After four years of rigorous testing by educators and students, Macmillan Learning’s new digital learning platform, Achieve, launched in college classes throughout the U.S. this fall semester. Research from Inside Higher Ed and The Boedeker Group shows that student engagement was a top challenge as instructors transitioned to virtual classes this spring and remains a concern this fall. During the spring 2020 semester, instructors using Achieve reported their students were more engaged both in and outside of class when they compared to other classes they were teaching without Achieve.
“Engagement is critical to a student’s success, and a sense of support and collaboration can be challenging to create by just watching videos or clicking through information. Achieve makes learning more active, which is more important than ever with virtual and hybrid classes. It’s making a difference for students, with data demonstrating better understanding, grades, and exam scores when students use Achieve,” said Susan Winslow, President, Macmillan Learning.
Active learning is embedded in Achieve’s design, and can be used in traditional, online, hybrid, blended, or a fully “flipped” classroom, with options for both synchronous and asynchronous learning to support engagement — no matter where students are. This flexibility was especially critical this past spring semester when many instructors had to transition from face-to-face to virtual classes quickly. When asked, 71% of instructors teaching during the spring semester reported that it was easier to transition to a virtual environment with Achieve compared to other curricula they were using.
Achieve includes an interactive eBook as well as expansive learning materials that include pre-class, in-class and post-class activities. Several digital-first titles were developed for the new digital learning platform, including Achieve for Readers and Writers and Achieve for Interactive General Chemistry.
Joel Wilson, a Professor of General Studies at Keiser University and an Adjunct Instructor at the Community College of Allegheny County, who has been using Achieve Writer’s Help for Hacker for four semesters, said: “When the coronavirus shut down institutions across the country, many instructors were scrambling to transition their class and locate materials that work well in a virtual classroom, but thanks to Achieve’s built-in active learning, my classes maintained their continuity, and my students’ learning continued. The students remained very engaged with the Achieve materials and the course. They were able to both finish the semester and strengthen their composition skills.”
Earlier this year, Achieve became the first product exclusively designed for higher education to earn the “Research-Based Design” product certification by Digital Promise. The certification ensures instructors that the products they select were designed using research-based learning science principles and developed using best practices before using them with their students.
“Achieve was built with active learning at its core, with interactive learning experiences that engage students before, during, and after class. Our research over the past four years shows that with Achieve, students are more engaged and are learning the material better. While Achieve wasn’t created in anticipation of a pandemic, we’ve seen firsthand how instructors and students have benefited from the new platform during this incredible time of change,” said Tim Flem, Vice President of Product at Macmillan Learning.