SAM Brief Instructor User Guide

SAM
August 2015
Assessment, Training and
Projects for Microsoft Office
2010 and 2013
SAM Brief Instructor User Guide
Contents
Introduction to SAM
1
Audience
1
Objectives
1
Engagement Services
1
Logging into SAM
2
Grace Periods
5
Sections
5
Creating a Section
5
Editing Section Textbooks
7
Editing Section Instructors
9
Editing Section Students
10
Creating Exams and Training
10
SAM Assignments
11
Scheduling SAM Assignments
11
Creating and Scheduling Assignments with the Express Creation Wizard
11
Gradebook
15
Selecting a Section
15
Modifying Gradebook Section Settings
16
Optimizing SAM
18
Technical Support
18
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Introduction to SAM
SAM (Skills Assessment Manager) is a web-based application that measures student proficiency in
Microsoft Office software and technology-related topics. SAM teaches Microsoft Word, Excel,
PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Windows and Internet Explorer, in addition to Foundational Computer
Concepts. SAM uses skill-based assessments, interactive training, real-world projects and just-in-time
remediation to help students master essential computing skills. Visit SAM Central at
www.cengage.com/samcentral for more information.
Cengage Learning created this SAM Brief Instructor User Guide to serve as an introduction for new SAM
instructors. It provides directions for instructors who need to create courses and configure assignments
(Exams, Training, Projects and SAM Paths).
This guide summarizes the detailed information found in the Instructor User Manual.
You can also reference the SAM Lab Administrators Guide for information about setting up the SAM
environment.
For details about student activities, your students can reference the SAM Student User Manual.
For details about browser and computer settings, you and your students can reference the SAM System
Requirements Guide.
Audience
This SAM Brief Instructor User Guide is a resource for SAM instructors who are new to teaching with
SAM and the Cengage support teams who assist them.
Objectives
Instructors can use this guide to learn about SAM functionality in these areas:

Working with courses (Creating a Section)

Adding Assignments (Exams, Training, Projects and SAM Path)

