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This Study Tool Made Me a Better Student

 

McGraw Hill Connect® is a great adaptive learning system to use. It is different from a regular textbook in the sense that it provided me with more learning opportunities with the different resources. Some things that I personally enjoyed were SmartBook®, quizzes, assignments, and LearnSmart®, which is also part of the SmartBook.

Within SmartBook that is included in Connect, I could highlight, take notes, bookmark something, etc. One thing I liked about the SmartBook feature was that there are already some things that are highlighted for me, so it is already telling me what's important and what I should be focused on more. As you keep working through SmartBook the highlighted portions change to continuously personalize your learning experience because studying isn't one size fits all.

There are also questions that come along with the assigned readings so that I could make sure I understood the material, and if I didn’t, then it would let me go back to the reading section. So, while I was reading the textbook, I could click on the practice option and see if I was understanding the concepts.

The quizzes are nice, because I could test my knowledge of the material up until that point, so I knew what my strengths and weaknesses were. There is also a self-study option available, and this is just a huge set of questions that come from a chapter you choose from the book. On the side, there are suggested resources. If you click the “read about this” option, then it will take you to the section in the textbook where you can find the answer.

The LearnSmart option lets you create a personalized study schedule that works best for you, such as how many days per week and how long you want to study for. This is like the self-study option you can choose. LearnSmart might be better just because it is broken up by the topics that you will be working on for that session through the different assignments presented, and because it has a set time you will be studying for. This is good because by focusing on certain topics at a time, it will help you remember things long term, and you will get more out of it.

Certain textbooks also have study guides students can print off from the textbook, or if they don’t, then there are many practice problems within the textbook itself. One tip that I would give is to take full advantage of the resources available and figure out what works best for you. I would also try to use the self-study or LearnSmart option to help study the material. Also, every time you are taking a quiz or doing practice problems, take it seriously as if you were taking a test, because it will help you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. I think that Connect lets students take control of their own learning, and with these different resources, they can find a way that works best for them in their education.
 

About the Author

Priyal Patel is a junior at the University of Illinois at Urbrana Champaign and is studying Molecular and Cellular Biology.