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Essie Childers — Blinn College

MindTap has been the best digital tool for me and my students because it gives us an opportunity to 'sing from the same page.'

Essie Childers is a full-time professor of Learning Frameworks, Study Skills, and Developmental Reading at Blinn College. Blinn College is a two-year college in central Texas with an enrollment of almost 20,000 students on four campuses.

After teaching for thirty years, I was extremely excited to learn about a new personalized digital tool called, MindTap (included with the On Course text), to help engage and motivate my college students. MindTap was the answer to meeting the online mandates of having at least fifty-one percent of the assignments online. MindTap has a customized learning space that aids in the organization of choosing activities for my classes. I immediately noticed increased motivation from my students as they were able to click one button to see a learning path of skills unfold in a neatly, organized fashion.

MindTap has been the best digital tool for me and my students because it gives us an opportunity to, "Sing from the same page." In other words, students understand their lesson objectives and our communication paths are stronger than before. I am not receiving e-mails and phone calls with the same question, "When is the assignment due?" "Is this for a grade?" "Where is the video you want us to watch?" All of these questions can be answered in MindTap with only a few clicks away. Now, "How cool is that!"

Additionally, the College Success Factors Index (CSFI) is an assessment that you will want to add to your toolkit. I have found the CSFI to be an excellent complement to any student success textbook. It is a 100-item assessment that can be taken online that measures 10 affective factors common among college students. The results are displayed in a color-coded visual format and can be very useful in identifying a student's strong and weak areas. This early assessment can serve as a critical element in identify needs of students. At the end of the semester, students take the post assessment to see which area (s) they have improved.

Essie serves as immediate past President of the Texas Community College Teachers Association which is comprised of over 6,000 teachers and administrators in the state of Texas, a Senior Fellow for Future Works, Blinn College, the 2014 recipient of CRLA's Distinguished Teaching Award and the 2013 On Course Ambassador of the Year Award. She has presented at numerous conferences such as, Cengage, NADE, On Course, NISOD, TCCTA, CRLA, CASP, and AAAE (American Association for Adjunct Educators). Essie is a graduate of The University of Texas at Tyler, Abilene Christian University and Walden University completing a Graduate Certificate in Adult Learning in 2014.

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