Author: Bridgett McGowen-Hawkins, M.A.

Podcast: TechKNOWLEDGE-y for the Adjunct: Social Media, Students, and You

Teaching faculty know that social media is no longer just for “liking” photos, updating Facebook timelines, and re-tweeting the latest news from higher education. In her eight-minute podcast “TECH-knowledge-y for the Adjunct: Social Media, Students and You,” Cengage Learning Senior Digital Educator Bridgett McGowen-Hawkins, M.A., discusses how social media tools and automation can help teaching faculty keep students in the know and better engaged. She shares tips on how to work smarter—not harder—to harness the power of social media to create a community of learners and improve student outcomes.
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TechKNOWLEDGE-y for the Adjunct Coordinator: Social Media, Adjuncts, and You

What do you do when you want to connect with, want to have a sense of community among your cadre of faculty who appear on your campus only for a few hours a day – usually after 5PM – a few days a week? Your adjuncts. They mean so much to you, your students, your department, your school, and you want them to know that, but how? How do you draw them in, keep them connected, and make them a part of the community conversation when the reality of their lives on your campus does not seem to make Read More…


Competency-Based Learning Referees the “How Long Did It Take?” vs. “What Did You Learn?” Matchup

Guest Contributor: Bridgett McGowen-Hawkins, Senior Digital Educator, Cengage Learning.  My husband has a four-year physical education bachelor’s degree.  In eighteen months, my brother-in-law earned an automotive technician certificate.  Our next-door-neighbor and very dear friend completed a six-month computer programming certification. Do industries care how long it took for someone to complete his/her education, or do they care more about what you learned and whether you’re competent enough to perform?  Should institutions highlight time?  Or should they highlight learning? Competency-based learning (CBL) offers flexibility unlike that of traditional post-secondary education where students move at their own pace, and it focuses on measuring how Read More…


Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About! … How About What REALLY Works in Online Course Discussions

Guest Contributor: Bridgett McGowen-Hawkins, Senior Professional Educator, TeamUP Cengage Learning Peer-to-Peer Faculty Development. Online course discussions can oftentimes seem like anything but.  You post discussion questions, students post responses, and a few classmates comment with “I agree!”  Frankly, it does not feel like much of a discussion.  Here are three ideas to change that. 1.  Ask B.O.S.S. questions!:  *Aim to ask involving discussion questions, (DQs) questions that bring out serious substance (B.O.S.S.), questions that require divergent thinking and/or evaluative thinking, not DQs that require convergent thinking and standard answers that do not call for creativity.   Consider “In what ways are Read More…


Tips for Students: Five Reasons Why You Should Not Miss Another In-Class Activity

Guest Contributor: Bridgett McGowen-Hawkins, Senior Professional Educator, TeamUP Cengage Learning Peer-to-Peer Faculty Development. Not again! Your professor has decided it’s time to “hear from you” and make class more active, and you automatically think “Why can’t I just sit and listen to the lecture?!”   They’re not trying to make you uncomfortable or fill class time because they have nothing to say. There’s a definite method to the madness.   Educators engage in activities such as attending conferences, reading articles, and chatting with colleagues about what works in the classroom, and as such, they have specific, research-based reasons for wanting to move Read More…


I’m Teaching, But Are They Learning?!

Guest Contributor: Bridgett McGowen-Hawkins, Senior Professional Educator, TeamUP Cengage Learning Peer-to-Peer Faculty Development.   Does this sound like you?: Each day, you walk into the classroom with a plan in mind. You know what you want and need students to learn by the end of the session; how do you know, though, if your hard work paid off, if all of the planning you put into preparing for the class was time well spent? How do you know if learning actually took place?   When I first started teaching, I thought the only way to check for learning and understanding Read More…


Connect with Them and They’ll Connect with Class

Guest Contributor Bridgett McGowen-Hawkins, Senior Consultant, Cengage Learning TeamUP Faculty Programs. Allow me to let you in on a secret that I wish someone had shared with me during my freshman year at the front of the classroom and behind the lectern: Students are not automatically captive audiences. What?! Yes, it’s the heart-breaking truth. A student will not show up every Tuesday and Thursday to room 104 in Anderson Hall at 11 a.m. simply because a printout from an academic advisor indicates he should. It’s going to take a bit more. Persistence does not just happen, and in all honesty, depending upon Read More…


Say “Goodbye” to the Boring Lecture

You have seen a number of class sessions over the years; either you conducted them yourself, or you witnessed others conducting them. Each one falls into one of three categories: the good, the bad, and the uh—what was that? It does not matter if you’ve taught for a number of decades, a number of years, or just a matter of months, there’s always room to evaluate, fine tune, and perfect your presentation and teaching style. Here are five tips for taking what you already do well and cranking it up, making your class presentations not only something you, as Read More…