It is now a common practice for textbook publishers to develop electronic resources to complement their textbooks. These resources often include comprehension questions or quizzes, electronic versions of the text, PowerPoint slides, learning games and activities, and videos, among other materials.
The value of these materials is greatly enhanced when they can be effectively integrated with your instruction. Fortunately, most of the large textbook publishers have developed partnerships with Blackboard so that their electronic content can be delivered within your Blackboard courses. These publishers include:
- Pearson MyLab/Mastering programs
- Cengage Learning
- Macmillan Higher Education
Integrating textbook material with Blackboard provides instructors with many benefits. Below are just a few reasons why you may want to consider incorporating some of these resources into your instruction, even if you teach face-to-face classes!
Gain access to free content that aligns with your textbook.
The supplementary electronic resources are usually included in the cost of students’ textbooks, which also includes the instructor’s access to materials that directly relate to the content covered in class. This can save you the considerable time it takes to generate original content or search for appropriate supplemental resources that enhance students’ in-class learning.
Choose the materials that best support your instruction.
When publisher content is integrated into Blackboard, you can determine which resources are made available to students. This allows you to select only the content that best aligns with the focus areas of the course, while excluding content that is repetitive or irrelevant. You can also choose how to organize the materials in the context of your instructional approach and incorporate any resources that you have developed that extend beyond the publisher’s content.
Provide more opportunities for feedback and self-assessment.
Publisher content usually includes assessment questions that align with different chapters or topics in the book. This bank of testing questions allows you to create more opportunities for students to receive feedback about their performance in the course and their understanding of the material.
You can use Blackboard and the publisher content to include a series of short, low stakes comprehension quizzes or you can create self-assessment exercises that students can choose to take to assess their own understanding. Blackboard can automatically grade these quizzes and share the results with students, so that you don’t add to your workload.
Meet the diverse needs of your students.
Students often enter classes with a variety of prior experiences with the subject matter, with some students lacking the basics, while others are ready to be challenged beyond the standard curriculum. You can use publisher content to make resources available that can enhance students’ learning experiences based on their different needs.
For example, you can create a folder of resources to provide students with fundamental knowledge they may be missing or additional practice related to the more challenging course concepts. You can also create a folder of extra credit assignments that give advanced students more opportunities to extend their learning.
Make the experience seamless for students.
When publisher content is integrated into Blackboard, students can use their La Salle login information to access these resources. They don’t need to create any additional accounts or remember yet another password. Also, from the students’ perspective, they often cannot tell the difference between the publisher’s content and the content that their instructor creates.
By combining publisher content with your own content, you can create a robust learning experience that supports students both in and outside of class.
How to get started with publisher content
Contact your textbook representative to find out if your textbook includes electronic resources that can be incorporated into Blackboard. If so, the Instructional Design team is happy to work with you and your textbook representative to get this content set up in Blackboard!