Engagement and Motivation

Grabbing Learners’ Attention Back from the Brink of Distraction

You may have a classroom full of learners… but are their minds as present as their bodies? Your students do maintain their personal responsibility to pay attention. However, with a few simple steps, you can help facilitate their ability to stay mentally — as well as physically — involved in the class. In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips, Fourteenth Edition, Wilbert J. McKeachie and Marilla Svinicki share several suggestions for maintaining your listeners’ attention throughout the entire class period:

    Change up your presentation. Subtle shifts in your body movement, vocal tone, pacing, and use of audio and visual aids can capture your listeners’ attention
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Tips for Students: Staying Engaged in the Classroom

Engagement is directly linked to success in the classroom, and when you are engaged in the classroom, you become a full participant in what you’re learning. These tips, adapted from Constance Staley’s FOCUS on College Success, Third Edition will help students fully engage in the classroom, which will result in better grades and improved learning.

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Engaging Your Learners & Channeling Distractions

This week, we are featuring content from presenters at Cengage Learning’s upcoming Engage 2013 Conference. Today, we’ll hear from Professor Corinne Hoisington. In this video she shares an idea that you can put into action to engage learners at the start of each class period. She also offers tips on channeling potential technology distractions into opportunities to create an active learning environment.  [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wt5PBd6XwcI?wmode=Opaque] What types of activities do you do in your classrooms — on-ground, online, or blended — to get your learners engaged in the material? Share your thoughts and ideas in the Comments section below. Corinne Hoisington, Read More…


Adding Some TEC-VARIETY to Online Teaching and Learning

Guest Contributor Curtis J. Bonk, Indiana University. Seeking ideas for engaging learners in your online course? Today, Engage 2013 conference presenter Curtis J. Bonk shares his series of ten motivational principles, organized according to a helpful mnemonic device: “TEC-VARIETY.” What challenges have you faced, and resolved, in motivating online learners? Post your ideas, questions, or below.    With my “TravelinEdMan” moniker attached to my blog and Twitter feeds, friends and colleagues often ask me where in the world I am. Well, from late 2004 to early 2007, I was often found in the UK. During one such trip in March 2005, Read More…


Engaging Students Via Immersion in Virtual Worlds and Augmented Realities

Guest Contributor Chris Dede, Harvard University. This week, we are featuring articles from presenters at Cengage Learning’s upcoming Engage 2013 Conference. Today, we’ll hear from Chris Dede, who describes EcoMUVE, an immersive virtual environment designed to engage students in the process of learning about ecosystems. Though this particular project is designed for middle-school students, the learning principles and methodology behind it have application within higher education as well. Have you used virtual worlds as a part of your course curriculum? How did this serve to engage students in the learning process? Provide your feedback in the Read More…


Creating a Schedule for Yourself

If you’d like to begin the new year with confidence and a goal-oriented mindset, the act of creating a schedule can help you in that direction. When created purposefully, a schedule can be a tool that frees you to place a priority on the matters of greatest importance to you. In their book How to Study in CollegeEleventh Edition, Walter Pauk and Ross J.Q. Owens state that “…following a schedule soon becomes a source of strength and a boon to your life” (p. 44). In other words, a schedule helps you exercise greater control over your time and your attitude, which leads Read More…


Welcome Back Warm-Ups

With the start of a new year, and the start of a new term, come a new group of students in your classroom. In addition to standard first-day-of-class activities, such as introducing your course topic, stating your attendance and grading policies, and reviewing course materials, you may wish to devote time to introductions. In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips, Fourteenth Edition, Wilbert J. McKeachie and Marilla Svinicki offer some simple suggestions for getting to know one another. Given the time it can take to make it around the room, these ideas are perhaps best suited for use in a smaller class, Read More…


New Year’s Resolutions: Reaching Your Goals

With a new year comes a chance for a fresh start. It’s a time when many of us make resolutions that embody the goals we want to accomplish this year or the ways we’d like to do better in the new year. For some of us, that may also mean recycling last year’s tossed-aside resolutions in the hope that we’ll have the time, the drive, or some mix of the two, to make them a reality this year. In FOCUS on College and Career Success, Constance and Steve Staley give us an overview of what it means Read More…


Maintaining the Attitude of a Life-Long Learner

If you’re reading this blog post, you obviously value the purpose and process of education — enough to devote your career to it! However, when we’re constantly moving through our daily pattern of meetings, deadlines, paperwork, and other pressing responsibilities, we can potentially lose sight of those things that enable us to move forward in new and challenging directions — and that, in itself, can make us feel stuck, stale, or solution-less. In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips, Marilla Svinicki and Wilbert J. McKeachie share some suggestions for identifying new methods, strategies, and opportunities that you can bring into your Read More…


Ten Suggestions for Adult Learners in Higher Education

There are many difficult obstacles that one must overcome to be a successful adult learner in higher education. Having fears about starting courses in higher education is common with all students, traditional and nontraditional. But, as an adult learner you are able to bring life experiences into the classroom, which will help you easily make connections between course work and daily life, and allow you to always see the bigger picture beyond the classroom. In Becoming a Master Student, author Dave Ellis outlines ten suggestions for adult learners to succeed in higher education at any age. Read More…