classroom management

Back to School Icebreakers Part 2: Get to Know Your Students

College students aren’t the only ones who experience anxiety going back to school and heading into the first day of class. Professors are faced with all new classes, with some familiar faces but many unknowns. How can you use icebreakers to get to know your students? While you can use some icebreaker ideas to watch your students interact and learn about them that way, there are also icebreakers designed to help you gain a better understanding of your students’ goals for the semester in a brief period—or designed to help them understand what to expect from your class starting Read More…


Encouraging Students to Use Research Databases

Guest contributor: Joseph Palmisano, Senior Editor at Gale, a part of Cengage Learning. As college instructors and academic librarians, you encounter it most working days: students who use free Web resources—rather than research databases—to complete course assignments. Do you ever wonder if academic research findings support your experiences? Well, let’s find out.   Based upon our survey of academic journals and trade magazines, students often demonstrate common online research behaviors. These include:

    Relying heavily on Google, Wikipedia, and YouTube, often instead of libraries’ research databases (Anderson 2011)
    Using Wikipedia because “it meets students’ needs in terms of coverage, currency, convenience and
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.

Read More…


Troubleshooting Those Difficult Classroom Issues

This Trends contains ideas for handling common problems that arise for many instructors of the first accounting course. These suggestions have worked for others. Your own intuition, experience, and creativity in handling classroom situations will be far more valuable than trying to copy someone else’s style. As with everything in this manual, we suggest that you adapt and modify these suggestions to fit your needs and presentation style.
Read More…


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…


Class Participation and Student Success

How do you measure student participation in your classes? Obviously, a student who never attends class, never turns in assignments, and never takes an exam is far from anyone’s idea of an engaged student. On the other hand, some students do all they can to succeed, spending all their free time studying and all their class time in active participation (taking notes, working on activities, and sharing their thoughts during discussions). And most students fall somewhere within the spectrum of these behaviors (with some supposing—wrongly, of course—that they can skate by with minimal effort and still truly learn). If you asked most students, they Read More…


Are There Hidden Secrets to Creating a Successful Classroom?

Have you ever taught a course so many times that you bore yourself in the classroom?  Or perhaps you have found yourself faced with teaching a course for the first time, and you are just not sure what to do with the material and information so that it connects with the students. Either of these situations, as well as many others, can cause frustration and anxiety to a conscientious instructor who is trying to create an effective and satisfying academic experience for her students. Then, to increase your unease and frustration, you look across the hall and see a Read More…


Four Types of Students You May See in Your Classroom

From term to term, you can’t predict the specific behavioral issues you’ll need to address in class. In some courses, you may experience few disruptions or problems (in fact, you may wish for more activity in class, in which case, you’ll want to seek and draw students into participation and discussion). Other terms, it may seem as though every student is devising a way to distract, disturb, disrespect, or otherwise cause problems for you and their fellow classmates. Though of course you don’t want to assume every student is a troublemaker at heart, it’s wise to be familiar with ways Read More…


Challenging to Champion: Working with Difficult Online Students

I’ve had the privilege of teaching thousands of enthusiastic, motivated, successful online students. I’ve also had the frustration of working with online students that display what I call “non-learning behaviors.” These behaviors include taking over the discussion board with irrelevant comments and topics; lurking in the background but rarely participating; overestimating his/her ability to utilize technology (or being afraid to use it at all); constantly challenging the course content, his/her peers, and/or me; and obsessing over grades. In my twenty years as a college professor, I’ve discovered two things about these non-learning behaviors: they negatively impact learning and the Read More…


Connecting with Students via Mobile Learning

Think about your classroom. How many students pull out their tablets at the start of class? Now, picture your campus. As you walk around, how many students are gazing into the screens of their smartphones? To be certain, many of those students embrace their mobile devices as sources of news, entertainment, and communication with their peers. But this digitally connected generation also recognizes the power of those same tech tools for knowledge gathering, building, and sharing. How can we take advantage of these shifts to better connect with and relate to the people in our classes? In today’s featured webinar, Cengage Learning author Read More…