Author: Jenny Billings

Effective Assessments: Objectives, Goals, and Results

By: Dr. Jenny Billings – Chair of English and Study Skills, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and Cengage Faculty Partner   As someone who majored in and teaches English, I surprise others by how into numbers and data, I actually am. I have always been careful, curious, and strategic; I am always anticipating the outcome, what an action will yield. That’s a trait I have in common with my best friend, who actually teaches Mathematics.

Creating SMART Goals in Higher Ed Courses

While earning my doctorate, I took a class on data-driven decisions and one on planning and assessment. The combination of these classes Read More…


Spark Your Writing Course Using Online Portfolios

By Faculty Partner, Dr. Jenny Billings, Chair of ACA, DRE, and ENG and English instructor at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.  As an English instructor, I’ve seen thousands of student portfolios. Most of these have been in print, hole-punched, and submitted in three-ring binders. Others have been emailed or uploaded as a single Word document or PDF. Needless to say, student portfolios can become monotonous for both students and instructors. While they’ve become #JustOneThing required for Comp I courses, with Pathbrite, portfolios are no longer #JustOneThing students have to turn in. Instead, these portfolios are creative, all-inclusive, and something Read More…


Four Ways Going Digital Makes Humanities Courses More Enjoyable

You just heard another student say, “I’m only taking this course because I needed another Gen Ed credit to graduate.” After everything you’ve put into your course, they’re only taking it because they have to? Unfortunately, students are often unpleasantly surprised to learn that humanities courses are in their future. At most institutions, students will take at least one required humanities or social sciences course. While students may not know the intention behind such a requirement, it’s our responsibility to make sure they reap the benefits from our courses. We strive to make the content relevant while sharpening students’ critical Read More…


Holy High-Tech: One Instructor’s Journey Through Digital Evaluation

I’d love to sit here and tell you that getting here today was easy. That it all fell into place without much effort. That I was able to take a backseat and watch it all happen before my eyes. It wouldn’t be the truth, though. As is the case with most instances of success, achieving it takes time and work. You’ve seen some of the digital options available to educators. Today, there are too many to count and far too many to test, pilot, or sit through a demo of. Plus, there are many factors to consider when evaluating Read More…


Expanding Excellence with the eText Initiative

Fall 2017 marks three years since the etext initiative rolled out at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. We’ve experienced many successes: we saved our students money, increased communication and partnerships across the institution, and our students are more satisfied with their course materials than ever before. Now that we’ve found our groove, we’re ready to expand across more student populations—even beyond ourselves. You may be asking, “Haven’t you expanded already?” Yes, we expanded across Liberal Arts in 2014. In 2015, we expanded the etext initiative into another division at the College. In 2016, etext course offerings encompassed over 60% of the Read More…


Maintaining Momentum with MindTap

The e-Text initiative at Rowan-Cabarrus was a success after its first semester (Fall 2014), so we decided to expand it almost immediately. In Spring 2015, we added two English courses to the e-Text listing—both very similar in their content, course objectives and goals for students. In these two courses, we decided to use the same Cengage textbook, but different editions. In ENG-102, Applied Communications II, we used an earlier version delivered digitally through CourseMate. This was a “simple way to complement (Cengage textbooks) and course content with study and practice materials.”* In ENG-114, Professional Research & Reporting, we Read More…


Part One: Getting Started with Cengage Inclusive Access at Your Institution

The Beginning I have been in education for 11 years—a third of my life. I have been into technology for even longer. When it comes to technology, I’m self-taught and persistent. I work until I understand and am comfortable enough to help others. I think that’s how I fell in love with teaching. I started at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in 2011 as an adjunct teaching ENG-114, Professional Research and Reporting. At that point, I had only taught 9th grade at a local high school and didn’t have community college experience. Having attended a private institution for my undergrad, I wasn’t Read More…