and improvement. This way the student feels supported and nurtured.  

  1. Get to Know Your Student: Spend a few minutes getting to know your student, which can go a long way toward knowing what individualized lesson plans will work best for them. It also helps students relate to you on a personal level.  

  1. Introduction Video: A low-stakes introduction video assignment submitted by the student can be a valuable resource as it allows the student to introduce themselves in their comfort zone. It is also beneficial to you as the instructor because it allows you to go back and view the video in case you want to refresh yourself about a student’s background.  

Combining the tips mentioned above will go a long way toward creating personalized learning paths for each of your students and ensuring they can reach their full potential. 

Learn more about Connect here!

About the Author

Chintamani Manish is a Professor of Biology at Midland University in Nebraska. Over the past 17 years, Manish has designed, offered, and taught nearly 20 different courses at multiple institutions in the Omaha area to great acclaim. He has taught all formats – in-person, hybrid, online, and asynchronous – while also taking students on Study Away trips to Australia, Africa (Tanzania), Puerto Rico and, most recently, a two-week road trip to the National Parks of Colorado and Utah.

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