Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

CTE - Using McGraw-Hill Connect

A Guide for Central Penn College Business Faculty

Teaching Effectively With Connect

Teaching On-Ground & Blended Using a Flipped Classroom Model

What is a flipped classroom?

A flipped classroom is a pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed. Preparatory learning activities are completed outside of the classroom before the class session, while in-class time is devoted to exercises, projects, or discussions. Learn more about this model.

What steps should I follow to use Connect as an essential element of a flipped classroom?

  • As preparation for class time, make the SmartBook modules due before the first class of the week.
     
  • In addition to the assigned SmartBook module, a variety of assignments (created by the instructor or selected from the available Connect assignments) should be incorporated throughout the week (ex. video case studies, written assignments, written summaries of professional journal articles).
  • Each week, you should vary the types of assignments you are using to keep things fresh and to keep students engaged.
     
  • The overall structure of the course should remain the same week-to-week to help students get into a routine.
     
  • Class time should be spent engaging in experiential learning activities linked to critical or complex course objectives.
     
  • To prepare for exams, students should be encouraged to review the SmartBook modules and a review game can be played in class to offer additional preparation.
  • You should provide regular and substantive feedback to students.

Teaching Online

  • Using the Adaptive Release feature in Blackboard, make SmartBook modules due before any other assignments can be completed.
  • Course instruction should be accomplished via instructor-created microlecture videos, narrated PowerPoint presentations, and Learning Glass studio videos (in addition to the content available through Connect).
     
  • Assignments should be created to allow students to both practice skills (formative assessment) and demonstrate learned knowledge (summative assessment).
     
  • Formative assessments should be designed to allow students unlimited attempts and unlimited access (ex. practice problems with an available solution key/video) - weight grades accordingly
     
  • Summative assessments should be available for a limited duration of time and should only be completed once by students (ex. essays, quizzes/exams, problems) - weight grades accordingly
     
  • Blackboard's Discussion Boards tool, VoiceThread, and Assignments tool can all be employed to deliver assessments.
     
  • Each week, you should vary the types of assignments you are using to keep things fresh and to keep students engaged.
     
  • The overall structure of the course should remain the same week-to-week to help students get into a routine.
     
  • You should provide regular and substantive feedback to students.

Student Support

To be successful in your course, students must understand the role and function of Connect in their learning and achievement. One way to help students start out on the right foot is to inform students well in advance that Connect and SmartBook are essential course materials. Here are some ways to begin this dialog:

 

Put a statement in the syllabus (see example statement below)

We will be working with an online software called McGraw-Hill Connect in this course. This material is integrated into Blackboard and will not require a separate login after the initial registration. If you have an issue outside of the classroom, use the following options as support:

  • The preferred browser is Google Chrome. Do not use Internet Explorer or your phone to complete assignments.
  • Refresh the page/restart your browser/restart the computer
  • If all else fails, call the Connect technical support line at (800) 331-5094. Be sure to establish a case and obtain a case number so that you have the ability to track the flow of information through the resolution process.

 

Create a Connect-specific discussion board (see example prompt below)

We will be working with an online software called McGraw-Hill Connect in this course. This material is integrated into Blackboard and will not require a separate login after the initial registration. If you have an issue outside of the classroom, use the following options as support:

  • The preferred browser is Google Chrome. Do not use Internet Explorer or your phone to complete assignments.
  • Refresh the page/restart your browser/restart the computer
  • If all else fails, call the Connect technical support line at (800) 331-5094. Be sure to establish a case and obtain a case number so that you have the ability to track the flow of information through the resolution process.

If the case is still unresolved within 24 hours, please notify me via email, this discussion board, or in class with the case number so I can escalate the problem up the chain.

 

Create or use an introduction video created specifically for students within your course walking them through the rationale behind using Connect and the steps for getting started (see example video below)

 

 

What else can I do to help students be more successful using Connect?

Be a clear communicator and remember that students may feel intimidated at first. Remind students regularly of the support that is available to them through McGraw-Hill and that you are there to help them if they get stuck along the way.

 

Connect & SmartBook Teaching Tips from McGraw-Hill


McGraw-Hill SmartBook is an adaptive learning system designed to help students learn faster, study more efficiently, and retain more knowledge for greater success. Connect and SmartBook are intended to be supplemental to your instruction; these products are not meant to supplant your role as the instructor of the course.

To get the most out of SmartBook, McGraw-Hill recommends that you:

  • Make SmartBook 20% percent of your students’ final course grade.
  • Require students to spend at least 40 – 60 minutes a week in SmartBook. 
  • Encourage them to spend additional time to review past material. 
     
  • Incorporate SmartBook assignments in your syllabus to reinforce foundational terminology, concepts, and principles in as they appear in class.
  • Make SmartBook due no later than end-of-chapter or other assignments on the same material. 
  • Avoid making SmartBook assignments due in large chunks or at the time of mid-terms or finals. Data shows that, in these cases, students put off SmartBook and can’t optimize their learning experience.  
  • Use the progress reports to see how students are performing and, if necessary, consider adjusting lectures to address gaps in student knowledge.
     
  • Encourage students to return to previous SmartBook assignments to practice challenging topics, refresh their knowledge, and increase their retention of course concepts.
  • Remind students that by studying past material, they can refresh their memory and enhance their performance.
     
  • Explain that they can use the reports available to them to identify where weaknesses exist, so they can focus their time building that knowledge.
     
  • Include a note about your expectations for SmartBook in the syllabus and discussing SmartBook with your students during the first week of class.
  • Emphasize that SmartBook serves students best when they study in frequent, shorter study sessions and go back to practice past assignments. Since this is unlike the standard student experience where assignments are due at once, calling attention to this tip can optimize student usage.
  • The assignment results report area in Connect will record your student's highest level of mastery for each SmartBook assignment by the due date you have set. The SmartBook results report will record data in real-time if students continue to use the modules for self-study after the due date.