communication

The Strength of Adjunct Instructors’ Connections with Students

For the past few weeks, we’ve been exploring various aspects of adjunct instructors’ experiences, such as the top challenges that adjuncts face, as well as the top benefits of teaching as an adjunct instructor.

Among the benefits, 75% of the more than 170 adjuncts who responded to our survey named “interactions with students” as one of their favorite aspects of their jobs. Undoubtedly, this comes from the classroom experience: their ability to interact and engage with the learners who enter their (physical or virtual) classrooms.

In today’s post, we’ll explore in greater depth what adjunct instructors had to say regarding their ability to connect with students, as well as the strength and quality of those connections. How confident are they in the current state of those connections? And, what might help them develop even stronger connections that lead to improved student success?

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Make Your Video Presentation a Success!

Visual media is one of the most engaging, captivating, and effective methods for displaying information. Video lectures, slideshows, and other media have been proven to better catch the attention of students.

So you’ve got a vision for a video. Great! While the concept of your video may seem crystal clear in your head, the transition from your mind to the computer screen can get somewhat muddied. However, a little bit of video software know-how can go a long way. Here are some tips on how to truly bring your vision to life!
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Group Projects: Tips for Students, From Students

Whether college students take classes online or on campus, one thing’s just about inevitable: at some point in their academic careers, they’ll have to participate in at least one group project. Many students can be apprehensive about the experience; but, if they follow a few simple guidelines, they can improve the likelihood of success (and perhaps even learn to enjoy the process!).

During Phi Theta Kappa’s 2014 NerdNation convention, we asked students to share their college-success tips with fellow students.

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Make Your Point Briefly… and Effectively

As an instructor, you’re used to speaking in front of a classroom filled with students. You know how to design a lecture that thoroughly covers the material you need to address in each class session. You also have a presentation style that conveys your authority, knowledge, and passion for the topic. But what happens when you need to present to a new audience, in a brief period of time? What will help you make your point successfully in just a few minutes? In their book Essentials of Business Communication, Tenth Edition, authors Mary Ellen Guffey and Dana Loewy discuss how to create a presentation that develops Read More…


Six Tips for Creating a Video that Engages College Students

Addressing the issues of making a quality video can be a tough challenge as you struggle to attract your students’ attention. With those factors to address, it is important to find the balance between visual entertainment and reaching students with your message. With examples provided by last year’s Instructor for a Day contest participants and winner, we derived these six elements that can help get the job done.

Instructors, what techniques do you recommend for creating a video that engages college students? Share them in the comments.

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Using Technology to Collaborate? Remember Three Key Points

It’s very likely that your students are using technology to collaborate in their college courses. If they aren’t using it today, they’ll soon be doing so in their future careers. You, too, may be using tech tools to collaborate with your colleagues. When collaborating within a group or team, it pays to adopt the communication skills that enable you to work together effectively. However, due to its very nature, online collaboration requires some extra finesse. In the Enhanced Edition of Microsoft® Office 2013: Introductory, Enhanced Edition from the Shelly Cashman Series, Misty E. Vermaat shares three key things Read More…


Improving Students’ Business Writing: A Quick and Easy Method

This paper provides a proven method for improving the quality of students’ business writing with limited effort by the instructor and minimal use of classroom time. The paper includes two handouts developed over several years by the author which highlight common errors students make in their business writing. Students receive the handouts with every writing assignment and the instructor explains how to use the handouts. The paper also provides a checklist which students complete and submit to the instructor with their writing assignments. The checklist requires students to verify whether they reviewed and corrected their writing for the business writing structure and common errors described in the handouts.

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MindTap Leads to Increased Reading in Melody Lehn’s Communication Course

Melody Lehn, Assistant Professor of Speech Communication at the University of South Carolina, teaches Speech Communication in three different areas: on campus through Extended University; at a local military base; and, beginning next year, in a fully online environment for Palmetto College. She currently uses MindTap in her on-campus Public Communication course.

Melody initially heard about MindTap from a colleague, while searching for resources appropriate to the fully online courses she’s developing. However, as she reviewed MindTap, she considered that it could be useful as a digital hub for students to access all of their course content, as well as herself. She eventually decided to adopt MindTap for her on-campus course, hoping that it could help her with a persistent and ongoing challenge: low student engagement with the textbook.

In the following Success Story, you’ll read how MindTap is sparking increased student interest in and engagement wiwth class readings and assigned exercises. You’ll also learn how it’s helped Melody’s students become more engaged and active participants during her in-class discussions.

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Tips for Students: Become a Better Listener

Effective listening skills can help you go far in life. People appreciate it when they know you’re listening to them… so it’s an important “soft skill.” And of course, when you listen, you learn! For college students, there’s no better time than the present to build and develop their listening skills. In her book Practicing College Learning Strategies, Seventh Edition, Carolyn H. Hopper offers students several practical strategies that can help them to become better listeners. Share these suggestions with your students, and they may see an improvement not only in their skills, but in their grades and relationships!

Ten signs

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Make the Most of Your Interactions with Students

As one term comes to a close, and you begin to prepare for the next, you may be reflecting on things you can do to get your new year off to a great start. Among the many things you might consider, you may be wondering: how can you build, or continue to build, effective and engaging interactions with students? We’re always eager to seek and share instructors’ ideas on such topics; so, in our recent Instructor Engagement Insights survey, we asked: If a fellow instructor asked you how to get more out of interactions with students, what would you Read More…