Setting up Gradebook
Engagement Services
Cengage Learning’s Engagement Services offers a full portfolio of services designed to support
instructors and institutions in fostering learner engagement and improving outcomes. Digital Course
Support services provide you and your students with an unparalleled, ongoing user experience with
SAM. For more information, contact your Cengage Learning Consultant or visit
http://www.cengage.com/services.
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1
Logging into SAM
Use the following procedure to log into SAM:
Step
Action
1
In your browser, enter http://sam.cengage.com in the Address field and press the
Enter key.
Result: The SAM Login page displays.
2
Enter the username and password you received.
NOTE: CengageBrain checks the username you enter. If it finds it, a prompt directs
you to enter your CengageBrain password to login.
3
Click Login.
Result: If this is your first login, the SAM Terms and Conditions page displays. (The
SAM home page displays on subsequent logins.)
If this is your first time logging into SAM, follow these steps:
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Step
Action
4
When the SAM Terms and Conditions page displays, click I Agree to accept the
terms and conditions.
5
Enter and Confirm your secret question and secret answer.
When finished, click Submit.
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Step
6
Action
Enter and confirm your New Password.
Click Submit.
Result: The SAM Home Page displays.
NOTES:
SAM requires that you use an email address as your account’s username. If your account also has a
communication email address, it displays by default. You can enter another email address if you wish.
You need to do this only once.
SAM also supports single sign-on (SSO) with Cengage Brain (http://www.cengagebrain.com) enabling
you to use the same username and password for both systems. If you are a returning SAM user, the
first time you log into the SAM environment, SAM checks Cengage Brain for an existing account. If you
have an account, a prompt displays enabling you to enter your Cengage Brain password instead of your
SAM password. If you forget your Cengage Brain password, click the Forgot your password? link to
retrieve it.
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Grace Periods
Your students may have Grace Periods in certain Key Code institutions. Grace periods enable your
students to access SAM temporarily without entering their Key Codes. This enables students to access
their SAM assignments until the grace period expires, for example, students waiting for financial aid.
Your students can enter their Key Codes at any time during the grace period. The Cengage SAM Admin
Superuser sets the default grace period length based on institution type. View students whose grace
period expired in the Users tab or Edit Sections, Students tab. If a student’s grace period expires,
neither you nor the student can view reports and scores. For additional information on changing the
default grace period duration, contact your Cengage Learning Consultant.
Sections
Creating a Section
You can create new sections from the SAM website. Your institution or department may have a
standard naming convention for you to follow when naming sections. Use these steps to add a new
section:
Step
1
Action
On the Navigation bar, click Sections.
Result: The Sections page displays.
2
Click Add New.
Result: The Sections – Add New page displays, defaulting to the Properties tab.
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Step
3
Action
Enter the necessary information in the Properties tab. An * indicates a mandatory
field.
Field Name
Action
*Section Name
Enter the section name.
*Course Name
Enter the course name.
Course Description
Briefly describe the course
content.
*Term
Enter the term in which the
section will be available, i.e., fall,
spring, summer, etc.).
*Year
Enter the year the section will be
available.
*Content Version
Select from Office 2010 or Office
2013, depending on what is
available to your institution and
what you intend to use in the
section.
Student Auto-Enroll
If this box is checked, students
automatically enroll in this
section. If unchecked, students
will be wait-listed until you
accept them into the section.
Dropbox
If this box is checked, the
Dropbox displays as part of the
section.
Study Center
If this box is checked, the Study
Center displays to students. You
can disable the Study Center any
time.
Hide Section
If this box is checked, students
cannot see the section. You can
use this to set up a template,
which you can then copy or while
you are editing the section.
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Step
4
Action
Click Save.
Result: You created the section. A dialog box displays asking if you want to edit
section settings.
5
Click OK to add the textbooks, instructors and students to the section.
Result: The Edit Section page displays.
Editing Section Textbooks
Edit the textbooks for your section using the following procedure:
IMPORTANT: Instructors can add more than one textbook to a section. The SAM institution type (Key
Code or Site License) and either the Key Code or number of licenses determine the number of e-books
student can launch. Once students launch an e-book, it consumes an e-book license. Students have
access to activities from other e-books but can only read the initial e-book they launch.
Step
Action
1
On the Navigation bar, click Sections.
Result: The Sections page displays.
2
Select a section.
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Step
Action
3
Click Edit.
Result: The Sections – Edit page displays, defaulting to the Properties tab.
NOTE: If you do not want to edit the section, click the Cancel button.
4
Click the Textbooks tab to add textbooks to this section.
Result: The Textbooks tab displays.
5
From the appropriate drop-down menus, select the appropriate series and subject.
NOTE: You can also search by the ISBN or Title.
Result: A list of textbooks display.
6
Click the + icon to add them to the Active Textbooks menu.
NOTES:
 Textbooks with an e-reader display with an e icon.
 When you add e-books to your section, students do not see them by default.
Result: The textbooks display in the Active Textbooks section.
7
Click the Student Readings toggle to enable student readings.
IMPORTANT: You can turn off the textbooks to hide readings during exams or to
hide these from students so they do not launch them. You can still create content
and assignments from these textbooks. Students just do not have access to them.
8
Save your edits.
 Click Save and Close to save the changes you made in all tabs and return to the
Sections page.
OR
 Click Save to save the changes you made in all tabs and remain on the same
page.
Result: the Sections page displays.
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Editing Section Instructors
Edit the instructors for your section using the following procedure:
Step
Action
1
On the Navigation bar, click Sections.
Result: The Sections page displays.
2
Select a section.
3
Click Edit.
Result: The Sections – Edit page displays, defaulting to the Properties tab.
NOTE: If you do not want to edit the section, click the Cancel button.
4
Click the Instructors tab to add instructors to the section. SAM assigns you to the
section automatically.
5
Click the + icon to expand the Instructor Candidates section.
Result: A list of instructors display.
6
Search for the instructor you want to add to the section.
Click the + icon.
Result: The instructor displays in the Active Instructors section.
7
Expand the Active Instructors.
8
Click the Ownership toggle to make instructors owners.
 Only the creator or supervisor of the section can assign owner status to other
instructors.
 Clicking the icon again reverts the user to instructor-only status.
9
Optional: Click the minus icon to remove an instructor from a section.
10
Save your edits.
 Click Save and Close to save the changes you made in all tabs and return to the
Sections page.
OR
 Click Save to save the changes you made in all tabs and remain on the same
page.
Result: the Sections page displays.
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Editing Section Students
Edit the students for your section using the following procedure:
Step
Action
1
On the Navigation bar, click Sections.
Result: The Sections page displays.
2
Select a section.
3
Click Edit.
Result: The Sections – Edit page displays, defaulting to the Properties tab.
NOTE: If you do not want to edit the section, click the Cancel button.
4
Click the Students tab to enroll students in the section.
5
From the All Students or Wait Listed Student menus, select the student(s) to add.
Click the + icon to add them to the Enrolled Students menu.
6
Click the Display Expired toggle to view students whose grace period expired.
7
To remove a student, click the minus icon next to the student.
8
Save your edits.
 Click Save and Close to save the changes you made in all tabs and return to the
Sections page.
OR
 Click Save to save the changes you made in all tabs and remain on the same
page.
Result: the Sections page displays.
Creating Exams and Training
Instructors can create SAM exams and training manually or by using Express Creation. With Express
Creation, instructors can create and schedule the exam and training at the same time. Manual creation
of exams and training supports the options to save the exam or training or save and schedule.
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SAM Assignments
Instructors can create SAM assignments (exam, training, projects) either manually or with Express
Creation.
NOTE: You cannot create SAM Path assignments with Express Creation.

