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Learning Unleashed: Cengage Learning ‘Taps’ Into Minds of Students With MindTap™, First-of-its-Kind Personal Learning Experience


By kmassari - Posted on 02 March 2011

Personalized program of digital products and services engages students,
offers choice in content, platforms, devices and learning tools

Long Beach, CA, March 2, 2011 – Cengage Learning, a leading global provider of innovative teaching, learning and research solutions, today at the annual TED conference unveiled MindTap™, a program of digital products and services that engages students through interactivity and offers instructors choice in content, platforms, devices and learning tools. Beyond an eBook, course delivery platform or Learning Management System, MindTap is the first in a new category of Personal Learning Experiences (PLEs). MindTap is device agnostic, giving students access to their course materials anytime, anywhere – on their desktops, laptops, tablets or mobile phones.

MindTap offers a variety of digital learning apps and services that combine Cengage Learning’s leading authoritative content with powerful technology that allows instructors to seamlessly deliver appropriate content to students when and where they need it including the ability to support offline learning activities. Through its new MindApps™ partner program, MindTap distributes content and technology assets from a number of providers, including commercial partners, institution and instructor sourced applications, and open community software and content sources. MindApps create learning paths that integrate content and learning activity applications that map directly to an instructor’s syllabus or curriculum. Unlike other products which are affiliated with a single Learning Management System (LMS), MindTap is LMS agnostic and designed to work with any supported LMS the instructor chooses to use. Students can navigate through a customized dashboard of readings, assignments, and other course information. This powerful combination of personalized content and on-the-go access encourages interactivity, increases student engagement and improves learning outcomes.

Tapping into… the User Experience
Born out of industry demand and developed based on pedagogically sound principles, MindTap incorporates customizable apps that actively encourage students to interact with their course content, as well as their peers and instructors. MindTap utilizes a seamless blend of authoritative content and a structured but highly flexible and extensible delivery platform, allowing instructors and students to incorporate open content in the context of the overall syllabus. Driven by research into how students want to learn and how they use technology, MindTap’s interactive features enable students to:

• Customize the personal experience through learning paths and a growing library of included and optional MindApps to drive rich, interactive learning activities
• Tap into a library of content, including tremendous assets from Cengage Learning’s Gale library databases
• Learn ‘anytime anywhere’ via multiple devices
• Learn concepts through activities and interactive exercises, quizzes and assignable homework
• Access multimedia content such as videos, podcasts and images
• Collaborate with peers through applications that drive lecture capture and social networking opportunities
• Utilize text-to-speech tools, highlight, take notes, and link out to external sites directly within a reading or other learning activity

Within MindTap, instructors can track students’ use, activities and comprehension in real-time, which provides opportunities for early intervention to influence progress and outcomes. Grades are visible and archived so students and instructors always have access to current standings in the class. Instructors can also customize the curriculum – with modifiable learning paths, their own content elements, configurable assignment activities, MindTap apps to drive other activities –and make adjustments ‘on the fly,’ making it possible to intertwine breaking news into their lessons and incorporate today’s teachable moments. MindTap also includes a number of services to ensure user success with the program.

At the core of MindTap is MindTap Reader™, which is a new interactive platform that brings digital textbooks to life. The MindTap Reader adds significant reading learning activity functionality embedded within the context of text and other elements including video/audio, annotations, activities, applications and instructor source materials, while also preparing existing products to take advantage of future MindTap services.

“Many eBook and other technology platforms currently exist, but none of them have addressed the main needs of students and professors holistically. Digital platforms, until now, have simply recreated the experience of the print textbook in a digital format, leaving students dissatisfied and instructors limited in their ability to teach,” said William Rieders, executive vice president of New Media for Cengage Learning. “MindTap takes classroom engagement to an entirely new level. It is an optimal blend of sound pedagogy, authoritative content and advanced technology.”

Tapping into… New Demands, Creating New Solutions

According to the 2010 Cengage Learning / Eduventures survey “Technology Use, Engagement and Learning Outcomes”, more than half of instructors believe that technology in courses positively impacts student engagement. Further, 86% of students reported that their academic engagement and learning outcomes have improved as they have increasingly used digital tools in their coursework.
Chris Vento, executive vice president, Technology and Development for Cengage Learning, said, “Students today have new demands in terms of technology and clearly want to be in the driver’s seat of their education experience. They seek a unified learning experience and prefer to have a choice about how they access and use content. MindTap leverages Cengage Learning’s wealth of leading content and provides new and innovative ways for students and instructors to access and interact with course materials, which ultimately will lead to improved learning results.”

Tapping into…a World of Apps
MindTap functions through a library of learning apps. Many of these apps are customizable by title; some can be selected and added to the experience by the instructor, others can be chosen by the student. Examples of the apps made available to students and instructors include homework and remediation solutions, lecture capture, tutoring, personal audio/video content, text-to-speech, plagiarism checking, social learning and collaboration, and cloud based files/document content, among others.

Currently, several institutions are piloting MindTap, and more than 20 titles across many disciplines are available for use in fall courses to members of the Early Adopter Program, a selective program available to qualified institutions. In addition, MindTap Reader will be rolled out as a free upgrade to customers beginning this upcoming fall.

For more information on MindTap, please visit: www.cengage.com/mindtap.

About Cengage Learning
Cengage Learning is a leading provider of innovative teaching, learning and research solutions for the academic, professional and library markets worldwide. The company's products and services are designed to foster academic excellence and professional development, increase student engagement, improve learning outcomes and deliver authoritative information to people whenever and wherever they need it. Through the company’s unique position within both the library and academic markets, Cengage Learning is providing integrated learning solutions that bridge from the library to the classroom. Cengage Learning's brands include Brooks/Cole, Course Technology, Delmar, Gale, Heinle, South-Western and Wadsworth, among others. For more information on Cengage Learning please visit www.cengage.com.
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