Author: Heather Mooney

What Activities Work to Achieve Learning? Merrill’s First Principles

It’s likely that you encourage learners in your classroom to connect the material you’re covering to examples from their own lives. How do you then take it a step further and get them to think critically and apply what you’ve taught them to solve a problem? Leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below. Guest Contributor: Erin Doppke, Senior Instructional Designer, Cengage Learning Custom Solutions As you approach your courses for next semester, consider incorporating an instructional model on which many instructional designers rely: Merrill’s First Principles of Instruction (Merrill, 2002). Instructional designers think of Merrill’s First Read More…


The Fiscal Cliff

Though it’s been in the news for some time, tensions continue to grow as we get nearer to the fiscal cliff looming at the end of this year and Congress has still not reached a compromise. What is the fiscal cliff, how did we get here, what provisions are involved, and what’s important to note if you’re teaching about it? Prior to the election, Bill Raabe, taxation professor at Ohio State University and author on the South-Western Federal Taxation series and Federal Tax Research text, recorded a podcast about the fiscal cliff, what it means, Read More…


Optimizing Learning Activities for Student-Centered Learning

As you approach the beginning of a new year, and likely the start of a new term, we’d like to revisit an article from an early edition of the Cengage Learning eNewsletter that addresses some best practices that you can keep in mind as you think about creating student-centered activities. Do you have a “success story” about how you have re-shaped assignments so that they are more student centered? Share it in the comments section below! Guest Contributor Jason Lancaster, M.Ed. Regardless of the model you use, designing a meaningful educational program requires careful analysis, thoughtful development, and thorough assessment. Here, Read More…


Learning Preferences of Today’s Students

Learners in your classes will soon be making decisions about purchasing course materials for a new term. Below, we’ve republished results from a recent survey about students’ format preferences when it comes to educational reading. Take a look to catch a glimpse of how students’ learning preferences have shifted.  Recently, Cengage Learning’s 4LTR Press team conducted a survey among students, asking their preferences for print or digital resources in the educational context. Review the results for a quick snapshot of what they’re thinking. You may find the trends interesting! What are your reflections on the Read More…


Designing a Framework for Critical Thinking

A, well, critical part of ensuring that students reach a higher level of understanding is by promoting critical thinking in your course. By challenging students to tap into higher-order thinking skills, you’re not only working to help them fully understand a topic or an idea, you’re training them to think critically about the world around them. It’s with this in mind that we’re revisiting the article below, written by Cengage Learning Instructional Designer Jason Lancaster, that provides some tips for you to remember when designing with critical thinking in mind. Following Jason’s article, check out five tips from Connie Read More…