Manual Creation –used for exams, training, projects or SAM Path assignments when you think
you may want to edit or copy assignments later. Instructors create and save assignments first,
then schedule assignments later.

Express Creation–a convenient way to create and schedule exam, training and project
assignments associated to a chapter from a textbook in a section.
NOTE: On the Assignments page in the Search text box, instructors can enter text to filter the
assignment list. The list filters automatically to the text entered.
Scheduling SAM Assignments
The following section shows you how to use Express Creation to schedule exams, training or projects.
NOTE: Schedule all existing exams, training and projects from their respective tabs by clicking the
Schedule icon
.
IMPORTANT: When instructors set dates in the calendar for all assignment types or set times and
passwords for all exams and projects, the default days and times that display are for the local time zone
on their computers. However, assignments are set for the institution time zone. As a result, instructors
could select a day and/or time in the past. Be aware of this situation when scheduling assignments.
Creating and Scheduling Assignments with the Express Creation Wizard
Express Creation is a convenient way to create and schedule exam, training and project assignments
associated to a chapter from a textbook in a section.
NOTE: You cannot create a SAM Path using the Express Creation wizard. Instead, use manual creation.

For exam creation, you can select tasks and/or testbank questions. Task-based questions display
selected by default. To use objective-based testbank questions, you must select them
individually.

For training assignment creation, you can select performance-based tasks that are parallel to
those used in exams.

For projects, you can assign step-by-step activities that require students to show proficiency
with Word, Excel, Access or PowerPoint.
Follow these steps to use the Express Assignment Creation wizard to create and schedule assignments
for your section:
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Step
Action
1
On the Navigation bar, click SAM Assignments.
2
Click Express Creation.
3
From the Select Section drop-down menu, select a section.
4
From the Textbook drop-down menu, select a textbook from which to create an
assignment.
Result: The Express Creation wizard opens.
5
From the Chapter tabs, select the chapter from which to create an assignment.
6
Select from the following:
 Exams: You may select multiple tasks or testbank questions within a single
exam.
 Training: You may select multiple tasks within a training assignment.
 Projects: Select a project.
7
In the Assignment box, enter a unique name for the assignment.
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Step
8a
Action
Exams:
By default, all tasks are selected; testbank questions are not selected.
 Deselect and select tasks to include in the assignment.
 Select testbank questions to include in the assignment.
Select all appropriate exam assignment options.
 Complete the exam schedule and security options (available date, always
available password, report availability dates, passwords, etc.).

Click Save Exam.
Result: The following message displays. If you Save your work right now, this
assignment will be automatically scheduled and you will not be able to edit it any
further within this Wizard. Do you wish to Proceed?

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Step
8b
Action
Training:
By default, all training assignments are selected. Deselect and select training if
required. Complete the following:
 In the Instructions text box, enter exam instructions.
 Select the Training Options tab and enter all appropriate training options.
 Complete the exam schedule and security options (available/due dates and
always available password).
Click Save Training.
Result: The following message displays: If you Save your work right now, this
assignment will be automatically scheduled and you will not be able to edit it any
further within this Wizard. Do you wish to Proceed?

