Curriculum and Programs

The Necessary Intellectual Skills for Academic Writers

To some degree or another, many educators rely on traditional taxonomies or curricular clusters to help them explain, prompt, and assess student work. Perhaps they use terms from Bloom’s Taxonomy (“applying,” “analyzing,” “evaluating,” and so forth) when crafting learning objectives. If they teach writing, they also likely incorporate discussion of rhetorical modes such as classification, comparison/contrast, or narration. They also will address rhetorical aims such as explaining and solving. However, these usual taxonomies may overshadow a sizable range of other teachable and vital skills that are crucial for succeeding in academic life. In the webinar “Crucial Thinking: The Read More…


Tips for Conducting Student Peer Reviews Online

Among its numerous other benefits to writing and research, technology provides a variety of ways to simplify the student peer-review process. Here, we share a few ideas that can help foster that process online, adapted from recommendations offered in Susan Miller-Cochran and Rochelle Rodrigo’s Wadsworth Guide to Research, Second Edition:

    Word processing programs offer the ability to track changes and insert comments, making them an ideal tool for peer-review projects. The writer can send a copy of the document via e-mail; each student, in turn, can add on their comments. At the end of the review process, the writer receives the feedback
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Announcing the Winners of Cengage Learning’s 2013 Economist Educators Best in Class Award

The Economics team at Cengage Learning is proud to announce our 2nd Annual Economist Educators Best in Class Award Winners!   1st Place – Kelvin Wong, University of Minnesota 2nd Place – Alice Louise Kassens, Roanoke College 3rd Place – Jadrian Wooten, Washington State University   These winning entries focused on engaging students through game/role playing and tweeting. See these winning submissions online right now. We also invite you to register to attend our Economics Teaching Conference to see the top two papers presented! Congratulations!   Kelvin Wong I start off by introducing the game. There was a British game show Read More…


Useful Tips that Encourage Students During the Writing Process

Great writing seems effortless. Yet if you’re at all familiar with the writing process, you’re keenly aware of that key word: “seems.” As much as seasoned writers are accustomed to and enjoy their work, even they occasionally struggle with motivation, groan when they notice a looming deadline, and face dry periods with little to show for their efforts beside a few words scribbled on a pad of paper. Therefore, what appears to the reader as a polished product represents hours of research, writing, and revision—not to mention the stress, frustration, and anxiety the writer may have experienced Read More…


Tips for Conducting an Effective Online Search

Once your students have explored and decided upon a topic for a research paper, it’s time for them to begin investigating it! For many, this is enjoyable, as it represents the beginning of the process of discovery. Yet it also poses a challenge if they don’t know quite how to conduct a search that will enable them to retrieve information that’s related to their topic. Given that very few libraries still offer physical card catalogs, they’ll likely begin the process by using a search engine, database, or, library catalog. If, for example, they have decided to research California history, tax reform, Read More…


Evaluating a Website’s Appropriateness for Scholarly Research

If you’ve spent any time on the Web, you know that the quality, credibility, and reliability of available information varies greatly. Though you may not be concerned about the academic credentials of someone who’s writing restaurant reviews or sports commentary, you do recognize that it’s critical to diligently vet the sources you rely upon for your research projects. However, this reality may come as a surprise to some of today’s students who are used to typing a few words into a search engine and choosing the first few results as their sole sources of information on any given topic. Given Read More…


“Can I Use This?”: Helping Students Rhetorically Evaluate Sources

Not so many years ago, print resources were generally deemed more authoritative and credible than digital resources. Scholarly books, monographs, and journals found in your academic library had more than likely been thoroughly researched, vetted, and peer-reviewed. On the other hand, you might understandably call into question the veracity of a self-published article that appeared on an anonymous website. Even just a few years later, things look quite different. A growing number of researchers publish their work in peer-reviewed open-access online archives; many trustworthy news outlets have moved to web-only formats; and a great deal of passionate, intelligent, and Read More…


How to Search an Electronic Document for Relevant Information

The searchable nature of electronic documents can make it fairly easy for students to “flip through” a publication and see whether or not their chosen research topic is mentioned somewhere within the text. However, they may quickly discover that, although a word appears fifty times, it may not be used in a context that’s at all meaningful to them. Therefore, they can’t stop at finding the relevant keyword, but they must take some time to thoughtfully review the material and give consideration to its appropriateness for their work. This “Techno Tip” from Susan K. Miller-Cochran and Rochelle R. Rodrigo’s Read More…


Developing Digital Collections that Facilitate Scholarly Research

For many scholars (and indeed, many students), nothing quite matches the excitement of investigating primary-source material related to their research projects. Newspapers, diaries, maps, photographs, manuscripts, ephemera, and other archival materials grant us a peek into the past and illuminate our understanding of private lives, political developments, and pivotal events as they occurred. In years past, you could only review the materials you could visit in person or retrieve from willing institutions. But today, we have the luxury of examining material from the world’s libraries, archives, and repositories from the comfort of our home, office, or library computers. As you can Read More…


Activity: Understanding Your Expectations About Online Learning

As new students arrive on campus and get ready to begin their first college courses, they bring with them a set of expectations about what they’ll experience in the classroom. Based on what they’ve heard from friends and family members, what they’ve seen in movies, and what they’ve experienced in school themselves, they are probably walking in with some preconceived notions around the difficulty of the coursework, the types of discussion or group work experiences they’ll share with fellow students, or how you, as their instructor, will lead the class. Those expectations may be met—or, they could be Read More…