Achievement and outcomes

Helping Learners Conquer Test Anxiety

Taking assessments in the form of tests or exams throughout the term can seem an obviously expected part of the learning process, but it is possible that you’ll encounter learners who struggle with test anxiety. These learners, no matter how well they know the concepts or material covered, may find themselves drawing a blank when they sit down with an exam in front of them. If you so choose, there are options for you to employ to help students cope with their test anxiety. In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers, Read More…


Increasing Success Rates for STEM-Focused Learners

According to recent government data, only 15% of all U.S. college students graduate with STEM-related degrees. At the same time, U.S. job market demand for STEM-related skills is at an all-time high, with an estimated 2.4 million new and replacement job openings expected through 2018, according to a 2011 study by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University. So why aren’t more college students seeking-out degrees, certificates, and other credentials in STEM-related fields, and how can institutions help their students identify best-fit academic paths to high-demand – and often high-paying — jobs? Owen Software, founded Read More…


What is Digital Literacy and Why is it Important?

Whether or not you had a chance to register for the Cengage Learning Course Technology Conference in March before it sold out, you still have opportunities to hear from some of the event’s speakers. This week, we’re sharing content from some of the conference presenters that can apply to anyone seeking to equip their learners with the skills they’ll need to be successful in the workplace.
In this video, Beverly Amer discusses what digital literacy means, and why it’s important to today’s learners and tomorrow’s employees. She talks about how we can use technology to support what Read More…


Tips for Students: How to Let Your Instructor Know You’re Struggling

It’s essential to know that a student is struggling with course work to be able to help him or her get back on track. Share the tips below with your students to encourage them to be more vocal about their challenges and to take a more active role in steering themselves toward success. How do you uncover which topics your students struggle with most? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. If you’re struggling and looking for some extra help in your courses, don’t overlook the resource (sometimes literally) right in front of you. Your instructors Read More…


Connect with Them and They’ll Connect with Class

Guest Contributor Bridgett McGowen-Hawkins, Senior Consultant, Cengage Learning TeamUP Faculty Programs. Allow me to let you in on a secret that I wish someone had shared with me during my freshman year at the front of the classroom and behind the lectern: Students are not automatically captive audiences. What?! Yes, it’s the heart-breaking truth. A student will not show up every Tuesday and Thursday to room 104 in Anderson Hall at 11 a.m. simply because a printout from an academic advisor indicates he should. It’s going to take a bit more. Persistence does not just happen, and in all honesty, depending upon Read More…


Essential Digital Resources for Workforce Development Programs

The technology resources that are available to today’s workforce development programs are a far cry from the resources that were available just a few years ago. The demands of industry-specific training programs, especially those designed to help close the gaps in the middle-skills job market, have driven the development of digital tools and media that contribute to measurable improvements in completion rates and outcomes. Market pressures and incentives, such as high unemployment rates, the scarcity of workers with related skills, and the time pressures of federal grants, such as TAACCCT, have encouraged course content producers to accelerate the development of digital resources Read More…


Fostering Students’ Persistence

In this video, Laura Bracken discusses the importance of retention and persistence in higher education, and the correlations between learner success in developmental math and persisting to complete a degree or certificate program. Though Laura’s discussion is related particularly to her teaching focus, developmental math, her ideas on persistence and its correlation to later success can be more broadly applicable in higher education. Listen as she talks about making a difference in students’ persistence at the classroom level. How do you involve learners in the learning process? Have you noticed that “addressing the whole student,” as Laura mentions, makes Read More…


The Virtual Learning Environment: Student Use and Perceptions of its Usefulness

The rapid acceptance of and changes in information technology has meant that the pedagogical benefit of incorporating new technologies into subject delivery is not well understood and the non-discipline specific findings are inconclusive (Bonner, 1999; Brace-Govan & Clulow, 2000; Reeves, 1997; Smeaton & Keogh, 1999). Even though some studies have reported that improved learning outcomes result from heightened motivation and extended mental effort (Bryant & Hunton, 2000; Kember, 1995; Koh & Koh, 1999; Kozma, 1991), Ramsey (2003) concludes that the impact and use of technology on learning outcomes for students and faculty are not well understood. That this issue has not been well examined in the accounting literature (Bryant & Hunton, 2000) provides the motivation for this study to investigate how students utilise a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and second to identify student perceptions of its usefulness.
 
This study seeks to provide a platform for evaluating the pedagogical effectiveness of an accounting VLE by first ascertaining how students utilise this learning tool and second identifying student perception of the VLE as a learning tool.
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A Diagnostic Test and Follow-Up Survey: A Practical Assessment Tool

Despite notoriously low attendance, Le Moyne College schedules classes for the Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week. As a result, the author usually searches for an activity that does not cover new lessons. But several years ago, he decided to try something different by conducting an experiment. On the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving week, he informed his Intermediate 301 class that I would be giving a diagnostic exam during the last class before their holiday break. I explained that the exam would cover the accounting cycle and that I did not expect them to prepare. Twenty-nine students (out of a total population of forty –three) came to class that day at either 3:30 PM or at 5:30 PM.
 
This paper describes the author’s experience and his conclusion that a diagnostic test is an excellent example of a course-embedded assessment tool.

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Perceptions of Efficacy Across Course Levels, Course Types, and Location in a Distance Learning Environment

During the last decade, technology has made a dramatic impact on the pedagogical environment of business schools across the country and this trend is likely to accelerate in future. Two major forms of technology-mediated learning that have emerged are: web based instruction and distance learning. Also, the number of part-time, off-campus, and non-traditional students is growing. The demands of family and work place often prevent such students from going back to campus on a full-time basis. Compression technologies, increased computing power and speed, high quality video transmission, and access to highspeed Internet and their declining costs, have made distance learning a viable medium of instruction. From an economic perspective, distance learning allows sharing of instructional costs among multiple sites, giving schools that implement distance learning programs a cost advantage (Yang 2006). It also gives the schools an opportunity to tap the market segment of non-traditional students and students residing in remote regions (Walsh and Reese 1995). Therefore, it is not surprising that an increasing number of universities, both large and small, currently offer courses and sometimes even entire degree programs in a distance learning environment. (Mackay and Stockport 2006).
 
Despite such widespread use of distance learning technology, there is scant evidence about students’ perceptions of the teaching environment in distance learning
courses. This paper examines responses to a survey of students enrolled in a variety of distance learning business courses. The remainder of this paper is organized as follows. First, various distance learning delivery formats are reviewed and the class environment in which distance learning courses are offered at a regional university is described. Sample selection procedure and descriptive statistics are provided in section 3. The fourth section provides a review of prior research and presents the hypotheses tested in this study. The results appear in section 5. Limitations of the study are pointed out in section 6. The final
section summarizes the results of the study.
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