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What is Connect Master?

McGraw-Hill Connect logo

Students often struggle to connect concepts to application. Connect Master® Student Success takes students higher with adaptive questioning and activities that allow students to demonstrate what they know and apply their learning to real-life situations and challenges.

Connect Master is next-level learning for today’s generation.

Connect Master Addresses Key Challenges

Challenge

Students often struggle to connect concepts to real-world application.

Solution

Connect Master® takes students higher with adaptive questioning and activities that allow students to demonstrate what they know and apply their learning to real-life situations and challenges.

The Connect Master Application Based Activities provide students valuable practice using problem solving skills to apply their knowledge to realistic scenarios. Students progress from understanding basic concepts, to using their knowledge, to analyze complex scenarios and solve problems.

Challenge

Educators report that students often come to class under-prepared, not having done the reading assignments prior to class and prepared to have class discussion or participate in guided activities.

Solution

The Connect Master® Adaptive and Individualized Study Tool, LearnSmart Achieve, creates a personalized learning and reading experience for students, providing the opportunity to practice and persevere to enhance understanding of core concepts also covered in the Connect Master Reader. Key concepts are enhanced by learning resources to provide an active learning experience.

Challenge

Student Success is taught in a variety of modalities to first year students. Each institution and student population has varying needs and required learning objectives.

Solution

Connect Master’s ability to customize content at the learning-objective level provides instructors the opportunity for students to have course materials tailored specifically to how the course is implemented.

Challenge

Student Success is a dynamic course that includes self-reflection and self-awareness practices to allow students to adopt successful skills according to where they are. Because every student has different needs and learning styles, they need a program that develops critical thinking skills and addresses preparedness, problem solving, and life and workforce readiness skills in an engaging environment.

Solution

Connect Master Student Success is a revolutionary product for this course. Developed by the market as a digital-first product that is highly engaging and interactive.

Select a category to see the challenge and solution.

Key Connect Master Features

Practical Assessments

The Connect Master Practical Assessments are highly interactive, online exercises that provide students a safe space to practice using problem-solving skills to apply their knowledge to realistic scenarios. Each assessment and scenario addresses key concepts and skills that students must use to work through to solve specific problems, resulting in improved critical thinking and relevant workplace skills.

Adaptive and Individualized Study Tool

The Connect Master Adaptive and Individualized Study Tool creates a personalized learning experience for students, providing the opportunity to practice and persevere to enhance understanding of core concepts also covered in the Connect Master Reader.

The Connect Master Reader

The Connect Master Reader is built around key learning objectives that streamline the essential conceptual information. Key concepts are enhanced by resources to provide an active learning experience.

Core Concepts Notebook

While Master is a fully digital product, we have also developed a Core Concepts Notebook which can be used alongside the digital product for those students who value a print reference. The Core Concepts Notebook contains the essential narrative content (without the interactives) from the Interactive Reader and is available as a printable PDF within the Master course, as well as in Create.

Customizable

Connect Master’s ability to customize content at the learning-objective level provides instructors the opportunity for students to have course materials tailored specifically to how the course is implemented.

Click on a feature tab to learn more.

Student Experience

The first view for the student in Connect Master Student Success provides a list of all of the modules assigned.
On the left, they will see the link to the Ebook – under READ.
They will also see links to additional practice (the LearnSmart Achieve/Adaptive Questioning component) and any lectures you may have recorded.

Student Experience
Adaptive and Individualized Study Tool

Student Experience

When the student clicks the drop down menu for any of the modules, they will receive the list of assignments you have selected for that module.
The first time a student clicks on any assignment...
...they are given the details of the assignment, such as estimated length of time to complete, due date, attempts, etc.

Student Experience
Adaptive and Individualized Study Tool

In addition, the first time a student clicks on the Adaptive Questioning assignment for a specific module, the student will receive an introduction with step by step instructions. If the student is struggling with a topic, the learning platform will provide a learning resource to cover the concept in detail. They are encouraged to spend time reviewing the learning resource to apply that knowledge to future questions.

Student Experience
Adaptive and Individualized Study Tool

At the beginning of the adaptive questioning component, the student is presented with the list of Learning Objectives for that specific module. The due date and recommended practice time is also provided so time can be allocated appropriately.

Student Experience
Adaptive and Individualized Study Tool

Then the student will be presented with a series of questions.
Connect Master Student Success encourages an active learning student experience. If a student is struggling with a topic, the learning platform will provide a learning resource to cover the concept in detail.
It is important that the student spend time reviewing the resource so that they can apply the knowledge learned to future questions. These resources can always be found and reviewed at any time under the Library menu on the left.
As the student answers more questions correctly, their progress will be saved automatically, and they can continue where they left off any time. They can always review their progress and performance in Reports, found in the left-hand menu.
Additionally, the student can always refresh their memory using Recharge, which will guide them through a review of the material they have previously mastered. This is an excellent way to prepare and allows the material to move to long-term memory.

Student Experience
Adaptive and Individualized Study Tool

Here are a few examples of the additional learning resources. The Learning Resources include additional information pertaining to the specific concept (SLIDE)...
...a link to the full list of additional learning resources for the module (LIBRARY)...

Student Experience
Adaptive and Individualized Study Tool

...or an animated video.

Student Experience
Adaptive and Individualized Study Tool

All questions are built around learning objectives. The number of questions a student responds to correctly will determine his or her mastery of that objective. If a student does not prove mastery, the system will require interaction with the additional learning resources before a student can continue progress.
All learning resources, in the form of animated videos or slides, are derived from the Connect Master Reader. Like the probes, they are all specifically targeted to, and directly aligned with, the individual learning objectives being assessed. These targeted micro-lessons focus on one concept at a time, creating a focused learning experience for the students.

Student Experience
Reading Experience

Student Experience
Reading Experience

Now let’s move to the Reader or ebook. The Connect Master Reader is built around key learning objectives that hone in on the essential course concepts. Key concepts are enhanced by resources to provide an active learning experience.
These resources include Watch and Learns and Click and Learns—both of which keenly engage students in the course content in a meaningful way.

Student Experience
Reading Experience

Student Experience
Reading Experience

Click to open the stage to reveal more information.

Student Experience
Completing Practical Assessments

Student Experience
Completing Practical Assessments - Reflect On Your Learning

The Connect Master Performance Assessments provide students valuable practice using critical thinking and problem solving skills to apply their knowledge to realistic and personal situations.
Students progress from understanding basic concepts to using their knowledge to analyze and apply to their life. These next several screens will feature different types of Performance Assessments.
You will find two types of Performance Assessment assignments: Reflect On Your Learning, and Apply Your Learning. Similar to reflective journal questions, Performance Assessments allow students to build personal awareness on a specific skill.
The questions allow them to think critically about how they approach a specific skill, and journal their response.
As shown with this example of a Reflect On Your Learning Performance Assessment, some assignments include interacting with the Reader (ebook) to read and respond to the Performance Assessment assignment.

Student Experience
Completing Practical Assessments - Reflect On Your Learning

Here is an example of the Performance Assessment: Apply Your Learning.
These activities require students to read a scenario and make decisions to apply the concepts they have just learned to that scenario.
They also then ask the student to apply those concepts to their own life.

Student Experience
Completing Practical Assessments - Self Assessment

Another Practical Assessment assignment type include Self-Assessment assignments. The goal of the self-assessments is for the student to gain a better understanding of themselves—so they can then apply that knowledge in college, life, and career.
This slide includes two examples. One example from the Self-Assessment module on Emotional Intelligence, as well as a Self-Assessment in the Critical Thinking module.

Student Experience
Application Based Activities (Mini-Simulations)

The last Practical Assessment assignment type is a Mini-Simulation.
These are highly interactive, application and analysis mini-simulations where the student takes the role as “friend” to another student who is struggling with an issue related to the module.

Student Experience
Application Based Activities (Mini-Simulations)

By asking questions, and making recommendations, the student helps the friend solve a problem.

Student Experience
Application Based Activities (Mini-Simulations)

In this exercise, the students apply what they have learned and think critically to help their friend work through a realistic problem.
Students will be interacting with an “instructor” throughout the sim who will ask them questions and help guide their decisions.
The student will follow the scenario and choose decisions they think best helps their “friend” work through the conflict or challenge they are faced with.
They will interact with the instructor and friend throughout the simulation as they work through the situation with their friend who is struggling.
When the student is asked for help, their instructor will provide guidance and feedback.
At any point along the way the student can review the situation and decisions.
At the end of the sim, the students will have the opportunity to review their summary and either accept their results and end their turn OR, if allowed multiple attempts, revise their strategy and try again if their mission goals were not met.
Once the student submits, they receive their overall score with a breakdown of the grade and feedback.

Student Experience
Core Concepts Notebook

Student Experience
Core Concepts Notebook

While Master is a fully digital product, we have also developed a Core Concepts Notebook which can be used alongside the digital product for those students who value a print reference.
The Core Concepts Notebook contains the essential narrative content (without the interactives) from the Interactive Reader and is available as a printable PDF within the Master course.

