Engagement and Motivation

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…


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…


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…


Five Ways to Engage Adult Learners

The same things that can make your classroom more challenging to manage can also make it a richer experience for both you and your learners. Having a mix of different generations in your class can be one of those challenges. Adult learners will likely walk in the classroom door with some different experiences, strengths, and demands than more “traditional” learners have. But as with all learners, the key to reaching them is in engaging them. Below, we share five guidelines to help you engage adult learners, adapted from the TeamUP Professional Development Portal module on Engaging Read More…


Exploring Different Generations

How do you make learning relevant and engaging for the learners in your classroom? Do you give certain examples that you find most of your students can relate to? Please share your feedback and comments below. In this podcast from the TeamUP Professional Online Development Portal, TeamUP Faculty Programs Consultant Damon Givehand interviews his colleague and fellow TeamUP Consultant Bridgett McGowen-Hawkins about her experience teaching different generations in the same classroom. Bridgett reflects on what she observed, learned, and acted on from that experience. She also discusses feeling prepared to make learning relevant, interesting, and engaging for everyone Read More…


Reaching the “ME” Generation

Guest Contributor: Dr. Jonathan Duchac, Merrill Lynch Professor of Accounting, Wake Forest University

What do you do to connect with a new generation of students? Below, Dr. Jon Duchac, accounting professor and author, writes about the “ME” Generation — what makes them unique, and how you can reach them. 

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For Your Students: How to be an Effective Note Taker

Even as we edge toward the end of the term, it’s not too late for students to hone their study skills. This article from a previous eNewsletter on “Active Learning” offers students some tips for taking effective notes in your course — notes that will later prove handy as they study for their final exams. Note-taking can keep students engaged because they are, in essence, disciplining themselves to listen closely to what is being said. What else do you do to encourage active engagement during a lecture? Please share your thoughts in the comments section or send them to us via Read More…


Fostering Community in the Classroom

Guest Contributor: Melisa “Joey” Bryant, Forsyth Technical Community College.   Though every institution and student population has its unique challenges, one person’s success story can often inspire the seeds of your own next great idea. Below, Melisa “Joey” Bryant shares some of the community-building strategies she’s taken at Forsyth Technical Community College. We hope they encourage you in your own quest to build student interaction in your own course or institution.  What are your top tips for encouraging peer-to-peer learning among students? Please share them in the Comments section!
Forsyth Tech is in a diverse community, and our student body reflects that. We Read More…


Tips for Breaking the Ice in the Classroom

Since we first started sending out the Cengage Learning eNewsletter, our readers have responded very positively to the the teaching tips and activities we’ve provided. Today, we’re bringing back one of the most popular resources we’ve shared to date. Review the activity, and consider the ways you might bring these ideas — or similar ones — into your classroom.  Have you tried the activity presented here? How did it go? What did your students learn? Share your feedback in the Comments section. Please feel free to share activities that you’ve created to promote learner engagement as well! Building a community Read More…