Engagement and Motivation

Personal Learning Environments: A Way to Engage Students in Self-Regulated Learning

Guest Contributor: Nada Dabbagh, George Mason University. Many of today’s learners are likely to be familiar with, and facile with, today’s technologies. However, it can take some effort and skill to help them use and manage online resources to their fullest advantage within the educational setting. Today, Nada Dabbagh discusses how Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) can help your students learn to best manage their learning spaces and thus take greater charge of their own learning opportunities. Dabbagh, who serves as the professor and director of the Division of Learning Technologies in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason Read More…


Learning Through Visuals

Contributor: Dr. Haig Kouyoudjian. A large body of research indicates that visual cues help us to better retrieve and remember information. The research outcomes on visual learning make complete sense when you consider that our brain is mainly an image processor (much of our sensory cortex is devoted to vision), not a word processor. In fact, the part of the brain used to process words is quite small in comparison to the part that processes visual images. Words are abstract and rather difficult for the brain to retain, whereas visuals are concrete and, as such, more easily remembered. To Read More…


The Use of Personal Response System in Accounting Courses

A Personal Response System uses hand-held wireless transmitters, receivers, and computer software to obtain immediate feedback from students. The technique is similar to “asking the audience” on the game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire? This easy-to-use tool enhances interaction among students and the instructor and appears to increase learning. The classroom environment becomes more competitive as students strive to select correct answers to questions asked by the instructor. Any time during a lecture, the instructor can project a question on the screen or simply orally ask a question of the class and students provide answers. The instructor obtains immediate feedback that assesses the students’ understanding of the concept. Immediate feedback provides satisfaction to the students that they have mastered the concepts and identifies students’ misconceptions that a skillful instructor can correct through additional explanations and retest the students’ master through reformulation of additional questions.
 
The use of PRS appears to be a valuable tool for increasing interactivity within accounting courses. Not only is the technology easy to use but also available at low costs to universities. As instructors continue to develop courses that include the use of PRS, various research opportunities exist to determine whether PRS enhances learning
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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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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 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…