Achievement and outcomes

Competency-Based Education for the Rest of Us

Guest Contributor: Tom Caswell, Learning Objects Competency-based education (CBE) has received a lot of attention as a disruptive innovation that promises to raise course quality and student completion while lowering costs. College for America and Western Governors University are among a small group on institutions “built from scratch” to offer competency-based education. Many more institutions find themselves at various stages of piloting different forms of CBE. What constitutes competency-based education? Is there is a spectrum of CBE implementations, and if so could CBE curriculum design be useful in a fixed-time, credit hour-based setting? First let’s cover the basics of CBE. EDUCAUSE Read More…


Curriculum Development: Advising Students Against Plagiarism

With knowledge at their fingertips online, as well as hundreds of essay writing services, college students are often tempted to plagiarize. Teachers need to educate their students on the dangers of plagiarism to their college education, their integrity, and their future careers. Teachers also need to inform students that they can easily check for plagiarism with plagiarism detector tools. Consider some of these topics when working on curriculum development.

Role of the instructor

The instructor plays an important role in informing and preventing students from engaging in plagiarism. “By teaching students about plagiarism, and by reinforcing their knowledge of appropriate research skills, you’ll Read More…


Top Resources for College Student Research

It seems that no matter how many student research papers you assign, each new assignment brings your students the challenge of finding the right sources in a timely manner. Facing an impending deadline can lead some students to try shortcuts that result in lackluster papers that don’t meet academic standards. Instructors can help students take control of the research and writing process by providing guidance along with the project instructions.

Student research guide

In their book, Cengage Guide to Research, 3rd Edition, Susan K. Miller-Cochran and Rochelle L. Rodrigo lead students through the process of completing a research paper. Recognizing that Read More…


Encourage College Students to Finish and Continue Education

College students can get discouraged or stressed at colleges and universities and contemplate dropping out. Teachers should encourage students to finish their higher education and earn their bachelor’s degree or associate’s degree. Here are some tips for helping students find value in their education and finish their degree.

Set goals to keep students on track

Setting goals is important for college students to find value in their college education. In “Tips for Students: How To Reach Your Academic Goals in College,” by Taylor Massey, posted in Cengage Learning’s Engaging Minds January 10, 2014, students are advised to set goals Read More…


Alternative Methods of Skills Assessment: Beyond the Exam

Just as a physician takes a pulse to assess a patient’s health, instructors use educational assessment techniques to monitor the effectiveness of teaching and achievement of learning outcomes in the classroom. Assessment provides valuable feedback that is used to adjust the presentation of instruction or to place students in programs. Traditional assessment tools often utilize a test instrument such as true-false or multiple choice. These instruments are designed to solicit either recall or identification skills of students. Other assessment techniques, such as authentic assessment, measure real-world situational knowledge. What methods can be used to take assessment beyond the Read More…


Creating a Research Paper Rubric for College Students

It’s often difficult for college students to understand exactly what the teacher expects from them when it comes to tests or research papers. Creating a research paper rubric for your students will help guide them toward the proper format, themes, concepts, focus and execution they need to perform in a term paper for it to be successful. Try these tips for both creating a rubric template and for using rubrics to give feedback to students.

Sample rubric for research papers

When creating rubrics, use straightforward and concise language to inform students. You can create a rubric with various parameters for different skill Read More…


Tips for Students: Top Apps for Focus and Organization

The end of the semester is in your sights. Good concentration and study skills are even more vital than usual this time of year. Mobile applications are simple ways for college students to study smarter, research faster, and get organized. But where to begin? Try these top mobile apps for keeping up with the demands of your college courses.

Improve focus

We’ve all heard the stats about mulitasking: it doesn’t actually save us any time at all, but instead wastes considerable time as we frequently flip back and forth between tasks. Your brain takes a while to get back into the zone each time you switch Read More…


Are Students Confident They’ll Get a Job After Graduation?

Whether they’re completing courses for a professional certificate or working through a bachelor’s program in a particular discipline or field, most college students hope that all their hard work will pay off in the form of new, or more fulfilling, careers.

In our recent white paper, “Students to Colleges: Get Us Work-Ready!”, we share the results of an extensive study that we conducted with the Work Institute. Among many questions, we asked students how confident they felt about getting a job after graduation.

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Are College Students Confident They’ll Achieve Their Goals?

Students enter college with myriad hopes and dreams; these might include learning a specialized skill or a particular body of knowledge, obtaining a promising and rewarding career, or gaining a sense of personal achievement. Though many may complete college with the sense that they’re successful, others will admit that they’ve struggled to achieve or accomplish all that they’d hoped.

In our recent white paper, “Students to Colleges: Get Us Work-Ready!,” we explore how the college experience compared to student expectations. Among many topics, we asked students to tell us whether or not they feel confident in their ability to successfully achieve their own goals.

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College Internships Work for Students

College internships present numerous benefits. For one, they give students the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in their courses within a real-world job setting. In addition, students can gain practical experience that they can add to their resume, as well as valuable insights and advice from their supervisors. Some interns receive another key benefit: a job offer upon graduation.

All this being said: Do college students believe that the opportunity for internships contributes to their satisfaction with the college experience?
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