Smarthinking Tutorial Videos | Pearson Students on YouTube

Pearson (parent company of Smarthinking) has added these helpful video tutorials to its Pearson Students YouTube page. The videos walk students (and instructors) through the basics of using the service. Here’s the link that you can use to share the playlist with your students:

The Academic Support Centers are pleased to make this flexible, interactive service available to currently registered students at Reynolds.

NOTE: Students must access their Reynolds Smarthinking account through the Blackboard Tools tab. Please remember to make the Tools tab available in your course Blackboard.


“I Took a MOOC, and I Think I Liked It” by Matthew Young, PhD (Faculty Focus)

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Matthew Young, McCoy Professor of History at Marieta College, writes about his first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) experience and how he sees MOOCs fitting into his current understanding of what makes higher education meaningful:

Beyond learning how to make some pretty cool maps, my experience gave me new insight about MOOCs. I am not less concerned about impending revolutions and more interested in the ways MOOC content might be used to supplement what I do in y courses. MOOCs perform some teaching tasks capably. At the same time, if course goals include critical thought and analytical skills, MOOCs fall short. That sort of learning relies on a direct connection between teacher and student, and doing this properly on a massive scale is virtually impossible. Rather than fretting about the likelihood of being replaced by a cabal of masterminds immortalized in streaming video, faculty should be reminding themselves and others that what we promote authentic learning through invaluable that we establish with students.

Click here to read the entire piece on Faculty Focus.


David Gooblar, “So Many Papers, So Little Time” (Vitae by The Chronicle of Higher Education)

David Gooblar, literature and writing instructor, regular Vitae contributor, and owner of has written a post about the crush of papers to grade at this time of the semester. From the article:

It’s not just you. All over the country, college instructors young and old are groaning under the weight of too much grading. For some, this circumstance has already lasted weeks. For other, a back-loaded syllabus is only just now collecting its debts. What once had seemed to be a manageable course load has now revealed itself to be nearly untenable, with piles of ungraded papers taunting you in the office, in the car, at home. Although it happens every semester, the extent of it always comes as something of a surprise, doesn’t it? How are you going to get through all this grading?

Since so many of us are in the same boat, I thought I’d devote this column to some ways to lighten the grading load, at least a little. Although there are no tricks that can magically make all of your papers disappear, there are some ways to make your grading more efficient. Let’s see if we can spend a little less time on grading, and a little more time on other things (like sleep).

Click here to read the full article: And check out the comments, too. Other instructors have left more suggestions for relieving the overload.


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Dr. Barbara Oakley, How We Should Be Teaching Math (Wall Street Journal)

One of my engineering students recently approached me with a mixture of anger and befuddlement, thrusting toward me a quiz sheet covered with red pen marks: “I just don’t see how I could have done so poorly. I understood it when you taught it in class.”

I smiled encouragingly, but inside I sighed. The semester was just beginning. I hadn’t had time to disabuse the student’s naiveté. He still thought that because he “understood” the material, he was all set.

Read the whole article at The Wall Street Journal.


Teaching Language Study Skills to ESL Students | Sebastian Lesniewski

Oxford Learner’s Dictionary (American English) online – 



indexPlease note Smarthinking’s amended Labor Day weekend hours:

Between August 29 at 6 PM ET and September 2 at 9 AM ET, asynchronous and pre-scheduled tutoring will be offered. Offline questions, paragraphs, and essays (including assessments) will be accepted. During this time, we will strive to return submissions within 72 hours. Submissions posted on U.S. national holidays may be returned in more than 72 hours.

Please also note that our customer service team will be unavailable on September 1st.

Have a great holiday!