Best Practices for Assigning LearnSmart - Missi Patterson
Best Practices for Assigning
Presenter ~ Missi Patterson, PhD
Austin Community College
Presenter: Missi Patterson
Missi Patterson is an Associate Professor of
Psychology at Austin Community College. She
earned her PhD in Cognitive Psychology at Texas
A&M, where she specialized in research on creativity
and learning. Her current focus is on undergraduate
education; she has developed courses in Introductory
Psychology, Lifespan Development, Adolescent
Development, and Human Sexuality. Her desire to
support student success and engagement has made
her a long-time proponent of technological tools for
teaching. Missi has spent years investigating how to
bring the best digital resources to her classes.
What Is LearnSmart?
Adaptive learning tool
Not your grandaddy’s study deck
Flexible for instructors and students
What do you want from LearnSmart?
It all starts HERE.
I want students to be exposed to material
before I lecture on it.
I adjust the slider to about 45 minutes per
Set due date to the same time for each
set due date to 7am on the day of lecture
Don’t make the deadline at midnight!
Pick the depth of
Set due date
What I wish I knew then…
“Students don’t do optional”
Build “forgiveness” into assignments
You MUST give class credit for LS
I require only 90% of assignments
I require 70% of each chapter
Make it clear WHY you are assigning, and
explain that no late assignments will be
accepted for any reason.
Make all assignments available starting on
the same date.
The “open book exam” argument
LS = 13-15% of class grade
14% for me = one exam grade
Students Don’t Do “Optional”
Create a “Base Class” and copy to make actual
Make use of single sign on if possible
Have clear instructions on syllabus and in your LMS
Working on assignments
Give students the MGH help number!
Organize assignments in folders, one for each exam
Teach students the difference between:
Blackboard / MHCampus**
Will appear if available / If students have connect plus
Is connected to LS assignments – another way to complete
Show students how to do their own reports
Make sure you understand instructor reports**
Students have changed…
“I never realized it was important to read
before lecture! It really makes a
Students help each other in lecture with
knowledge they’ve gained from LS.
Students come to class ready to learn, and
ready to attack interesting / challenging
information. I no longer have to spoonfeed the basics.
I have changed…
I KNOW what my students are struggling
I can focus on their real areas of
I can spend class time covering exciting
applications or real world issues, rather
than the basics.
I can show my students (individually)
where their weaknesses are, and how to
Grades have changed…
Patterson – Spring 2013 – all sections using LS
What are your instructional goals?
Do you want students to read before lecture?
Do you want to know where students are
Assign with enough time before class that you can
Do you want students to get practice before
doing their applied homework?
Assign before class time.
Assign before homework is assigned
Do you want students to practice before an
Assign before the exam OR offer points for work
done after original deadline.
Click here to watch this recorded