Author: Tami Strang

Mind Your GPA! Goals, Plans, and Actions

It’s hard not to remain conscious of your grade point average; it is a tangible measure of success. But no matter if you’re a student enrolled in college courses or you’re matriculated in the school of life, it’s important to think beyond simple numbers and develop a more holistic, and longer lasting, measure of achievement. That’s why Walter Pauk and Ross J. Q. Owens recommend striving for success by following a different kind of “GPA”: your goal, your plan, and the action you take.

    Your Goal: Have a clear idea for where you’re headed. These can include minor goals, such as completing a project before Friday evening,
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Preparing for an Accreditation Visit

Guest Contributors:
Charles Zastrow, MSW PhD, LCSW
Karen K. Kirst-Ashman, BSW, MSW, Ph.D., LCSW
Janice A. Stoudemire, CPA, ABA, ATA
When properly administered, accreditation ensures that your department or institution maintains the performance measures and academic standards established by your association or governing body. However, the process of obtaining accreditation, which may include the accreditation visit, can cause anxiety and a sense of trepidation, even for the most organized and diligent among us. Though it may be impossible to completely eliminate all vestiges of nervousness, it is certainly possible to mitigate those feelings. Below, Cengage Learning authors Charles Zastrow and Read More…

Five Ways to Brand Yourself

They say first impressions are everything. How we present ourselves to the world makes a key difference when it comes to winning a job. Having a strong, personal brand that shows the world who you are as a professional affects what others think and feel about you. In Active Interviewing: Branding, Selling, and Presenting Yourself to Win Your Next Job, Eric Kramer shares how job seekers can brand themselves to stand out on the road to professional success. Share these tips with your students: Decide what your professional brand is.  Complete a self-assessment and consider things like what Read More…

Four Steps to a Stellar Presentation

At some point, most of us will give a presentation to an audience. In her book New Perspectives: Portfolio Projects for Soft Skills, Beverly Amer offers a four-step approach to creating and delivering an effective presentation. Whether you’re in charge of providing first-timers with needed advice, or your own skills need some polishing, these simple steps will help alleviate anxiety and ensure a smooth performance. Step 1: Plan. Several key questions will help you develop a strong presentation that’s tailor made for your audience and purposes. As you begin, ask yourself:

    What is the purpose of your presentation? What action or response
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Soft Skills in the Digital Workplace – Importance of the Online Persona

There have always been—and will always be—certain soft skills, like interviewing, that people will need to master in the professional world. But, with a changing workplace come new requirements that future professionals need to keep in mind. Like it or not (and if you’re reading this I hope you do!) we are living in a digital age, and with having an online presence comes certain worries for a professional or someone looking to start their career. Social networks play a role in a working professional’s life, and there is a certain level of privacy lost by displaying personal information Read More…

Four Ways to Integrate Soft Skills in the Classroom

You may be tasked with specific learning objectives and student learning outcomes that have to be met as students walk out your door with a passing grade, but what about those less concrete objectives that you want to ensure are met as students graduate and go out into the world representing your institution? How can you ensure that your students learn those soft skills as they meet those objectives? Here are a few ways to integrate soft skills in your classroom:

    Demand proper spelling and grammar: In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips, the authors write that though it isn’t incumbent upon you to
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Learning With Style

Within one audience, you’ll find a variety of people, each of whom prefers to absorb material in a slightly different way. Below, Dr. Clayton Austin discusses the various types of learners and offers some tips for honing your courses to accommodate them.
I walked into the sandwich shop, quite damp from the rain outside. Working through the crowd, I stepped into line and opened my umbrella. Among the strange looks, pointing fingers and whispers, I kept my gaze straight forward. But inside, my stomach was churning. Would I actually be able to eat after this?
This Read More…

Learning Style Adjustment – Tips for Your Students

Though many people try to tailor their class time and courses to reach multiple types of learners, it would be nearly impossible to expect you to be able to adapt to and reach every student based on their individual learning style. But – you can give students tools to be able to adjust their learning style to fit your teaching style with a couple of tips from Constance Staley’s FOCUS on College Success.

    Make the translation. Find ways that you as a learner can translate your instructor’s teaching preferences to fit your learning preferences. For example, if you need
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Learning Preferences of Today’s Students

Curious about how today’s students prefer to study and learn? 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!

Five Reasons NOT to Use Active Learning in Your Class

Why would you want to include a new way of teaching into your classroom when its benefits are so clear? With a wink, read on to learn about five reasons why you shouldn’t take advantage of an active learning model in your classroom: If you don’t lecture, you’ll lose control of the class.
Nobody wants their classroom to look like a scene from Lord of the Flies, unless of course you’re teaching theater – you get a pass. In fact, some faculty could worry that student interaction will lead to chaos in the classroom. While it’s true that with Read More…