Curriculum and Programs

Best of the Blog: Flipping Your Course

The “flipped classroom” has engendered quite a bit of discussion and experimentation among educators. Therefore, we weren’t surprised to learn that author Beverly Amer’s post “To Flip or Not to Flip: That is the Question” is among the most-read articles at the Cengage Learning Blog. In the post, Amer discusses the benefits of the “flipped classroom” and offers some suggestions for implementing it in your course. She provides a good starting point for anyone who is in the beginning stages of exploring the possibilities this approach offers. Read more about the flipped classroom at the Cengage Learning Read More…


Digitally Literate Student Engagement

With online education making headline news due to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC’s) from MIT, Stanford, and other prominent institutions, many colleges are wondering where they fit in the online education movement. Technology courses such as the Intro to Computers course are ideal courses to teach 100% online, and provide a great start for schools looking to extend their reach beyond the local community. When delivered effectively, online courses can also ignite learning in iGeneration students who live a great portion of their lives online. For example: In 1998, Professor Ken Baldauf joined the Florida State University (FSU) faculty Read More…


Activity: Grammar Competition

Contributor: Gina Hogan, Citrus College. The objective of the competition is threefold: 1) to assess students on their comfort and knowledge of grammar concepts, 2) to review collectively for an upcoming grammar test, and 3) to engage students in a group activity that enhances student camaraderie and cohesion. The competition requires every student’s participation in answering questions about grammar concepts. The questions pertain to the understanding or application of concepts we have worked on previously. Students perform individually but for team points. In other words, if a student offers the correct answer, the team gets a point, but if the Read More…


Creating Podcasts: Where to Start

If you’re beginning to explore the “flipped model” of instruction, you may be pondering how you can deliver lecture content outside the classroom walls. Podcasts are one popular means of delivery for many instructors. Simply defined, a podcast is “a series of audio or video files that are broadcast to a computer or personal media player over the Internet by publication in an RSS feed” (Shelly and Frydenberg, p. 106). The process of creating a podcast is fairly simple. However, if you’re brand-new to this process, you may be seeking an orientation to what it entails and where, exactly, you Read More…


Blend and Flip! New Approaches for Building Student Success and Engagement

Reaching and engaging today’s students has been a hot topic, not only on this blog, but in schools around the country and even in non-industry-specific media. Instructors are rethinking how they can create the spark of true learning in their students, and as part of that, what new avenues they can take to reach them. In this recorded virtual event, “Blend and Flip! New Approaches for Building Student Success and Engagement,” Beverly Amer of Northern Arizona University discusses blended and flipped classroom models and addresses how they can be utilized to reach higher levels of engagement and student Read More…


Writing is a Building Activity

Contributor: Gina Hogan, Citrus College. In being introduced to writing, students need a clear, consistent approach to increase their confidence and comfort with a task they feel is insurmountable. In my college classes, I teach the first foundational block as writing correct sentences, the second is writing effective paragraphs, and finally writing effective essays. Teaching writing as a building activity where concepts build on each other has worked well in my developmental writing courses. This technique of “building writing” makes the writing process more manageable for students. It allows students to practice each concept or block separately to see Read More…


A Closer Look at an Emporium-Structured Developmental Math Course

According to the National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT), an emporium-model course encourages active, student-centered, and self-directed learning, while presenting opportunity for one-on-one help from the instructors, tutors, and/or teaching assistants who staff the  computer lab. Instead of lectures, students engage in a lab setting that requires hands-on interaction with computer-based tutorials, assessments, and other learning materials. Though this model is generally most frequently seen in mathematics, other disciplines are experimenting with it as well. If you’re intrigued by this idea, but are accustomed to delivering traditional, lecture-based instruction, you may be wondering how such Read More…


Measuring the Impact of Course Redesign

As you engage in the process of course redesign, you’ll need to develop a means of identifying and communicating your successes. How do you measure the impact of your work? And how do you prove that your efforts have made a difference among students, faculty, and the institution as a whole? In the recent webinar “Assessing Learning and Cost in Course Redesign,” Dr. Carolyn Jarmon, Vice President of the National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT), shares some of the methods that institutions have used to assess the impact of course redesign on student learning and instructional costs. Read More…


Curriculum Issues to Consider Around Course Redesign

Guest Contributor Sande Johnson, Developmental Studies and College Success Specialist, Academic Services, Cengage Learning. So, you’ve made the decision to redesign your curriculum in a specific discipline. What are the next steps you need to take in order to move forward with implementation? Regardless of which program you are planning to redesign, there are three critical considerations that will determine whether or not you are ready to proceed (outlined in our previous article by Dr. Elaine Gray): Budget: You have the funding to sustain a multi-year implementation plan.
Assessment: You either have a baseline measure and a feasible long-term assessment Read More…


Starting the Course Redesign Process: Principles to Consider

When you are considering how to redesign your courses, it can be helpful to hear from faculty at other institutions that have recently completed the process. As you learn about their experiences, you’ll notice that different schools (and different departments) approach the process in various ways. And with good reason: as Dr. Carolyn Jarmon noted in her webinar, “Improving Outcomes and Reducing Costs: The Case for Redesign,” institutions choose to undergo this process for a number of reasons, including high student withdrawal or failure rates, long waiting lists for courses, over-enrollment in courses that fulfill prerequisites for a number Read More…