teaching tips

Cengage Blog Trends: 2016’s Most-Read and Most-Shared Posts

It’s the end of another year, and from STEM education to augmented reality, we’ve had the pleasure of covering a lot of great topics! Now we’re taking time to look back at 2016’s most-read, most-shared, and most-discussed posts at the Cengage blog. As you wind down from fall semester, see what trended the best this year:

Highlights of 2016 from the Cengage blog

1. Great Icebreakers for the College Classroom

We asked Cengage’s Faculty Partners: “What’s your favorite ‘icebreaker’ and how do you use it in class?” Whether you teach in a classroom or in the online environment, we believe you’ll find Read More…


How to Evaluate Learning Outcomes

When you’re creating a course, how do you determine the goals for your college students to reach by the end of the semester? Creating learning outcomes gives you a tool by which to tailor your student assessment, measuring their aptitude against the initial purpose of the course. Writing student learning outcomes can be a challenge, and there are several different ways to look at this tool. Consider some of these ideas as you evaluate your students’ learning.

Assessment and learning outcomes

Assessment of college student academic performance can be easily summed up as you determine if your students have learned Read More…


5 Guidelines for Your Students’ Online Presentations

College students are increasingly part of a digital world, and moving some of the traditional course requirements into an online environment can be a benefit to your class. One of the options for a digital adaptation of a traditional project is the online presentation. Additional guidelines are necessary when considering how to take a traditional presentation from the in-person to the digital sphere. To add this type of project to your teaching strategies, consider the following tips.

Challenges to online presentations

According to Ryan Watkins and Michael Corry in E-Learning Companion: A Student’s Guide to Online Success, fourth edition, Read More…


How To Help: College Students’ Biggest Time Management Challenges

Time management is your ability to plan and control how you spend the hours in your day to accomplish your goals. It helps to have strategies to be successful in managing one’s time. The strategies that worked well for students in high school may, however, fall short in meeting the obligations of college life. Classes, group work, study, and jobs now compete for the limited hours in a semester. The sooner that college students learn to adjust their time management skills, the better their chances of success.

Understanding college students’ challenges

In the spring of 2015 Cengage issued its Read More…


Best Teaching Strategies to Assess Digital Literacy

The current generation of college students has grown up surrounded by technology. It’s easy to assume that all of them possess a superior technical literacy to students in years past. But the digital divide—a gap between those who have easy access to technological tools and those who don’t—can mean not all your students have the same level of digital literacy. You need teaching strategies to assess the digital and technical literacy of your students to make sure they’re able to keep up with the digital assignments and resources you use in your course. In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips, 14e, Wilbert 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…


How to Write Effective Exam Questions for College Students

True or false? Multiple choice? Long form essay? What is the best strategy for creating exam questions? When you’re designing an exam, consider what you want to be able to gauge in your college students’ knowledge in order to choose the best types of questions to measure their learning. There are benefits and disadvantages to any type of question, so consider these exam tips when deciding what teaching strategies to employ when you create your exam.

Difficulty creating or difficulty grading?

In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips, Fourteenth Edition, Wilbert J. McKeachie and Marilla Svnicki noted that exams have two pieces that Read More…


6 Ways to Help College Students Prepare for Final Exams

College instructors play a significant role in preparing their students for final exams. For example, before finals week, teachers can conduct a review session, go over questions from the midterm exam, and set up a study room. Read on to learn what review strategies might work best for your students.

Conduct a review session

A review class before the final exam is a good time to make sure students are on track and concentrating on the right material. Let the students know what is important information they should retain from this course. You could go over pertinent presentations and can also Read More…


Teaching Tips to Help with Student Motivation and Struggling Students

Midterm exam time has passed, and now as a college instructor you may be left wondering how to assist your struggling students. Another concern may be student motivation for those college students that are breezing through the class and starting to seem disengaged. Both are issues that can be addressed with some innovative teaching tips.

What are college students thinking?

Author Peter Filene discussed the importance of listening to students prior to starting class to discover their preconceptions in The Joy of Teaching: A Practical Guide for New College Instructors. Filene recommended college instructors ask what students think about Read More…


The Latest Anti-plagiarism Tools for Instructors

When students are pressed to meet a deadline for a term paper, they may become lax in following the proper procedures for writing and citing their papers. The Internet, a treasure trove of useful information, is also full of material that can be used by students to avoid their academic responsibility. Fortunately there are several online tools to check for plagiarism. Here is a look at a few of them.

Dealing with plagiarism

Sometimes the plagiarism is intentional. A student deliberately copies and pastes information from online sources and then passes it off as original work. But sometimes plagiarism occurs Read More…