Curriculum and Programs

The Art of Teaching Problem Solving

Contributor: Laura Bracken, Lewis-Clark State College.  In my elementary algebra classes, we use a problem-solving organizer called The Five Steps that I developed based on the work of George Polya. Since this is an algebra class, I emphasize the use of equations to represent and solve problems. In one of my classes earlier this semester, my students practiced using more than one property of equality to solve a linear equation in one variable. We began to do the following problem together as a class. A trucker has fixed annual costs of $27,600. The average non-fixed costs are . If the Read More…


Tips for Students: Is a Career in Game Development Right for You?

The field of game development may appeal to students for a wide range of reasons. Perhaps these students have great ideas for enjoyable games suited to the educational setting. Perhaps they see work in this field as an opportunity to use their creative skills in a fun and competitive environment. Maybe they find it rewarding to spend hours writing code and then see the “tangible” result of a playable game. And of course, they may simply think to themselves: I like playing games… Hey, why not MAKE them? However, as with any career choice, it makes sense to consider all Read More…


Should You Develop a Game for Your Course?

Do you want to take on the role of “game designer” for your course? Though it may seem fun (and it certainly can be an enjoyable process), the act of creating a game obviously involves much more work than playing one. As an associate professor and co-director of the Games and Simulation Arts and Sciences program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Lee Sheldon has a significant amount of experience in writing, designing, and developing games — as well as teaching others how to do so. In his book The Multiplayer Classroom: Designing Coursework as a Game, he poses several questions that can help you Read More…


Designing Games that Promote Learning



An interview with
Dave McCool, CEO, Muzzy Lane Software.
If you work with college-age students on a daily basis, you are probably aware that many of them love to play video games – online or downloaded onto local devices; alone or in groups; on computers, tablets, smartphones, and video gaming systems. The 2013 Horizon Report for Higher Education lists games and gamification as one of the top two higher education trends in the mid-term horizon, with widespread adoption expected to occur in approximately two to three years. In a 2003 research study conducted by the Read More…


Video Technology Advancements Facilitate New Education Models

An Interview with Kaltura Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer Shay David, PhD The topic of video usage is a key component of any conversation about new education models — whether the topic is MOOCs, course redesign, the flipped classroom, lecture capture, or simulations. Kaltura, based in New York City, held its first Education Video Summit a few months ago, entirely focused on the video needs of the education market. Jeanne Heston recently had an opportunity to interview Kaltura Co-Founder Shay David to learn more about his perspective on the changing role of video in education. Jeanne Read More…


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…


Making Information Accessible via Digital Preservation

If you assign projects that require primary-source research — or, if you have conducted much of this research for your own projects — you know that it can prove challenging to locate and access appropriate and relevant documents. Oftentimes, specific documents aren’t cataloged in the archives’ container lists, making the identification of relevant materials tricky. If you can locate a desired piece of documentation, it may be housed in a library thousands of miles away. Even if the collection resides in a nearby archives, you may find that the archives’ hours of operation conflict with your own schedule. To compound 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…