Engagement and Motivation

How to Help Criminal Justice Students Become Job-Ready

Guest Contributor: Scott Rudeen, Ph.D.(ABD), MBA, MA, MSM   The criminal justice field has changed so greatly over the past decade. My goal in the classroom is to help prepare my students to become fully job-ready. We focus on improving their communication skills, their reading comprehension, and their decision-making ability through dynamic scenarios. When students begin their CJ career, they learn quickly that every written word and every action can be used in court, captured on video, and easily shared on social media. As a state trooper who is passionate about law enforcement, my primary goal is to act Read More…


14 Traits of a Confident College Student

While we know that confidence plays a key role in determining a student’s success, how do we define confidence?  What does a confident student look like? In The Confident Student, 8th edition, author Carol C. Kanar identifies 14 traits of confident students. Do you see these traits in your students? Flexible – They have an open mind and are adaptable to change.
Self-motivated – They know what they want and strive to achieve it.
Intellectual risk taker – They think for themselves, critically and creatively.
Enthusiastic – They remain optimistic and energetic.
Responsible – They “own” and are accountable for their actions.
Self-managed – They Read More…


How to Boost College Students’ Confidence

Today’s educators are well aware that students—like most people—feel unsure of themselves, especially in new situations. In a sea of highly competent peers, many students flail around wondering where they belong and even, if they belong. To ward off these common fears and give students the best odds for success, many colleges now offer courses and seminars covering everything from understanding learning style to developing effective study habits to facing the future with confidence.

Fear of failure

In a recent New York Times opinion piece, “Conquering the Freshman Fear of Failure,” David L. Kirp a graduate school professor and senior Read More…


3 Tips for Effective Communication with Your College Students

When communicating with your students do you sometimes feel as if you’re speaking different languages? It’s just possible that, to a certain extent, you are. Instructions that you think are crystal clear may elude your students. Praise or critiques may fall short of achieving their aim. Keys to more effective communication are based on gaining a better understanding of your learners. Here are a few ideas to help you foster better communication with your students.

Be available

In order to be a better communicator one must be available. Your keys to success start with making sure that your students Read More…


Top 3 Strategies for Collaborative Learning Beyond the Classroom

College students spend a lot of their time doing things other than classwork. Some of that is due to the competing interests at the college level, but some may be because assignments beyond the classroom aren’t as interesting or rewarding as they could be. In order to better engage your students outside of class, consider using cooperative learning strategies and adding group projects, peer review, and collaborative learning ideas to your syllabus.

What are students doing outside of class?

According to Edward Neal of the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in his Read More…


College Teaching Strategies to Motivate Online Students

If you teach online courses, you’re aware that your teaching strategies for engaging college students in a virtual setting have to accommodate the lack of face-to-face contact. One of the greatest challenges for an online student is staying motivated throughout a course. How do you engage students in an online environment? Consider these teaching strategies as you reach out to your online students.

Social support

An online learning environment has many benefits, such as self-paced learning, and the ability to view coursework around the student’s own schedule. But the environment can be a lonely one, as well. In order to create Read More…


Add Peer-to-Peer Learning to Your Teaching Strategies

When creating your course curriculum, you’re certain to think about what teaching strategies you’ll be using throughout the semester. College students may learn in many different styles, but one of the most effective ways to engage your students in the course material is by using peer-to-peer learning techniques. Sometimes called peer assisted learning, peer-to-peer teaching involves giving the students material that they must put into their own words. Having college students teach or critique each other gives them a chance to not only take in the course material, but have to process it in such a way that they Read More…


Pop Culture Pedagogy: Fostering Enthusiasm in College Students

Guest Contributor: Audrey A. Wick, Blinn College (Texas) Instructors have a passion for their subject. Unfortunately, not every college classroom is filled with students brimming with that same level of passion. One job of an instructor, then, is to help foster enthusiasm with students, so they can feel invested and engaged in course material. Pop culture pedagogy is one way to achieve that. Using timely examples, making contemporary connections, and showcasing real-life case studies can bridge gaps of understanding. Additionally, instructors who have a digital component in their class—like the MindTap platform—have even more opportunities for pop culture pedagogy. Regardless of Read More…


Engaging College Students in Learning with Pop Culture

It can be frustrating to face a classroom of college students who appear uninterested in the material and topic of the course, or to ask a question of the class and receive only silence in response. How can you increase class participation? Engaging students in learning can be a challenge, but there are many techniques you can use to grab the attention of your college students and hold their interest. In some cases, you can integrate elements of pop culture into their assignments. But other techniques, including creating low-risk assignments or designing opportunities to role play scenarios, can help Read More…


How to Make Introductions in Your Online Classroom

College students today have a whole new realm of get to know you activities to master — those directed specifically at an online classroom. There are many ways to break the ice and make introductions, some more effective than others. Read on for some how to tips to help you make the online classroom experience positive.

How to make introductions

Maybe you professor has offered specific instructions about how you and your fellow college students should get to know one another. But if they haven’t, what are some things you should consider before you make introductions? First, consider the setting. What you Read More…