Engagement and Motivation

Learning Styles: A Response

An early issue of the Cengage Learning eNewsletter was devoted to the topic of “Addressing Different Learning Styles.” This issue prompted some feedback from instructors with opposing viewpoints on the matter of basing one’s teaching style on this idea. Below, Dr. Melanie Cooper, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Education at Clemson University, provides her response. We welcome thoughtful, academic dialogue around all the topics we discuss at our blog. If you have any feedback, please feel free to submit it via the Comments section below. Guest Contributor: Melanie M Cooper, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Clemson University (Clemson, SC) The Cengage Learning Read More…


Welcome to Cengage Learning’s New Blog!

We would like to formally welcome you to Cengage Learning’s new blog! At this site, we’ll feature articles of interest and applicability to your professional life, addressing such topics as teaching with technology, classroom management, assessment & outcomes, research & writing, professional development, and more. You’ll also find suggestions for keeping your students engaged and motivated throughout the school year. To keep our readers up-to-date on our latest blog posts and activity, we will send a weekly newsletter. If you haven’t yet subscribed, we invite you to do so today! From the outset, we also want you to know that we endeavor to speak to Read More…


Building Community Via Engaging Online Discussions

On its face, an asynchronous conversation conducted via a discussion board may not seem as personal or immediate as a conversation that takes place in a more traditional classroom. However, an online discussion can be just as spirited, enlightening, and engaging as one taking place in the face-to-face environment — if it is facilitated well. How can you, as an instructor, help students gain the full benefit of discussions in your online course? In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers, contributors Erping Zhu and Matthew Kaplan offer the following tips:

    Create a
Read More…


Ten Great Apps for Students

Smartphones need not be the enemy of your course. There are a certainly a number of ways you can take advantage of this technology during class time— but smartphones can also be a student’s best friend outside the classroom (for reasons beyond text messages, viral videos, and multi-player word games, that is). Our colleagues at CengageBrain.com recently recommended ten apps students can use to help keep their school, work, and social lives in order. In addition to useful apps for scheduling, homework help, and budgeting, they mention a few apps that bring on the fun. Read More…


Staying Connected, Wherever You Are

Not too far in the past, staying connected with your colleagues entailed catching up in the hallway, chatting at a meeting or conference, or giving someone a ring from your office landline. But with today’s smartphones and tablets, a simple tap on an app can put you in touch with a community of peers anytime of the day or night, anywhere you might find yourself. Though it’s still up to you to seek out and build those connections, today’s social-networking tools certainly facilitate the process of sharing ideas and information among like-minded individuals. If you’re looking to connect online, Read More…


Reinforcing Productive Time Habits

We all have a list of things we need to accomplish — and often, it seems that they all need to be done at the same time. Unfortunately, no one’s ever figured out how to add more hours to the day — but we can certainly find better ways to manage the twenty-four hours we do have. How can you start building positive, productive habits that lead to more effective use of your time? Walter Pauk and Ross J. Q. Owens’ How to Study in College offers some suggestions that both you and your students can use to ensure you’re Read More…


Learning What NOT to Do

We all know the power of a good example. It can serve a model for our own efforts and increase our confidence that we’re setting out on the right track.

Perhaps you already provide exemplars when you assign projects, in order to help students see and understand your expectations. But students may not realize that a thoughtful critique of negative examples can also be instructive. To demonstrate this principle to your students, download an exercise from Dr. Constance Staley’s 50 Ways to Leave Your Lectern, which offers a helpful way to teach your students through “mistakes.”

 

 


Channeling Technology Distractions with Clicker Activities

Technology, specifically smartphones, can be distractions in the classroom. However, if used correctly instructors can take advantage of technology to engage students and further the learning process. In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers (2011, Wadsworth, Cengage Learning), authors Svinicki and McKeachie outline tips and tricks for instructors leveraging clickers in the classroom. Clickers, or student response systems, are commonly utilized to promote active learning by enabling a large number of students to send their responses to poll questions posed by their instructor. There are even Web-based response systems that you can Read More…


Peer Learning: Make a Visit to the “Post Office”

Have you ever struggled to find a solution to a seemingly simple problem… only to discover, weeks later, that your next-door neighbor or the colleague down the hall had the answer all along? Through these experiences, we often discover that the people right around us can be our best resources. However, for fear of embarrassment, students may feel uncomfortable seeking information about their courses or the campus from their peers. The good news: You, as an instructor, can open their eyes to the benefits of overcoming initial shyness and asking a classmate for some help. Download Constance Staley’s enjoyable Read More…


Building Community Online: The Voice of Experience

Teaching a course online presents its own unique challenges when it comes to building a sense of community and connecting with your students. Listen as Dr. Clayton Austin, Senior Consultant with TeamUP Faculty Programs, interviews Dr. Chris Gilmer about building community online. Chris shares his advice, discusses some of the challenges you may face when teaching online, and outlines some keys to success in this environment.
 
Access the podcast to learn more!
 
This podcast comes from the TeamUP Professional Development Portal, and makes up a small part of one of the self-paced multimedia Read More…