Author: Tami Strang

Pass Rates Rise with MindTap in Tech Course at Community College of Baltimore County

Renuka Kumar teaches Computer Science and Information Technology at the Community College of Baltimore Country in Baltimore, Maryland. She and her colleagues recently redesigned the course to bring it up to date, adding new material on collaboration, mobile devices, and emerging technologies. The course learning resource that the department was using at the time didn’t cover all the necessary new topics, so a search ensued for a better option.

In evaluating possible new solutions, department decision-makers had several criteria. First, they wanted a product that would be easy to use by students and instructors. The ability to integrate with the college’s Blackboard learning management system (LMS), something that wasn’t possible with the existing product, was also on the wish list.
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A Frontline Look at Phi Theta Kappans’ Goals, Challenges, and Habits

Since 1929, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) has been recognized by the American Association of Community Colleges as the official honor society for two-year colleges. Its dual mission is to recognize and encourage scholarship as well as provide opportunities for individual growth and development through participation in honors, leadership, service, and fellowship programs. The Phi Theta Kappa website notes that the organization—which has more than three million members—“grows leaders, innovators, explorers, risk takers, problem solvers, researchers, pioneers, and deep thinkers.” Membership also entitles students to apply for part of the PTK’s $90+ million in scholarships.
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Innovative Developmental Math Solution Improves Educational Outcomes at Borough of Manhattan Community College

As a full-time mathematics lecturer at CUNY BMCC, Professor Dale Dawes (who teaches everything from developmental mathematics through calculus) sees math anxiety in students young and old, in all of his classes.

In the past, Dawes struggled to identify struggling students, and then find time to provide individualized help to each of them. Furthermore, the process of grading mathematics assignments was taking up much of the time he’d prefer to spend giving those students the one-on-one attention that they need.

But now, thanks to Enhanced WebAssign® (EWA), Dawes has more freedom to offer his students individualized assistance. EWA is a cloud-based learning and feedback tool designed to promote critical thinking, automate the grading process, and provide students and instructors with real-time performance evaluations and results. Dawes, who uses EWA across all of his Mathematics courses, is a devoted user of EWA due to the flexibility it offers—from both the student and instructor perspectives. For instance, instructors can implement as much or as little of their content & rules in it, while students have a broad choice of ways to learn the data.
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What Do You Love About Teaching Computing? Show Us!

The Cengage Learning Computing team wants to spark a conversation on social media, and we’d love to have your participation! Our Computing team is going to post one question a month to our Facebook page and to our Twitter page. We want it to be interactive, candid, and ongoing—but most importantly, fun!
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Students’ Top Tips for Becoming an Engaged Learner

We recently asked a number of college students: “What are the qualities of a good note-taker?” Among their answers, we noticed many that offered broader strategies that can help students increase their level of engagement and success in their college courses. Below, we’ve shared several of their suggestions. Take a look through what they had to say, and pass their tips along to any students who might need or appreciate these ideas from their peers!

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In Context Helps Busy Librarian Improve Her Library and Prepare Students for College and Career

Kris Jacobson is a teacher/librarian at a busy high school outside of Chicago. With 3,000 students and a campus that recently went 1:1 with Chromebooks, Jacobson stays busy, but is constantly striving to make the library more useful for patrons.

Jacobson found that helping students conduct research in multiple information silos proved time consuming and the library was not seeing steady growth in database activity. As a Google School (and part of a Google District) Glenbrook High School prefers to utilize resources that work well with all things Google. This—and some of the library’s other challenges—became easier for Jacobson and her colleagues when they discovered Gale’s In Context family of online resources.
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Creating a Syllabus that College Students Will Read and Use

Guest Contributor: Sherri Singer, Alamance Community College. All across the country this semester, instructors will answer a variety of student questions with, “It’s in the syllabus.” We all struggle getting our students to read the syllabus and refer back to it. Today’s syllabi are long and filled with policies designed to protect both students and faculty. Each semester it seems we add at least one new paragraph to an already too long document. As these documents grow we need to examine what we choose to include and what our goals for the document really are.

Crafting an Effective Syllabus

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Becoming a Culturally Responsive Teacher: Part 1

The classrooms of the twenty-first century will include a multicultural group of students from diverse backgrounds. This creates a golden opportunity for instructors to reexamine their instructional methods and pedagogy.

Join Essie Childers, a professor at Blinn College and a Faculty Partner for Cengage Learning, in this first podcast in unfolding what it means to be a culturally responsive teacher.
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Seven Ways to Create a Warm and Inclusive Work Environment for Adjuncts

Are you excited about going to work? Do you feel connected in your department? Do you have a mentor? Does anybody in the department know your name?

In this podcast, Essie Childers, a professor at Blinn College and a Faculty Partner for Cengage Learning, will show ways to welcome and appreciate adjuncts from day one to the end of the semester.
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Classroom Practices for Learners of All Ages

Guest Contributor: Sherri Singer, Alamance Community College.

As you look out over your classroom this semester there will be a variety of learners from ages 16 to 64+ staring back at you. While it may seem like there is a vast difference in their learning preferences and backgrounds, the reality is they have a lot in common.
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