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Step
8c
Action
Projects:
 In the Project Assignment Options dialog box, enter and select from the various
options.
 Complete the project schedule and security options (available date, and always
available password, report available date, etc.).
Click Save Project.
Result: The following message displays. If you Save your work right now, this
assignment will be automatically scheduled and you will not be able to edit it any
further within this Wizard. Do you wish to Proceed?

Gradebook
You can use the Gradebook to change Gradebook settings: The default setting is not to display the
gradebook to students. You can display weights, scores and the final score to students.
Selecting a Section
Before viewing or maintaining a Gradebook, first select the section using the following procedure:
Step
Action
1
On the Navigation bar, click Results.
2
Click the Gradebook tab.
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Step
3
Action
From the drop-down menu, select a section.
Result: The section’s student list displays.
NOTE: No results display when the selected section contains no students or no
student results. Instead of the table grid, the following message displays: No
Students are enrolled in selected section or no student results exist. Instructors
can edit Section Settings and manage Assignment Types before student results
exist.
Modifying Gradebook Section Settings
Modifying Gradebook’s Section Settings changes the default display for all sections. Modify the
Gradebook Section Settings use this procedure:
Step
Action
1
After you have started Gradebook and selected a section, the table grid displays.
From the Section drop-down menu, select a section.
2
Click the Manage tab in the upper right corner of the window.
Result: The Manage tab displays.
3
Click Section Settings.
Result: The Section Settings dialog box displays.
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Step
Action
4a
Modifying the Default Gradebook Display:
In the Section Settings dialog box, under Default Gradebook Display, select either
Percentage or Points.
NOTE: The default is Percentage.
4b
Modifying the Student Gradebook Display:
In the Section Settings dialog box under Student Gradebook Display, select what to
display to students:
 Final Score – displays the weighted Final Score
 Assignment Scores – displays the individual scores for each assignment
 Weights – displays the Assignment Type Weights (in percentages only)
 NOTE: All options are unselected by default. Students do not see the gradebook
unless one or more of these options are changed.
4c
Modifying the Exam and Project Scoring Method
In the Section Settings dialog box under Student Gradebook Display, select what to
display to students:
 Click the drop down menu for Exam
 Select from Highest (default), Average, or Lowest
 Repeat for Project
4d
Modifying the SAM Path Scoring Options
In the Section Settings dialog box under Student Gradebook Display, select what to
display to students:
 Grade Each Separately: Students receive a grade for each separate component
of the SAM Path assignment.
 Grade Exam Only: The Exam grade displays in the Gradebook. If there are
multiple exams in a SAM Path, only the post exam counts towards the final
score.
— Display Exam in Exam Assignment Type
— Display Exam in SAM Path Assignment Type
 Display Cumulative Score: One score displays for the SAM Path assignment.
— If the SAM Path assignment is either a Training > Exam or Exam > Training
type, the exam score displays for the cumulative score.
— If you selected Display Training and Post Exam only for incorrect tasks in the
Pre Exam in the assignment options, the cumulative score for Exam >
Training > Exam is the Pre Exam + the Post Exam.
— If all tasks display in the Post Exam, the cumulative score is the score number
of questions students got right on either the Pre Exam or Post Exam.
5
Click Save.
Result: Section settings update.
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Optimizing SAM
For information about optimizing SAM, refer to the SAM Lab Administrators Guide.
Follow these guidelines to help ensure that SAM loads and runs at optimal speeds:

Exit other applications while using SAM, especially during exams, to ensure adequate bandwidth
and critical system memory to provide the best user experience.

Disallow or block social networking applications during SAM sessions. It may have a negative
impact on overall workstation performance.

For SAM Training, each user may require up to 1 megabit per second of bandwidth to download
and use SAM. Therefore, a lab with 30 students may require 30 mbps of available capacity
during SAM Training sessions. (SAM Exams and Projects require significantly less bandwidth).

If your institution uses a firewall, confirm that standard HTTP Port 80 is open for the
http://sam.cengage.com site. If your institution accesses the site via secure SSL, confirm that
Port 443 is open as well. The Lab Administrator guide provides additional information.
Technical Support
Go to www.cengage.com/support for all of these and more:

Live chat for students 24/7

Training videos ( go to http://www.cengage.com/dcs/)

SAM Knowledgebase and Manuals
Or
Email your problems and questions at any time to
http://poweron.cengage.com/magellan/TechSupport/login.aspx.
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