Achievement and outcomes

Teaching Shorter Summer Courses: Focus on Outcomes

As this term comes to a close, you may find yourself looking ahead toward teaching a summer course. Though you may still find that you encounter many of the same challenges teaching during the summer months that you would otherwise, it can also pose its own unique challenges. Among them, you may find that students find it even more difficult to focus on being in class when they’d like to be enjoying a summer break, or that you have less time to get them up-to-speed with course content. One of the other challenges that can be unique to Read More…


Activity: Minimize Stress and Avoid Procrastination

Maintaining a healthy balance between the things we have to do and the things we want to do is often a goal we overlook in the interest of getting things done at work and being successful. However, ensuring that you make time to do the things you enjoy can be an important step toward being more successful at work, and to lowering stress and avoiding procrastination. The activity below, included in Richard L. Daft and Dorothy Marcic’s Building Management Skills: An Action First Approach, First Edition can help you reflect on where you’re spending your time, and Read More…


Using Assessment Data to Tweak Next Semester’s Instruction

Guest Contributor: Erin Doppke, Senior Instructional Designer, Cengage Learning Custom Solutions. There’s no need to wait to review data collected from student satisfaction surveys or final examsit may be that the keys to making tweaks to your course to improve learning for next term are already in your hands. In this post, Senior Instructional Designer Erin Doppke provides advice on increasing the effectiveness of your course by evaluating it using assessment information. How do you evaluate your course’s overall effectiveness and decide whether or not you’d like to make changes for the next term? Share your ideas and experiences Read More…


The New Rules of LMS Content Integration

On campuses around the country—both physical and virtual—more and more instructors are being asked to increase course loads and to manage their workloads with fewer administrative resources. Driven by decreases in government and donor funding and increases in tuition discount rates, administrators have been forced to reduce the number of full-time teaching positions. At the same time, instructors are being asked to adopt new or expanded outcomes-based policies and assessments, to redesign courses, and to move more of their sections online. It is no wonder that many of them are looking for ways to streamline the course preparation Read More…


Collecting Meaningful Feedback Via Informal Assessment Techniques

You’ve worked hard to create an engaging, active learning environment for your students (maybe you’ve even used some of these ideas), but how do you measure your success in a meaningful way? As an instructor, you may wish to not only assess students’ progress in your course, you may also want to assess the effectiveness of a new teaching method or classroom activity you’re trying prior to the end of term. It can be helpful to get this kind of information from students while the experience is still fresh for them, rather than relying on feedback Read More…


Online Quizzing to Promote Learning: A Formative Assessment Approach

As faculty, we spend countless hours deciding how to assess whether or not students achieve our learning outcomes for the course. The most common assessment approach is testing, and this can be a very effective and efficient way to assess the level of learning that took place. This approach of measuring ultimate achievement levels is considered summative assessment. However, the value of testing goes above and beyond this traditional use. There has been a significant body of research that shows that testing is a MEMORY tool. For instance, Karpicke and Roediger (2006) conducted research that showed that students who Read More…


Examining Assessment From Both Sides of the Desk

Guest Contributor: Maggi Miller, Manager, Cengage Learning TeamUP Faculty Programs. Grab a piece of paper and number it from 1 through 10. Done? Now read my mind as I think the first question and try to answer whether it’s true or false. OK, now read my mind as I think of 2-10. Want the answers? I-True, 2-False, 3-False, 4-False, 5-True, 6-True, 7-False, 8-True, 9-False and 10-False. How did you do? Even though this test is silly, you may feel unhappy if your “score” was low. Conversely, you may feel oddly successful if you scored well. People don’t usually feel neutral Read More…


Keeping Online Students On Course

In recent years, you’ve likely seen that your institution is paying increased attention to student retention rates. In fact, if you are like many instructors, you have been tasked with identifying specific ways you can address this issue in your course and on your campus. At Cengage Learning’s recent 18th Annual Course Technology Conference, Sandy Keeter and Melinda White shared their creative best practices for increasing retention, participation, and student success in their online Office Applications course. In this video, you’ll see them discuss the benefits of team teaching in the online environment, as well as ways that retention specialists, tutors, and embedded Read More…


Making a Difference in Computing Courses

An Interview with Cheryl Costantini, VP, Brand Management, Cengage Learning. When business productivity applications were first launched in the early 1980’s for the brand-new personal computers that had been introduced by companies like IBM, Compaq, DEC, and NEC, software was delivered in a box that contained a packet of floppy disks and two manuals – a references manual and a user manual. Most users learned how use the products on their own, with both manuals open on their desks, next to their computers. There were training classes available, but many professionals simply did not have time to attend classes. The Read More…


Improving Student Learning Outcomes: The Thing Itself

Guest Contributor: Worth Hawes, PhD, Senior Academic Services Consultant, Cengage Learning. In yesterday’s post, I shared some comments about how my own attitude and motivation has changed over the years regarding the ongoing drive for “better student outcomes.” In this article I want to talk more about the mechanics of student outcomes—in particular, what a good learning outcome actually looks like. Indeed, obtaining better student learning outcomes in the end requires the formulation of strong learning outcomes—the thing itself—in the beginning. Inasmuch as any learning outcome is a description of a particular demonstrable skill, capability, competency, Read More…