active learning

Adjusting the Lens: Active Learning in Online Classes

Author: Shawn Orr, Director of the Center for Innovation & Teaching Excellence; Professor of Communication Studies, Ashland University As a college faculty member for more than 25 years, I’ve taught thousands of undergraduate students in a traditional classroom setting, utilizing active learning strategies to engage and involve students in the learning process. Changing charts, card flip, expert groups, clearest/muddiest point, group projects, polling, augmented reality and case studies—all tools of the trade I know, love and use every semester. Then came online classes. I taught my first completely online course 15 years ago. I’ll be the first to admit it was Read More…

Adjunct Nation: Striving for Excellence

Implementing active learning is a fantastic way to liven up discussions and encourage higher-level thinking. But what does active learning look like in practice? Shawn Orr, Manager of Faculty Training & Engagement at Cengage Learning and Adjunct Instructor at Adrian College, recently led a webinar on this very topic, in which she shared strategies she uses to get her students enthusiastically participating. The following is an excerpt from that webinar: What can I do so that my students are actively involved, so they are learning and retaining? I look at the classes that I taught 22 years ago and Read More…

Webinar: Motivate College Students with Active Learning

At Cengage Learning, we know that instructors of all types are always on the lookout for new ways to engage students and transform them into active learners. That’s why, in October of 2015, we expanded our partnership with the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD), a membership organization committed to promoting and celebrating excellence in teaching, learning, and leadership at community and technical colleges, to co-host a series of webinars, podcasts, and blog posts covering professional development topics for adjunct faculty and administrators.

Active learning

Our most recent webinar hosted through our partnership with NISOD, titled “Koala to Kangaroo: Getting Your Read More…

A Six-Minute Lecturing Strategy to Increase Learning

Despite all the buzz around active learning, did you know that lecturing is still the most common teaching method? The good news is that we don’t need to abandon the lecture because research has shown that it can be effective (Baeten, Dochy, & Struyven, 2013). Lectures are efficient ways for the expert (otherwise known as the professor!) to share knowledge with students.  While many argue that lectures are passive and not effective as more active learning approaches, this is not the case when lectures are done effectively.  Mayer (2009) argues that cognitive engagement is what matters most and Read More…

Creating an Active Learning Environment with Tech Tools

Students like using technology in the classroom… but does its absence have an impact on engagement and success?

Through our recent “Today’s Student” project (conducted with the Work Institute), we asked students to share and explain how they define their “best” and “worst” classes. The findings are summarized in our recent white paper, The Not-So-Powerful PowerPoint®: Students Weigh the “Best” Classes against the “Worst.”

Among “worst” classes, students were largely disengaged with technology, with “Don’t Know/Not Applicable” characterizing the majority of responses.

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Elements of the “Best College Class,” According to Students

What are the elements of the “best college class”? Surely, each student might give a different answer to that question, depending on their own preferences, as well as their chosen fields of study. But, more than likely, you could observe some trends in their answers.

Through our recent “Today’s Student” project (conducted with the Work Institute), we set out to learn more about students’ college experiences, exploring how they define their “best” and “worst” classes. Indeed, we did notice some commonalities among their responses. In the white paper “The Not-So-Powerful PowerPoint®: Students Weigh the ‘Best’ Classes against the ‘Worst,'” we share the findings.

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MindTap with Aplia Promotes Active Learning for Non-Majors Biology Students

Rebekka Darner Gougis of Illinois State University uses MindTap® in her biology for non-science majors course at Illinois State University, and both she and her students are satisfied with the personalized online learning experience.

No stranger to online teaching resources, Rebekka previously used another company’s digital biology product. While she appreciated some aspects of the program, she was also troubled by it. “All questions were the type for which answers could be easily found online,” she says. “I got tired of seeing students cheat by just Googling the answers. I wanted to try something that was newer and that motivated students to think more critically, and MindTap was appealing.”
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The Not-So-Powerful PowerPoint®: Students Weigh the “Best” Classes Against the “Worst”

The Today’s Student project by Cengage Learning is based on original research that springs from our company’s commitment to gaining insights directly from students. We surveyed and interviewed 5,000 students—traditional and non-traditional, from four-year and two-year colleges—for their impressions of success, career prospects, technology, courses, and obstacles to achieving academic goals.

In this report, Cengage Learning explores how students define their “best” and “worst” classes and uncovers the criteria that influenced this ranking. Student comments largely spoke to the importance of active learning—using technology to complement instructor interaction.

» Download the whitepaper: “The Not-So-Powerful PowerPoint®: Students Weigh the ‘Best’ Classes against the ‘Worst’”

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Using EdTech to Build Meaningful Active Learning Experiences

You may embrace change in some aspects of your life. However, when it comes to your carefully prepared and thoughtfully designed lesson plans, you may be eager to keep the content itself fresh and current but more reluctant to redesign everything around a new software platform or technology tool.

Hear Cengage Learning TeamUP’s tips for integrating technology into your course—with ease

To begin playing the podcast, enter your e-mail address below. Please ensure that your device is equipped with a strong internet connection and that you have allowed sufficient time for the podcast to load. For mobile devices, make sure your phone Read More…

How—and Why—to Flip the College Classroom

In order to spur on active learning and student engagement, a good number of college instructors have implemented the flipped-classroom model of teaching in their courses. As a result, they’ve seen positive results such as increased attendance, higher levels of student engagement and self efficacy, and improved performance on examinations… all while still managing to cover all the material they would have covered in a traditional, lecture-based course. Sound promising? If you’re like 41% of the Engaging Minds readers who responded to a recent poll about flipping the college classroom, other instructors’ successes have raised your interest in trying the flipped-classroom model of teaching for yourself. And if that’s Read More…