Student Experience
Core Concepts Notebook

In addition, the student can also take notes right within the digital notebook and save them to their hard drive or print them out, as desired.

Student Experience
Reports

If a student would like to dig deeper and uncover their strengths and weaknesses, they can do so by accessing the Reports menu.
There they will find information about their performance, most challenging learning objectives, missed questions, create self-assessments and more.
The Self-Assessment report helps students understand how often they are aware of their own metacognitive state. This unique report provides students with an awareness that can help them study more effectively.

Connect Master Student Success Reader

ReadAnyWhere App phone preview

The Connect Master: Marketing Reader will be available for mobile use on smart devices – both online and offline – via the ReadAnywhere app.  The app provides the same tools available in the laptop version of the Reader and any notes or highlights made to the text will sync across platforms so they’re available on the app or laptop version.

ReadAnyWhere App phone preview

Instructor Experience
Create an Assignment Using the Adaptive and Individualized Study Tool

Building a Connect Master assignment is simple. Instructors can choose to assign items from the question bank, test bank, adaptive practice, application-based activities and more.
Let’s begin with an assignment from the Connect Master Adaptive and Individualized Study Tool, LearnSmart Achieve. Click here.

Instructor Experience
Create an Assignment Using the Adaptive and Individualized Study Tool

Choose the silver “Customized Study Plan” to create assignments tied to specific modules or topics.

Instructor Experience
Create an Assignment Using the Adaptive and Individualized Study Tool

Next, click on the specific learning objective you want to assign. In this case, let’s select Goal Setting. Please click ASSIGN to the right of Goal Setting.

Instructor Experience
Create an Assignment Using the Adaptive and Individualized Study Tool

Instructors have full control over what topics down to the specific learning objectives, they want their students to master.
Notice that you can turn certain objectives on or off by clicking the boxes...
...as well as adjust the depth of coverage for the entire assignment using the slider bar.
The slider bar will provide an estimated completion time for the student but this will vary greatly depending on preparedness level.
On this screen, you will also set how many points you would like this assignment to be worth.
Reflecting back on the student experience, the assignment you just created is the individualized adaptive reading assignment with learning resources.

Instructor Experience
Create a Performance Assessment Application Exercise Assignment

As you saw in the Student Experience, Connect Master Student Success also has many other assignment types. Let’s quickly create a Performance Assessment assignment for Goal Setting. Under the Add Assignment tab, click on Question Bank.

Instructor Experience
Create a Performance Assessment Application Exercise Assignment

Select Goal Setting.
Notice you can choose either the Performance Assessments (recall there are two types: Reflect on Your Learning, and Apply Your Learning), Self-Assessments, or the Test Bank. All content is tagged to AACSB, difficulty, learning objective and difficulty levels-making the content easy to sot and report against. Let’s select Performance Assessments.

Instructor Experience
Create a Performance Assessment Application Exercise Assignment

On this screen you can apply the filters on the left hand side of the screen, or simply review the questions listed for this topic. At any time you can go back to the Table of Contents (Select a Different Question Source) and add more topics to the assignment.
Select the options you desire and click add to assignment.
Click “Continue.”

Instructor Experience
Create a Performance Assessment Application Exercise Assignment

It is simple to set assignment details such as due dates, number of attempts, determine level of feedback, categories, etc.
The most popular selections are saved as default selections, but all can be modified under “Expand Advanced Settings.”
Once you are satisfied with your selections...
... click Review and Assign.

Instructor Experience
Create an Application-Based Activity (Mini-Simulation) Assignment

Finally, let’s walk through creating a mini-simulation assignment. Back on the Home screen – Add Assignment tab - click on MH Practice Activity.

Instructor Experience
Create an Application-Based Activity (Mini-Simulation) Assignment

They are listed topically and alphabetically. Each focuses on a different situation or scenario and is intended to take 8-15 minutes to complete.
You can view more information about the mini sim by clicking on the “i”...
or preview the mini sim as a student by clicking “Preview”.
Click to close the preview.
Click the circle to select the Setting SMART goals! Mini-Sim and click Continue.

Instructor Experience
Create an Application-Based Activity (Mini-Simulation) Assignment

Create a title for the assignment...
...type any instructions you wish to convey to your students...
...set a due date...
...point value...
...number of attempts...
...and click Assign.

Instructor Experience - Student Performance: Assignment Results

Image of instructor progress reports.

