5 Ways to Promote an Academic Mindset (Especially in Corequisite Courses)

How do you keep students motivated to learn? Here are 5 tips you can implement immediately in your class.

1. Allow the first 5–10 minutes of class for discussion.

Creating a shared space to talk about non-cognitive issues, such as struggles with financial aid or added stress from jobs, shows students that you understand they are busy, unique individuals and that you’re here to help them succeed.

2. Take on-campus field trips.

Oftentimes, students don’t know how many learning resources their institution offers them. Bringing students to the tutoring and writing centers, as well as the library, will make them aware of what’s available and more comfortable with getting help. If you teach online-only classes, consider holding a discussion forum with links to these resources’ websites so students can easily access them.

3. Promote growth mindsets over fixed mindsets.

Encourage multiple drafts of writing assignments and consider allowing students the ability to retake assessments if they apply themselves and learn the material. Research shows that growth mindsets help fight students’ apathy toward their learning.

4. Provide detailed feedback on assignments.

When students hand in papers or problem sets, remember to write the kinds of comments that focus less on the letter grade and more on the growth aspect of learning. If you get the feeling some students aren’t reading your feedback, ask them to meet before or after class to go over it with them.

5. Pair struggling students with successful students in group work.

If students are finding your course—or perhaps college life in general—a little challenging, have them work with those who are doing well. Many times, students feel more comfortable learning from their peers, and they’ll be positively influenced through collaborating with students who show them that they, too, can succeed. Plus, the role of mentor will increase successful students’ confidence and leadership skills.


Hawkes Learning offers corequisite options that place student success first. Target specific remediation needs for just-in-time supplementation of foundational concepts and enhance curriculum-level content with applicable review skills, shortening the prerequisite sequence without compromising competency. Contact us today at 1-800-426-9538 or sales@hawkeslearning.com to get your examination copy!

Sensor data collection for class projects


Collect data with sensors for classroom exploration.

Involving students in the first step of the data collection process promotes engagement and interest.

It’s hard to collect accurate data in the real world. Students must learn to be aware of different variables that impact readings and to harness their critical thinking skills to troubleshoot often.

Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi is a small, microcomputer processor with an average cost of $25-$35. This simplistic device can be outfitted with different sensors, including those that measure temperature, moisture, humidity, and so much more.

Without a keyboard or monitor, the Raspberry Pi can be set up in any location in a classroom and take measurements of sensor data at requested intervals.

Once collected, data can be downloaded and used for analysis.

Hawkes is using these devices to set up several experiments to provide a live data feed for free use, and you can too!

Here are 3 ideas for experiments that we have in the works using Raspberry Pi:

1. Bamboo growth
Follow how quickly different bamboo plants are growing and what impacts their growth. You can also check out the cool sensor data PiPlanter is collecting, including soil humidity and ambient light, to create a clever irrigation device!

2. Air quality control
Track carbon monoxide emissions and see how the readings change as distance to humans varies.

3. Temperature
Assess temperature in different locations of the room. Watch out for variables such as air conditioning drafts, sunlight, and proximity to people and computers.



The impact of sensors and data collection in today’s world is covered in the NEW Discovering Statistics and Data text.

Get your free exam copy today!

You focus on teaching. Let us provide the data.

The new Discovering Statistics and Data text offers 36 (and counting!) real data sets for free download.

Data Set Obesity

The companion website to the new Discovering Statistics and Data textbook, stat.hawkeslearning.com, supplies updated and relevant data sets, instructions on computational technologies, and access to data visualization tools and websites.

These large data sets expose students to the kind of real-world data they will encounter in their future careers. With so many variables and data points included, students must learn to work the data and make meaning from all the information provided.

This free online resource from trusted sources shows how interesting exploring data can be. Students will learn to work with raw data and draw meaningful conclusions.

Exercises in the new Discovering Statistics and Data textbook refer to the data sets provided on this curated website.

