Engagement and Motivation

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…

Maintaining Student Involvement in the Large Classroom

Many who work in education today are being tasked with doing more with less. This can reach to the classroom and result in larger sections as more students are allowed to enroll in each. Large classes are also nothing new for many first- or second-year survey or pre-major courses. No matter the reason for the larger class size, students may exhibit a tendency to hold back their responses — or their attention — in a large lecture hall. Thus, to combat a tendency towards passivity among students, it’s vital to have a strategy for keeping them actively engaged during Read More…

Learning With Style

Within one audience, you’ll find a variety of people, each of whom prefers to absorb material in a slightly different way. Below, Dr. Clayton Austin discusses the various types of learners and offers some tips for honing your courses to accommodate them.
I walked into the sandwich shop, quite damp from the rain outside. Working through the crowd, I stepped into line and opened my umbrella. Among the strange looks, pointing fingers and whispers, I kept my gaze straight forward. But inside, my stomach was churning. Would I actually be able to eat after this?
This Read More…

Learning Style Adjustment – Tips for Your Students

Though many people try to tailor their class time and courses to reach multiple types of learners, it would be nearly impossible to expect you to be able to adapt to and reach every student based on their individual learning style. But – you can give students tools to be able to adjust their learning style to fit your teaching style with a couple of tips from Constance Staley’s FOCUS on College Success.

    Make the translation. Find ways that you as a learner can translate your instructor’s teaching preferences to fit your learning preferences. For example, if you need
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Learning Preferences of Today’s Students

Curious about how today’s students prefer to study and learn? Recently, Cengage Learning’s 4LTR Press team conducted a survey among students, asking their preferences for print or digital resources in the educational context. Review the results for a quick snapshot of what they’re thinking. You may find the trends interesting!

Five Reasons NOT to Use Active Learning in Your Class

Why would you want to include a new way of teaching into your classroom when its benefits are so clear? With a wink, read on to learn about five reasons why you shouldn’t take advantage of an active learning model in your classroom: If you don’t lecture, you’ll lose control of the class.
Nobody wants their classroom to look like a scene from Lord of the Flies, unless of course you’re teaching theater – you get a pass. In fact, some faculty could worry that student interaction will lead to chaos in the classroom. While it’s true that with Read More…

What Do You Mean, Active Learning?

Active learning can conjure images of getting up and doing jumping jacks in classroom aisles. For many of us, escaping the grips of high school gym class never came soon enough and it’s probably not something we’d like to revisit. Never fear. When we talk about active learning, we aren’t being that literal. But what is active learning, and why is it important in today’s classroom? In Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lectern, Constance Staley writes that today’s teachers are encouraged to take a more facilitative role in the learning experience – an approach that she writes “Requires a Read More…

Steps for Maintaining a Healthy Attitude

In her book FOCUS on College Success, Constance Staley offers students eight tips that can bolster their attitudes and set them on a path towards positive personal achievement. Perhaps a few of these suggestions will give you some encouragement as well! Know that you always have choices. Regardless of circumstances, you always have a choice, even if it’s limited to how you choose to perceive your current situation.
Take responsibility for your own outcomes. Blaming others simply reduces your own power to work toward constructive responses to challenges.
Convert turning points into learning points. Instead of beating yourself up when things don’t go well, figure Read More…