August 28, 2015
New technology is constantly changing how students learn. On-demand learning isn’t necessarily new, neither are mobile learning apps, but a new app by Cengage has found a way to make it more fine-tuned by listening to students and tailoring the app to their actual needs.
The MindTap mobile app launched yesterday for iOS and Android. It allows students to access many of the features from the Cengage website, including due date reminders, flash cards, and practice quizzes. Students can choose from the courses they are taking and use the app to access course materials, including text books, and other tools customized for that specific course.
“MindTap Mobile offers the tools students tell us they want and need to be successful in the classroom, and delivers them in a way that seamlessly integrates into their lifestyle,” said Jim Donohue, Chief Product Officer at Cengage Learning in a statement. “From day one, student feedback was the driving force behind the creation of this app. We listened to the end user- the student- and created a platform that empowers them to take control of their education and learn in their own unique way.”
According to Cengage, efficacy studies conducted by independent research firms found that students using the MindTap digital learning solution achieved significantly higher grades across a number of disciplines. They also took student feedback into account when building the app. For example, student surveys showed that the ability to study course material in a gamified quiz was a highly valued feature.
The only downside is that the materials are not free. Students still need to purchase the text books and other materials through Cengage. It appears that the materials are slightly cheaper through Cengage than they might be at the campus bookstore, but I’m only basing this observation on my outdated knowledge of the price of college text books (although I don’t think they’ve gotten cheaper over time).
It should be specified that MindTap is intended for students enrolled in accredited higher ed programs, not for MOOCs or independent learning. Cengage is targeting a large market with their mobile app, but also a limited one. They’re also not the only name in this game. Here’s a list of several other apps and online learning tools for college students.
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