Professional Training and Development

2015 Economist Educators Best in Class Award Winners

The National Economics Teaching Association and Cengage Learning are pleased to announce this year’s Economist Educators Best in Class Award Winners!

Economics instructors across the U.S. entered to win our award, which praises how economists practice the art of instruction, harness the power of engagement, and foster the spark of discovery in their classrooms.

Review the winning submissions, and consider how you might apply these engaging and creative ideas in your own classroom!

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How to Address Three Top Teaching Challenges

If you’ve been teaching for any length of time, you know that every school term has its successes… as well as its challenges.

We recently polled our Engaging Minds audience about their top teaching challenges this semester. Three of their responses rose to the top; below, we’ve shared some tips that can help you overcome these particular challenges and feel more effective and efficient this term.

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Five Guidelines for Effective Online Presentations

What does it take to keep a classroom full of students engaged in your lecture? Some will say skill; some might say natural talent; others will cite expertise. Take these factors into consideration, add a dash of confidence and humor, and you’re on the road to an effective and engaging lecture! If you’re used to presenting in person, you’re probably quite sure of what you need to do in order to succeed. However, if you’ve been asked to conduct an online seminar or teach an online course for the first time, you likely recognize that you’ll have to apply Read More…


How to Focus Your Academic Research Questions

Good research and analysis begins with crafting a strong research question. A well-focused research question will hone in on your audience, be relevant and timely, and demonstrate that you are a subject matter expert. Whether you’re writing for a big-time academic publication or working in the smaller scale, keep these tips in mind for your next research assignment.

Focus your research question

According to authors Campbell, Schultz Huxman, and Burkholder in their book The Rhetorical Act: Thinking, Speaking and Writing Critically, 5th Edition, it’s a good idea to consider your audience and current affairs as you begin to focus your research questions. Three questions will help you Read More…


EdTech in the College Classroom: Get Wired and Inspired!

What impact has technology had on the teaching and learning experience? And how can it be used to enhance that experience while successfully meeting the academic needs of today’s students? To consider the answers to these questions, and to gather ideas about incorporating effective edtech strategies into your course, watch “Wire Me and Inspire Me—A Panel Discussion.” This presentation, recorded during our recent “Wired and Inspired!: The Intelligent Use of Technology in Higher Education” online workshop, addresses the impact of technology on the needs of today’s learners and explores ways that technology can help to maximize learning in the Read More…


Webinar: The Journey to Digital: Incorporating Technology to Strengthen Critical Minds

Join us for The Journey to Digital Professional Development Webinar Series! The first webinar, “The Journey to Digital: Incorporating Technology to Strengthen Critical Minds,” will be held on Thursday, September 24th at 2:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. Have you gone digital? According to a recent study, 74% of surveyed college students feel that they would fare better if their instructors would use more technology. Whether you are a technology novice or a digital pro, we welcome you to a webinar inspired by a recent case study at Oakland University. Dr. Dale Prentiss, Special Lecturer at Oakland University, will Read More…


Engaging with Sociologists at ASA 2015

From August 22-25, Cengage Learning’s Sociology team had the opportunity to attend the American Sociological Association’s Annual Conference. Held in Chicago this year, the conference and many of its sessions focused on the theme of “sexualities in the social world.” Meanwhile, we had a great time engaging with sociologists and educators, discussing topics and trends in the discipline while also showing the latest updates to MindTap for Sociology, our engaging (and adaptive) solution for the Intro course. In-booth demos garnered interest from educators and students alike. Our no-book booth was an unprecedented digital model. Educators enjoyed this Read More…


Reflections on the Adjunct Experience

We thought it was appropriate to close our current series on the adjunct experience by sharing some of their thoughts, in their own words.

At the end of our survey on the adjunct experience, we closed with the question: “Do you have anything else you’d like to share about your experience as an adjunct?” We heard from several of the adjunct instructors, and noticed some common themes among those responses. Below, we’ve grouped their comments into five common themes, and included several representative quotes from some of the respondents. If you’re an adjunct, and you’d like to add your voice to the conversation, please submit a comment below.
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How Strong Are Adjuncts’ Connections with Colleagues?

Recently, we’ve been looking at a number of aspects of adjunct instructors’ teaching experiences, including the challenges of the adjunct role. Of the instructors we surveyed, 40% mentioned that “poor connections to colleagues/institution” posed a challenge to their work. Today, we look at this aspect of their experience in greater depth, and share a few ideas that may help adjuncts at your college feel more connected to their colleagues and other professionals in the field.

Do adjuncts feel connected with colleagues and other professionals?

In any professional environment, connections with colleagues can be beneficial (not to mention enjoyable). The longer you work at Read More…


Six Tips for Successful Communication with College Students

Clear and cogent communication is a key to success in all of our relationships—and the instructor–student relationship is no exception to that rule.

Of course, communication in the classroom concerns more than just your lecturing; it encompasses all the ways you listen to, speak to, and interact with students.

How can you enhance or improve your communications with your students this semester? Review these suggestions, adapted from the Instructor’s Manual for Dr. Constance Staley’s FOCUS on Community College Success, Fourth Edition. These tips can help you communicate with students in a way that fosters and encourages their success in your course.

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