Students Gain Critical Workplace Skills and Improve Computer Literacy with Cengage Learning’s SAM

Independent Study Shows Students in a Variety of Class Formats Performed Better

Boston, MA, September 16, 2014 — College students who used Cengage Learning’s Skills Assessment Manager (SAM) demonstrated better Microsoft application skill proficiency than students who did not use the program, according to an independent study by Project Tomorrow, a national education nonprofit organization. SAM, an interactive online learning environment designed to support student mastery of Microsoft Office skills and computer concepts, addresses skills critical for academic and career success. Computer literacy is an essential workplace skill – the National Association of Colleges and Employers recently identified knowledge of computer software programs as one of the top-rated skills employers look for in college graduates.

“Almost every workplace – whether it’s a sole proprietor business, a major corporation, a police department or a fine dining restaurant – uses computer technology in some capacity,” said Scott Domowicz, academic dean for the Schools of Business Administration, Hospitality & Tourism, Criminal Justice and Culinary Arts at the Pittsburgh Technical Institute. “It is essential students graduate with strong computer literacy in order to be competitive in the application process and achieve success on the job.”

“Student success is a priority of everything we do and that includes preparing students for success outside of the classroom,” said Jim Donohue, chief product officer, Cengage Learning. “Through SAM, Cengage Learning is making a real impact on engagement and learning outcomes in developing computer literacy skills. This study of approximately one thousand Intro to Computing students nationwide clearly illustrated that students using SAM outperformed their peers.”

Study results reveal that:

–       in face-to-face courses, SAM students averaged 74% correct answers, and control students averaged 55%, and

–       in online courses, SAM students averaged 76% correct answers, and control students averaged 69%.

Overall, students and professors reported a positive experience:

–       70% of students attribute their increased engagement in course content to their use of SAM,

–       95% of instructors and two-thirds of SAM students said having access to SAM helped them learn how to apply course content in real-world settings, and

–       100% of instructors and 76% of SAM students said they would recommend SAM to a colleague or friend.

The study results are based on students’ use of SAM Projects, a feature within SAM that allows students to apply what they’ve learned, receive immediate feedback and be directed to further remediation. The full results of the study are available online here.

For more information about SAM, please visit

About Cengage Learning

Cengage Learning is a leading educational content, technology, and services company for the higher education and K-12, professional and library markets worldwide.  The company provides superior content, personalized services and course-driven digital solutions that accelerate student engagement and transform the learning experience. Cengage Learning is headquartered in Boston, MA with operations in more than 20 countries around the world. For more, visit: