Hosting a MindTap and SAM Tutorial for Students
Elyse Adler, Assistant Professor of Information Technology
Faculty must host a MindTap and SAM tutorial in order to make sure that students can access the platforms and understand how to use them. My students have been able to understand and navigate their courses much better by creating a few one-day activities.
1. Take them through Accessing the Platform
In the first section of my LMS, I added a link for SAM/MindTap. Face-to-face classes require that students click on the link together in order to ensure that every student has an account. Many students have used Cengage products before so they will have an account. If they don’t have an account, I help them create one.
My students can send me a screenshot of MindTap/SAM/MindTap on their desktops. For students who may need assistance, I provide a link to help them create an account.
2. SAM and MindTap Tutorial Time
In my face-to–face classes, I spend a few minutes of the SAM/MindTap tutorial guiding the class through the various elements and functions of the platform. I highlight the locations of readings and assignments. I offer a video walkthrough or a link to tutorials from Cengage for my online students.
I create a short training assignment for both classes that students can complete to earn extra credit. This allows them to see how each platform works. Because the quizzes look very similar to the exams, I explain that they are seeing how the trainings, exams, and quizzes will be presented. I will usually do the training in a group for my face to face classes.
3. Create a Practice Assignment
I deliberately made the first assignment in the course (textbook, project, etc.) easy to complete. The first assignment in the course (textbook project, project, etc.) is easy to complete and doesn’t count for many points. This allows students to navigate MindTap/SAM without worrying about their performance impacting their overall course grade. I require students to view the grade reports as part of this assignment. I usually ask that students take a screenshot from the open report and send it to me. This helps me make sure that students know where and how to view the report.
4. Ask questions
Sometimes students are afraid to ask questions about how or where to find it. Although I try to explain everything as clearly as possible in my tutorials and explanations, sometimes students still don’t understand how an element or SAM/MindTap works. I am open to questions in face-to-face classes. I also walk around the room and check their screens. This is to make sure they are not struggling. I also ask students questions if they have any further questions. I also create an online discussion board for MindTap/SAM questions. Students can access the Cengage help and tutorials in my LMS at any time.
5. Highlight a feature of SAM/MindTap
As a bonus, I often highlight a feature of SAM/MindTap they may not have heard about but that can make their lives easier. I show them how to search the textbook and download the mobile app for offline access.
No matter what your class format is, it is vital that all students can use the SAM/MindTap tools. This is something I cannot stress enough to my class. It is a good idea to take some time to review these basics in the beginning days of the course. Even if some students don’t know the platform well, there will be some students who can really benefit from these tutorials.
More SAM/MindTap Tutorial Information
You want to understand MindTap Collections and SAM in your course? Watch our webinar to learn more about SAM/MindTap collections basics.