Achievement and outcomes

Aligning Objectives in Online Classes

Knowing what you want students to understand when they leave your course is great information to keep in mind, but how can you take your goals for learners and translate them into objectives that align with specific course activities and assessments? Even beyond that, how can you write those objectives so they encourage activities that promote active learning, engagement, and higher-order thinking skills? Share with us how you align your objectives in online courses with course activities in the comments section below. Watch and listen to The Instructor’s Perspective on Aligning Objectives in Online Classes, a narrated presentation by Read More…


Using Assessment to Manage Student Learning Outcomes

Guest Contributor Dr. Clayton Austin Mid-terms. Finals. Quizzes. Undoubtedly you — and your students — are all familiar with these assessments. But perhaps you’d like to gauge student progress toward outcomes before you see the results from a major test… and before it’s too late for a student to change direction. Below, we’ve re-published Dr. Clayton Austin’s article, in which he shares one of his methods for assessing his students’ progress prior to a big exam — and it takes less than five minutes!
What are your strategies for assessing student progress prior to a “big exam”? What have been Read More…


Tips for Student Success in an Online Course

Online learning may appeal to students for any number of reasons: the convenience of anytime, anywhere learning; the flexible and self-paced nature of many courses; and the asynchronous type of discussions that allow more time to reflect on an instructor or classmate’s question before responding. Though the appeal itself may be immediate, students may still need guidance toward making the most of the opportunities that an online course affords them. In FOCUS on College Success, Third Edition, Constance Staley describes the key behaviors that will help them thrive in the online learning environment. Though these eight strategies Read More…


For Students: How to Make the Most of Group Work

Bad experiences with uncommitted teammates, conflict, and a lack of clear direction have led some students to view “group work” as a dirty term. However, it may be that these students simply haven’t been introduced to the steps involved in becoming an effective group. Thus, before you assign a group project, it may help to provide your class with guidelines that will lead them to success — rather than frustration or discord. What actions and behaviors lead to a successful group experience? In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips, Svinicki and McKeachie offer students the following suggestions: Make sure that all Read More…


The Value of Peer Learning

You’ve heard that student-centered learning and using groups in the classroom is an effective way to reach learners, and you’ve read some tips on encouraging meaningful interaction in online discussion, but let’s focus on the value that active learning in groups affords your students. In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips, authors Svinicki and McKeachie outline why peer learning works. They point to a number of sources that underline the idea that, “an effective partner can act as a model of useful strategies as well as a teacher.” (Svinicki and McKeachie, 192) What they point out is that peer learning offers certain Read More…


Using Groups in the Classroom

Guest Contributor: Maggi Miller. Looking to increase student engagement in your course? Here, Maggi Miller, retired Professor and now Manager of Cengage Learning’s TeamUP Faculty Programs, discusses why—and how—group work leads to greater student success and satisfaction. ANNOUNCEMENT! Lecturing is not the most effective way to teach! “Student engagement” is the way to go, right? It’s supported by student satisfaction surveys and most conferences have sessions on active learning. But it’s not just a “hot” topic. The evidence is in: when the classroom is student-centered, the learning is more immediate, goes deeper and lasts longer. It’s a pedagogical trifecta! Students Read More…


Preventing Plagiarism: Tips for You and Tips to Share

Four Tips for You Taking steps to prevent plagiarism can help save you and your students from the unpleasant task of handling plagiarism. In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers, contributors Peter Elbow and Mary Deane Sorcinelli outline how you can take action to prevent plagiarism.

    Be clear in your syllabus about what plagiarism is in your course. Let them know what they’ll need to provide to show their research, as well as how you expect them to work with — or not work with — their classmates.
    Encourage questions. Let your students know that if they’re doubtful about proper citations
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Putting Off Procrastination

We know the importance of time management. We’re also familiar with the feeling of joy (or relief) that comes after finishing a daunting task. However, despite our best intentions, we’re often all too willing to put off what needs to be done. In How to Study in College, Walter Pauk and Ross J. Q. Owens offer suggestions for fighting off procrastination. Share these tips with your students who may find themselves habitually working on assignments until the last minute, or refer to them when you find yourself staring at a looming deadline.  

    Tell others about your plans.By making others aware
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The Underprepared Student

Not all students are created equally. Many come into a course with the appropriate background knowledge to succeed, but some students come in unprepared. Maybe they aren’t equipped with the required prerequisites or perhaps in a previous course they did not apply themselves to reach their full potential. Whatever the case may be, instructors can find ways to facilitate success with underprepared students. In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers (2011, Wadsworth, Cengage Learning), authors Svinicki and McKeachie suggest several ways to help get the underprepared student ready for class.

    If
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Making the Grade in Group Presentations

Group presentations are often necessary in the classroom and in the workplace — working as an effective member of a team is a skill that can be essential in work and life. To be successful, all members must work as a team to deliver a consistent and memorable presentation to the audience. In Becoming a Master Student, author Dave Ellis outlines three key strategies that anyone working with a group can follow as a path toward successful group presentations. Read on for your own benefit, share with your students, or both! Get Organized. Once you have your task, appoint Read More…