College textbook publishers increasingly bundle sophisticated technology-based study tools with their texts. These tools appear promising, but empirical work on their efficacy is needed. We examined whether LearnSmart, a study tool bundled with McGraw-Hill’s textbook Chemistry (Chang & Goldsby, 2013), improved learning in an undergraduate general chemistry course. Content-knowledge gains of those students who used LearnSmart, those who did not use it, and those who used it with scaffolding questions that supported use of the tool’s metacognitive features were compared. The metacognitive scaffolding questions appeared to help students use LearnSmart more effectively than did using LearnSmart by itself, which did not confer learning benefits. Implications for adopting LearnSmart and similar tools are discussed.
Thadani, V., & Bouvier-Brown, N. C. (2016). Textbook-bundled metacognitive tools: A study of LearnSmart’s efficacy in general chemistry. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 27(2), 77-95.