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5 Ways McGraw-Hill Connect® Helps Psychology Students Succeed—According to These Case Studies

Published August 7, 2015

1. Connect Improves Student Comprehension of Course Material

How do you get students to read? And more importantly: how do you make sure that they understand what they read?

In a course with little, to no prerequisites, Dr. Moira Hanna of Greenville Technical College found that she was often faced with a classroom full of students who didn’t understand the reading material. Connect helped her students by requiring them to use and apply the concepts they were reading about—instead of simply memorizing them.

The McGraw-Hill LearnSmart® adaptive study tool enabled students to understand what they knew and more importantly, what they didn’t know. Meanwhile, other Connect assignments, such as Interactivities and Concept Clips, provided accessible examples that furthered student comprehension.

Read the full case study here.

2. Connect Improves Student Retention of Material—And Therefore, Student Performance

What would a full letter grade’s improvement mean for your students

Dr. Dolgov's course data showed a positive correlation between the number of LearnSmart modules students used and their exam averages: the more modules students completed, the greater their success with the course content.


His students touted Connect's usefulness anecdotally as well: "The LearnSmart system stuff helped A LOT," one student reported on a class evaluation. "I would say that if you want to pass the class, you need to do those. They helped me remember things I otherwise wouldn't have to know on the test. Also, the recorded lectures are amazing for review!"

Read the full case study here.

3. Connect Increases Instructor Efficiency In and Out of the Classroom

What if you could spend less time on the basics? And what if you could cut your grading time in half?

Dr. Bonnie Nicholson of the University of Southern Mississippi is one of many professors who have been able to make more of their time because of Connect. Even as her students' grades and pass rates improve, Dr. Nicholson has been able to cut grading and reviewing time in half. She also uses Connect to track and document the improvements she sees in student learning outcomes and writing skills, which she is then able to report to her university.

Read the full case study here.

More importantly, Connect allows instructors to make the most of their time in class. While using Connect in her course at Florida State College, Professor Tuckwiller found that her class time became much less about lecturing and covering the fundamentals, and much more about exploring the field through active learning. Her thoughts: "In the past, I was certain that students were not reading at home and therefore, I felt an immense pressure to cover all the basics of each chapter in class. With LearnSmart, I can see that they are learning the basics at home!"

What does this mean for your course? There is more time to try new things during class. And with the videos and interactivities available in Connect, introducing engaging content into the classroom simply takes a couple of clicks.

Read the full case study here.

4. Connect Increases Student Engagement

What if your students stopped giving you blank stares?

Professor Andrean of Bridge Valley Community and Technical College has found Connect to be an effective tool for providing a more active learning experience for students in her course.


Her students are required to complete SmartBook™ assignments for every chapter, but Professor Andrean has found that they appreciate them. "The students love SmartBook because it covers specific content that will be on their exam for that particular chapter," she says. And because her students are more prepared, there is more time to spend during class on interactivities, video examples, and discussion during class.

Overall, her students are very receptive to online learning, which reflects the technology-based culture to which they are accustomed.

The result is that her students are more engaged: attendance has improved, the drop-out rate has decreased, and students engage in class discussion and participate in study groups to review for the comprehensive exam — all of which leads to better retention and higher grades.

Read the full case study here.

5. Students Just Like Connect

What if your students actually liked their course materials?

Here's what students had to say about their experience using Connect:





  • "I was skeptical when Dr. T. first introduced the class to this new way of learning, but I realized that Connect is more fun and helpful in retaining information than any other program I have used in the past." – Student at Florida State College
  • "LearnSmart was great. I wish all classes had online material." – Student at University of Colorado – Denver
  • "I have learned so much from Connect this semester." – Student at the State College of Florida – Manatee-Sarasota
  • "I've been in the library every day working in Connect, and I love it! I learn more from using Connect than I do reading." – Student at Florida State College
  • "I think that LearnSmart was a good way to introduce a subject because I felt I had an idea what Professor B. was talking about in lecture." – Student at University of Colorado – Denver

The end result? Student success.

When students engage with, understand, and recall course material, students succeed.

Dr. Cheri Kittrell of the State College of Florida has seen success in the form a 10-point increase in the average grade of her classes. Her students complete SmartBook activities before class, which means that she is able to dive deeper into course material and engage in interactive activities during lecture. She uses the time she saves with Connect's automatic grading to dig into the class reports — this allows her to see the areas that the class as a whole is struggling with, and cover that material again in lecture or intervene with at-risk students.

Her thoughts on Connect and SmartBook?

"SmartBook is like a tutor who is sitting there with [my students] to help. It meets students at their level and helps them reach their goals despite the challenges they are facing."

And her advice to other instructors? You should get excited about Connect too!

Read the full case study here.