LearnSmart™,  A Textbook-Bundled, Metacognitive Study Tool — Is it Really as Good As it Seems? 

Thursday, March 27 at 12:15pm to 1:30pm

Center for Teaching Excellence UNH 3030, 1 LMU Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90045

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Presented By:

Nicole Bouvier-Brown, PhD, Chemistry & Biochemistry 

Vandana Thadani, PhD, Psychology

Publishers of college textbooks are increasingly bundling what appear to be sophisticated technology-based study tools with their texts.  These tools seem promising because they imbed features—such as aids for assisting students to think metacognitively—that existing research suggests can improve student learning. But are such textbook-bundled tools indeed as effective as the well-developed, well-implemented interventions in research studies? Given that that these tools pose financial and opportunity costs for students and instructors, empirical evidence is needed about whether and under what conditions they are effective.  LearnSmart™ is one such tool that McGraw Hill bundles with its General Chemistry textbook.  The tool imbeds metacognitive aids to help students monitor understanding and steer learning.  We conducted a study that examined efficacy of LearnSmart for improving science learning. We compared students who used LearnSmart for their first-semester undergraduate General Chemistry course to those who did not; in addition, we compared these two groups to students who used LearnSmart but received scaffolded support to use the tool’s metacognitive features through materials we developed. Findings and their implications for use of these tools in classes are discussed. 

Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to teachers@lmu.edu or x85866.

This program will be video and audio taped and may be podcast. By your willing participation in the program, you expressly and irrevocably consent to be photographed, videotaped and/or audio taped and quoted/cited. The films, tapes, and other digital recordings will become the property of the Center of Teaching Excellence, LMU.

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