The Performance tab includes various student performance reports.

A color coded bar chart provides a snap shot of student performance at the assignment level. Hover your cursor over each bar to see the title of the assignment, the best attempt percentage score for your section, and the number of students who completed it.

You also receive a quick overall note regarding any students who may be at risk. For example, in this slide, you see 3 students have an overall average under 59%, and the overall section grade for 9 assignments so far is 65.47%.

Instructor Experience - Student Performance: Assignment Results

The image on the right shows the 7 different types of detailed reports available and track everything from student performance to time spent on each assignment.

Types of reports

Instructor Experience - Student Performance: Assignment Results

This is the first screen to look at the Assignment Results. The middle column lists the assignments, and the column on the right lets you choose how you want to view the results.

Image of instructor progress reports.

Instructor Experience - Student Performance: Assignment Results

Image of instructor progress reports.

This report shows the assignment statistics. Each attempt a student completes on an assignment is tracked, along with the time they completed it, the time spent, the time and date submitted and more. If you click on the score itself, you can see the students’ submission and adjust points if needed.

Instructor Experience - Progress Reports

Many instructors find the At Risk Report helpful. This report enables you to quickly identify students who are at risk (red), ones to keep a watch on (yello), and those who are “safe” (green). in the red” or “yellow” quickly based on one or multiple assignments and message them accordingly.

As stated above, Connect looks for patterns of student activity to determine the engagement level of the students. The more you use Connect in your course, the more opportunities Connect has to measure engagement.

The bottom image includes a column with the first and last name of each student (removed here), along with their engagement indicator. Those highlighted in red and yellow include a link to send an email to that student directly.

Image of instructor progress reports.
Image of instructor progress reports.Image of instructor progress reports.

Instructor Experience - Progress Reports

Image of instructor progress reports.

The Progress reports shows how your students are progressing through a LearnSmart Achieve assignment. This can be helpful as you prepare for your next class.

Instructor Experience - Progress Reports

Image of instructor progress reports.
Image of instructor progress reports.

Deeper, more individualized reports are available in the Performance - Insight tab. You will receive an at glance overall view of the time on task of your section, and can dive even deeper to see how each student is spending their time. This report can help you further identify at risk students throughout the semester – at a glance.

Together we can unlock
the potential of every learner
with the power of learning science.

We harness proven learning theories
to power Connect Master

learning_theory

The Theory of Deliberate Practice

Understanding where we are weakest helps us to focus on our practice.

Metacognitive Theory

Learners learn best when they know what they don’t know.

Effortful Retrieval, Spaced Practice

To truly learn something, learners need to commit it to long-term memory.

At the core of our ed tech offering are algorithms and capabilities rooted in learning research and implemented in experiences that are intuitive, easy-to-use, engaging, efficient and effective.

Learning Theories Applied with Connect Master

Learning theories infographic
Deliberate Practice
  • 10 data points captured per question/probe
  • Creates a baseline of the student's knowledge
  • Determines the next most appropriate question to assign
Metacognitive Theory
  • Determines what students really know as opposed to what they think they know and adjusts learning path
  • Provides right amount of challenge and struggle for each student to drive learning while motivating and building confidence
Effortful Retrieval
Spaced Practice
  • Recharge learning by transitioning course concepts from short term to long term memory
  • Predicts the moment the learner is about to forget
  • Determines question sequencing and enhances retention

Meet the Author

LaShana Stokes
Lead Content Architect

LaShana Stokes, M.Ed. has not only created this quote, but has helped breathe life into it for students through her faculty role in the first-year experience classroom as well as her administrator positions in higher education. She is currently Dean of Enrollment Management at HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College and has over 10 years of demonstrated transformational leadership in community college administration in student affairs, in academic affairs as Department Chair of Social Sciences, and as Assistant Professor in Foundational Studies, which offers first-year experience classes.

LaShana holds a BS in Speech Communication: Broadcasting and an MA in Education: Curriculum and Instruction and is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in Higher Education Leadership. She is a dynamic motivational speaker who leads first-year experience trainings and has presented at several local, regional, national, and international conferences and events on the topic. In 2016, LaShana was nominated for the President’s Award and in 2017 received HACC’s Scholarship Recognition Award for her research on piloting first-year experience classes specifically for underrepresented populations.

LaShana Stokes Connect Master
LaShana Stokes Connect Master

“The most important moment in a student’s educational journey is found at the crossroad where purpose, passion, and persistence meet – this is the catalyst for college success.”