Teaching a corequisite statistics course?
The new Discovering Statistics and Data + Integrated Review emphasizes the importance of data in today’s world and is designed to provide all developmental math content needed to support statistics learners.

Request a free exam copy here.


Reducing Algebra as a Calculus Pain Point

Time and time again, we hear from calculus professors across the country that one of the biggest issues in their classes is students remembering the building blocks of algebra.

Here are a few suggestions to help ensure students have the basics mastered:

Consider diagnostic testing.

Identify students who have skill gaps, then provide them with supplemental assignments in the first weeks of class for additional support.

Ask students who excel on the diagnostic test if they are willing to be course mentors, which will build classroom camaraderie.

If possible, host a 1-day algebra refresher workshop before the first day of class.

Begin the term explaining how algebra is foundational to calculus. Let students know they are not alone in struggling with algebraic concepts. Hosting an algebra refresher will help students feel more comfortable asking questions.

Remind students that you’re grading for accuracy.

Feedback is critical for students to realize they are struggling. If time permits, set aside a few minutes after passing back assignments so students can look over the feedback you gave them and ask questions.

Provide every student with technology resources as further help.

List out a few tech resources that are easy to access, such as YouTube videos or online interactive games, on your syllabus. Additionally, look for calculus materials that provide a brief algebra refresher as part of the text.

Hawkes Learning’s Calculus with Early Transcendentals textbook and NEW courseware offer exercises and diagnostic testing that target the key algebraic topics calculus students need to master. Request a complimentary exam copy.


5 Ways to Get Students Interested in Statistics

Creating a universally engaging classroom environment can be challenging, but having the right tools that make lesson content relevant to students helps! Below are 5 ways to get your students more excited about statistics:

1. Interesting Data
Finding data on topics students think are fun, like beers and breweries across the country, might pique interest. Use this spreadsheet from the U.S. Census to show them socioeconomic trends they may witness themselves in their own demographic (or age bracket).

2. Visualization Tools
Seeing is believing. The free online resource Gapminder offers a graphical simulator depicting 5 dimensions of real-world data in 2D. Students can change the relationships between demographic, economic, and societal variables animated over time to see some pretty neat relationships in motion.

3. Applications Challenge
Knowing the immediate value of the lesson they’re learning gives students more encouragement to commit the content to memory. Asking students to find their own data sets on their favorite sports team or something they connect with might engage their interest and help them truly grasp the concepts.

5 ways to makes stats more relevent

4. Games
You know statistics can (and is!) fun, and who doesn’t like to win? Interacting with a game and trying to win it make learning more exciting. View some examples of statistics games here.

5. Simulations
Help students grasp key concepts through simulations that hold their attention! Use simulations in class and encourage students to work through as a group to liven up the lecture time. Check out fun simulations here.




How to help students with first-year jitters

The newness of a first-year classroom is often intimidating for students. As a first-year instructor, you’re tasked with setting the tone for their college experience.

Let’s deconstruct four ways to eliminate the pressures of a first-year environment:

1. Provide Frequent Feedback
All students can benefit from hearing it often and immediately, especially upon entering new territory. Offering plenty of early guidance will not only set students on the right track academically, but it can reinforce their self-assurance.

2. Cultivate Critical Thinking
Nontraditional students may have a head start in this arena. However, in the high school classroom, critical thinking skills are, too often, only skimmed. Give your students bountiful opportunities to interact with open-ended, thought-provoking, real-world problems that bolster this skill.

3. Encourage Communication
Emphasize the open lines of support available to your students. Invite them to freely communicate with you, their peers, and various campus organizations. It may be the first and only time they’re invited to do so.

4. Clarify Expectations
Many will transition into your classroom unsure of the role they play in their own academic success. Don’t leave any room for misconceptions about what you expect in your course. Spell it out granularly to set a tone of transparency and autonomous learning.

Hawkes Learning provides courses for integrated reading & writing, first-year composition, and corequisite composition. Request a complimentary copy of materials today.