communication

Suggested Guidelines for Student Peer Review

In order for peer-review feedback to be valuable, it needs to offer a degree of specificity. A statement such as “that was great!” may give us a boost of confidence, but it doesn’t help us identify our opportunities for improvement. Likewise, “I didn’t like it” provides no direction in terms of what exactly would make the paper more accurate, informative, or interesting. Whether students will be exchanging peer reviews online, via e-mail, or in person, they will benefit by following a few guidelines that enable them to respond to one another’s writing with clarity, consistency, and respect. Today, Read More…


Tips for Students: Using E-Mail in a Professional Manner

To communicate with optimum effectiveness, you can learn skills that help you get your point across with clarity and leave others with a positive impression of your competence and professionalism. This is true for presentations and lectures, during which you need to keep your audience engaged and focused. Of course it’s also true of communications that take place over e-mail, which take place without the benefit of eye contact, vocal inflection, and other cues that alert others to the full meaning of your message. Unfortunately, these positive communication strategies aren’t always taught in school, so those Read More…


Success Strategies for Teamwork in the Online Setting

Group assignments teach students far more than simply what they glean from the research they conduct and the project they complete. Astute students will also learn important lessons about communicating clearly, establishing plans and schedules, and collaborating in a proactive and positive manner. They may also hone their leadership skills along the way. Students taking online courses gain the additional benefit of learning to work with others in technology-mediated settings. They’ll find that the skills that they gain from collaborating online will prove highly useful, especially if they take positions within today’s multi-locational companies and organizations, which rely heavily on Read More…


Teaching Students Skills that Transfer to the Workplace

No matter which field your students plan to enter, their careers will require skills that enable them to communicate in an effective manner. And, because technology facilitates so much of the communication that takes place in today’s professional settings, digital literacy remains an important factor in students’ ability to perform their future roles in a competent manner. In this video, authors Susie H. VanHuss and Vicki Robertson highlight the importance of teaching students practical skills, such as keyboarding, that they can transfer from the classroom to their careers. As they discuss some of the real-world Read More…


Tips for Students: Put Your Best Foot Forward in Your Online Classes

The first day of class can be nerve-wracking for many students. In addition to their questions about the course material and requirements, they may set foot on school grounds wondering: Will I get along with my instructors? If I’m struggling, who can help me? Will I have things in common with others in my classroom? Will I be able to make new friends? With whom should I study? Where should I eat lunch? Did I choose the right outfit? These questions pop up because, to some degree, most of us are concerned about making a good first impression on Read More…


Your Course in 140 Characters or Fewer

Many of today’s students are using Twitter on a regular basis. It’s convenient and easy to use on a smartphone or tablet, so they can access it any time. By using Twitter for your courses, you’ll have a great opportunity to connect with your students. You can use Twitter as a channel for communication to your students, as you would e-mail or any other communication source. The advantage is that it will send the information in real time, and because many of your students are already using Twitter, it will make things easy for them. You could send messages Read More…


Tips for Using Lecture Aids Effectively

Audio and visual aids such as presentation slides, video clips, charts, and animations can help you emphasize the key points of your lecture. They also enable students to visualize and better understand the concepts you are describing. As an educator, you surely want to know how to use these types of tools for maximum benefit. In Cengage Advantage Books: The Speaker’s Compact Handbook, Fourth Edition, authors Jo Sprague, Douglas Stuart, and David Bodary offer a number of suggestions that can help you use your tools to enhance (rather than detract from) your presentation. We’ve summarized some salient points to keep in Read More…


Best of the Blog: Connecting With Students

This week at the Cengage Learning Blog, we’ll be revisiting some of our most popular articles. Today, we’re reviewing a top post that offers practical, proven suggestions for building student interest in your course and helping them become more persistent in their studies. In her post Connect with Them and They’ll Connect with Class, Bridgett McGowen-Hawkins of Cengage Learning’s Peer-to-Peer Faculty Development and Consulting team shares four suggestions for connecting with students in a way that makes them want to return to class on a regular basis. These thoughtful ideas can inspire you to discover new ways to get, Read More…


Creating Podcasts: Where to Start

If you’re beginning to explore the “flipped model” of instruction, you may be pondering how you can deliver lecture content outside the classroom walls. Podcasts are one popular means of delivery for many instructors. Simply defined, a podcast is “a series of audio or video files that are broadcast to a computer or personal media player over the Internet by publication in an RSS feed” (Shelly and Frydenberg, p. 106). The process of creating a podcast is fairly simple. However, if you’re brand-new to this process, you may be seeking an orientation to what it entails and where, exactly, you Read More…


Collecting Meaningful Feedback Via Informal Assessment Techniques

You’ve worked hard to create an engaging, active learning environment for your students (maybe you’ve even used some of these ideas), but how do you measure your success in a meaningful way? As an instructor, you may wish to not only assess students’ progress in your course, you may also want to assess the effectiveness of a new teaching method or classroom activity you’re trying prior to the end of term. It can be helpful to get this kind of information from students while the experience is still fresh for them, rather than relying on feedback Read More…