Curriculum and Programs

Course Redesign: History, Success, and Recommendations

Guest Contributor: Elaine Gray, Appalachian State University. A Little History The National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT) has gathered more than a decade’s worth of evidence and enthusiasm for what Peter Ewell, Vice President, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, describes as “the most extensive demonstration to date of the effectiveness of fusing instructional technology and reconceptualized instructional practices.” The course redesign movement is credited with bringing about increased retention, high quality learning, and cost savings to higher education institutions. NCAT’s monograph Increasing Success for Underserved Students: Redesigning Introductory Courses provides a comprehensive overview of case studies from thirty colleges and universities Read More…


Research: Opening Doors to a Deeper Understanding of Students’ Needs

What sparks your desire for discovery? Sometimes a (seemingly) chance conversation, observation, or glance at a headline opens the door to a new project or path in life. For people with an interest in teaching and learning, this enthusiasm often prompts a desire to share one’s new findings with others. In this video, Janet Zadina, co-author of College Reading: The Science and Strategies of Expert Readers, describes what drew her to research in the field of educational neuroscience. She also discusses her current research on the impact of stress and trauma on learning and shares her passion for helping Read More…


Tips for Students: Exploring a Research Topic

What advice do you share with your students when assigning a research paper or project? Share your thoughts on helping learners focus on a topic of research in the comments section below. So you’ve been assigned a research paper, and you have a pretty good idea of what you’d like to write about (or maybe not quite yet). What’s next? Rather than just diving in and committing to writing about a topic, Susan Miller-Cochran and Rochelle Rodrigo, authors of The Wadsworth Guide to Research, recommend that you take some time to explore it more fully to ensure that Read More…


Let’s Be Honest: Plagiarism Happens

Guest Contributor: Audrey A. Wick, Blinn College.  Today, Audrey Wick shares some of the steps she’s taken to address the pernicious issue of plagiarism in her courses. How do you fight plagiarism in your course? Are there specific tools or measures that have been the most effective? Share your comments below. It was a sweet essay from one of my first-semester composition students about the birth of her child. The narrative contained all the trappings of an effective inaugural student composition: it was written on-prompt, it was formatted accordingly to MLA conventions, it contained a clear opening with a discernible thesis statement—and, Read More…


Rhetorically Evaluating Sources

We want to hear from you. What do you tell students about evaluating sources for research projects or papers? Share your tips, the advice that you share with your classes, or guidelines that you lay out for students, in the comments section below. Do you find that your students encounter challenges thinking critically about which sources to choose as they research and write because they have so much information available at their fingertips? With the rise of Wikipedia and discussion boards available on just about any topic you can think of, how can you steer learners in the right Read More…


Using Web 2.0 Resources for Research Papers

Blogs. Wikis. Social networks. Often populated with user-generated content, these Web 2.0 tools can provide a wealth of useful and entertaining information, and we consult them on a regular basis. But should students consider them reliable sources of information for formal research papers? Of course, in some respects, it depends on the nature of the project. However, given the right circumstances, these could potentially be helpful means of discovering worthwhile material. In The Wadsworth Guide to Research, Second Edition, Susan Miller-Cochran and Rochelle Rodrigo offer guidance for how students might potentially use these resources ethically and effectively.

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How Psychology Has Developed as a Science

John Cacioppo, author of Discovering Psychology: The Science of the Mind, First Edition, discusses his research on how psychology has developed as a science over the years. He talks about the shift from antagonism between the social and biological approaches to accepting that diverse perspectives give us a more complete understanding of how the mind works. Listen to hear how psychology has emerged as one of the seven hub sciences, and how scientific research has changed this century.

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Teaching Online: Keys to Success

Guest Contributor Ken Baldauf, Florida State University. MOOCs, MOOCs, MOOCs! Everyone’s talking about MOOCs! Are massively open online courses really going to take over higher education? While MOOCs aren’t yet a serious threat to a traditional college degree, they have opened educators’ and administrators’ eyes to the advantages of online education. Class enrollment is no longer limited by classroom space, and university enrollment need not be limited to residential students. As institutions work to define the scope of their student population, many are exploring various forms of online education. Here at Florida State University, we have been offering online courses and online Read More…


Tin Can Opens the SCORM Silo

Guest Contributor: June Parsons. Love it or hate it, learning management systems (LMSs) have become a key technology in today’s digital educational environment. Instructors use their LMS for tracking student progress and for grading. Students use the LMS to access course schedules, submit assignments, check their grades, and contact their instructors. As a textbook author, LMSs seemed a logical platform for content delivery. Digital interactive textbooks, such as New Perspectives on Computer Concepts and Practical Computer Literacy, should be easy to deliver from any LMS. The possibilities all make sense; students would be able to log Read More…


To Flip or Not to Flip: That is the Question

Guest Contributor: Beverly Amer, Northern Arizona University. For as long as there have been students, there have been teachers trying to engage them in learning. The Socratic Method has stood the test of time, as have many others that have followed. One of the latest such methods to hit the halls of higher education is called the “flipped” classroom. In a flipped classroom model, the responsibility for information-gathering – traditionally controlled and delivered by the instructor in front of the class – moves to the student outside the confines of the classroom lecture hall. No more does the instructor Read More…