Engagement and Motivation

Personal Response System and Its Effects on Student Learning

A personal response system (PRS) was implemented during a summer session of introductory accounting. A PRS uses hand-held wireless transmitters, receivers, and computer software to obtain immediate feedback from students. The potential effectiveness of a PRS to increase learning is shown through a significant increase in exam scores, results of a student evaluation, and the instructor’s observations.
 
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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Model of Persistence

Today, we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a champion of civil rights and a dedicated proponent of nonviolent challenges to injustice. Did you know that during his lifetime, Dr. King received several notable awards for his diligent devotion to human rights issues. In January, 1964, he was the first African-American named Time’s “Man of the Year.” In December of that same year, he became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. And of course, his legacy lives on through those who continue the fight for justice, equality, and positive social change.   This information, and much more, can be found using Read More…


Tips for Students: Participating Effectively in Discussions

At best, discussions can prove enlightening, engaging, and productive for all involved. At worst? We’re sure you have your own adjectives! Though you, as the instructor, generally play a role in moderating the discussions that take place in your class, your students bear the onus of participating in the discussion with respect, responsiveness, and responsibility. Given that your students may not come to your class knowing how to conduct a productive discussion, they may appreciate learning some of its basic elements. Cindy Griffin and Jennifer Emerling Bone’s text Invitation to Human Communication stress that, in order to be an Read More…


Helping Online Learners Assess Potential Distractions

Yesterday, we discussed ways that you can help reduce distractions so that students can stay focused on your presentations. However, a unique set of potential distractions awaits the online learner. Despite their best efforts to concentrate fully during a class session, online learners may face temptations that are not within the immediate reach of a student taking an on-site course. In such cases, an everyday item (such as a half-finished novel or a pile of laundry) can waylay every intention they had for devoting their full attention to their studies. Thus, if you are teaching an online course, you may Read More…


Preventing and Addressing Classroom Disruptions

Being an instructor is an exciting but often challenging position that carries with it an array of responsibilities. Not only are you responsible for classroom learning, but you must also operate as a leader in the classroom by fostering a professional atmosphere of respect and community-based sharing. Even without reading the article, you can probably think of how you might deal with situations of student incivility. In fact, to be a successful instructor today, this is exactly what you need to do. It is not advisable to wait for these incidents to pop up; planning ahead is one way to Read More…


Promoting Student Civility: Online and Offline

Student civility may seem like a common-sense issue for students to work out on their own, but encouraging professionalism with simple rules for respect and consideration for student interactions online and offline can go a long way toward fostering an environment conducive to learner engagement. Here, we offer tips to keeping your students’ online or on-ground class interactions respectful and professional from Dave Ellis’ , and from Ryan Watkins and Michael Corry’s E-Learning Companion: A Guide to Online Success, Fourth Edition. In on-ground classes, set some ground rules up front for students to agree to adhere to in Read More…


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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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 //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…