activity

Activity Idea: Teaching Critical Thinking with Social Media

In your work as an instructor, you undoubtedly encourage your students to think critically about the topics and issues you cover in your class—and those that they encounter in the world around them. Given that students (and perhaps you!) enjoy social media, you may be thinking about using social media as a means of teaching students valuable critical thinking skills. We know that you enjoy reading about other instructors’ teaching ideas, so we’d like to share this great idea from Melody Niesen of the University of Central Missouri. In this video, Melody describes her strategy for teaching critical thinking Read More…


Using TV in a Writing Course to Channel Students’ Skills

Guest Contributor: Audrey A. Wick, Blinn College (Texas). Writing instructors often struggle with how to best teach various modes of composition. And sometimes we can get pretty inventive. Just last week, I found myself explaining to students that, in order to effectively use the mode of description, they needed to slow down. They needed to focus, I insisted, on scene building. So I told them no dialogue, no characterization, no action. “It’s like Slow TV,” I reasoned. Blank stares. “Slow TV?” I prompted again. No one knew of it. So I showed a quick news clip from YouTube that described Read More…


Making Financial Literacy Relevant to Today’s Student

The goal of this assignment is to require introductory accounting students to do basic financial literacy research in order to develop real world awareness of the importance of setting goals,
spending habits and budgeting. This is a real-world personal budgeting assignment that students indicate they enjoy doing and find particularly insightful. Students are given an average salary for starting accountants as well as a listing of potential deductions and expenses (without amounts) that may or may not apply to them. They need to do their own research as to amounts
and which may or may not apply given their various potential living arrangements and cities chosen. Building wealth with a 401k has been emphasized also at the start of this assignment using examples, and some minimum contribution is expected in their realistic budgets.

An Excel worksheet is required with attached pages showing the source for each expense. Students are also required to evaluate what they have learned. Introductory students have expressed amazement at their result and several find it eye-opening when their bottom line is negative! It is also quite easy to grade. This assignment can be used in upper level courses but it is particularly insightful for the introductory course to build financial awareness in students.
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Critical Thinking Skills for Academic Writing: Three Activities

If you’re like the majority of college instructors, you teach critical thinking skills in your course. However, you might also be looking for some additional ideas and activities that help students build those skills. In Think About It: Critical Skills for Academic Writingauthors John Mauk, Jayme Stayer, and Karen Mauk help students learn how to recognize and understand the techniques and strategies performed by skilled academic writers, and then execute and develop these techniques in their own work. The three activities below, taken from this book, can serve as writing prompts that get students thinking—and writing—critically and creatively. After students complete the writing Read More…


Three Activities to Help Students Reduce Their Test Anxiety

For many students, test-taking time is accompanied by great levels of anxiety. Though some may never walk into an exam 100% stress free, students can adopt study and test-preparation skills that enable them to face the time with greater confidence. Would you like to help students increase their levels of confidence and achievement? These activities, drawn from a variety of sources, will get students talking about study and test-taking strategies that have proven successful for them. As they glean ideas from one another—and put those strategies into practice—they’ll reduce their level of test anxiety and therefore feel more confident Read More…


Exercise to Engage Students: No Whistle Needed!

Guest Contributor: Audrey A. Wick, Blinn College (Texas). When my freshman students need to take a break from writing, I suggest that they exercise. When my fitness students need a break from exercising, I tell them to try writing. I may be one of the only cross-over writing/fitness instructors in the nation: at my college, I teach both College Composition (for our Humanities department) and Pilates (for our Kinesiology department). And what my experience in both has uncovered is that there are some light cross-over tips from fitness that can absolutely benefit reluctant, unmotivated writers. So take a deep breath Read More…


Using Pop Culture in the Classroom

Guest Contributor: Audrey A. Wick, Blinn College (Texas). Writing instructors have a tremendous opportunity—maybe more so than instructors in other disciplines—to weave current, exciting content into the classroom through assigned readings, writing prompts, video instruction, visual examples, and technology tools. Still, we want to be mindful of integrity of our subject matter as we do so. But who says we can’t stay true to our discipline and have fun in the process? Here are a few simple ways for a writing instructors to add “pop” to their curriculum using pop culture. Have students explore websites, Twitter feeds, Facebook postings, and Read More…


Helping Students Find an Effective Time Management Tool

Do your students have the time management skills they need in order to succeed in college? Recently we asked Engaging Minds readers: “How many of your students demonstrate good time management skills?” Here’s how they responded: As you can see above, the majority responded that some (41%) or only a few (37%) of their students were well versed in the ability to manage their time well. We’re guessing that many of these students aim for academic success and do well in their courses… but, they could still benefit from additional skills that will enable them to increase their effectiveness Read More…


The Games That People Play! Two Activities To Lighten And Liven An AIS Course

Games are becoming more popular in business and accounting courses as educators look for ways to promote active learning. I discuss two activities, in the form of games, which I have successfully incorporated into my Accounting Information Systems (“AIS”) course. I have witnessed greater student participation and advanced preparation when I employ these methods. Achieving greater student engagement is an especially daunting task in the Accounting Information Systems course because it is often one of the accounting major’s least favorite classes. Vatanasakdakul and Aoun (2011) cite numerous reasons why.
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More Strategies for Successfully Engaging Students

As the school term progresses, and as students’ responsibilities, activities, and assignments begin to accumulate, you might find it a bit more challenging to engage the students in your courses. To draw them back into the learning experience, you might want to try out some new ideas or activities that capture their attention, prompt their participation, and bolster their motivation. If you’d like add a new technique or two to your repertoire, take some time to review a few quick tips that can spark students’ interest and get them engaged in class material. In the below slides, Julie Hansen, Implementation and Training Specialist for Cengage Learning, Read More…