classroom management

Promoting Student Civility: Online and Offline

Student civility may seem like a common-sense issue for students to work out on their own, but encouraging professionalism with simple rules for respect and consideration for student interactions online and offline can go a long way toward fostering an environment conducive to learner engagement. Here, we offer tips to keeping your students’ online or on-ground class interactions respectful and professional from Dave Ellis’ , and from Ryan Watkins and Michael Corry’s E-Learning Companion: A Guide to Online Success, Fourth Edition. In on-ground classes, set some ground rules up front for students to agree to adhere to in Read More…


Grabbing Learners’ Attention Back from the Brink of Distraction

You may have a classroom full of learners… but are their minds as present as their bodies? Your students do maintain their personal responsibility to pay attention. However, with a few simple steps, you can help facilitate their ability to stay mentally — as well as physically — involved in the class. In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips, Fourteenth Edition, Wilbert J. McKeachie and Marilla Svinicki share several suggestions for maintaining your listeners’ attention throughout the entire class period:

    Change up your presentation. Subtle shifts in your body movement, vocal tone, pacing, and use of audio and visual aids can capture your listeners’ attention
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Reaching the “ME” Generation

Guest Contributor: Dr. Jonathan Duchac, Merrill Lynch Professor of Accounting, Wake Forest University

What do you do to connect with a new generation of students? Below, Dr. Jon Duchac, accounting professor and author, writes about the “ME” Generation — what makes them unique, and how you can reach them. 

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Elements of a Well-Written Syllabus

Guest Contributor Jennifer Hurd, Ed. D. Your syllabus represents your plan for the term, and communicates your expectations to your students. But what, precisely, should that syllabus include? Here, Jennifer Hurd shares her thoughts on the essential elements of a thoughtfully crafted, useful syllabus. Do you have suggested strategies for crafting an effective syllabus? Please share them in the Comments section below! Instructors teaching in higher education institutions are expected to provide a syllabus for each course being taught. Some departments have a template syllabus for faculty to use, but many are on their own. The syllabus is like a contract between Read More…


Fostering Community in the Classroom

Guest Contributor: Melisa “Joey” Bryant, Forsyth Technical Community College.   Though every institution and student population has its unique challenges, one person’s success story can often inspire the seeds of your own next great idea. Below, Melisa “Joey” Bryant shares some of the community-building strategies she’s taken at Forsyth Technical Community College. We hope they encourage you in your own quest to build student interaction in your own course or institution.  What are your top tips for encouraging peer-to-peer learning among students? Please share them in the Comments section!
Forsyth Tech is in a diverse community, and our student body reflects that. We Read More…


Learning Preferences of Today’s Students

Learners in your classes will soon be making decisions about purchasing course materials for a new term. Below, we’ve republished results from a recent survey about students’ format preferences when it comes to educational reading. Take a look to catch a glimpse of how students’ learning preferences have shifted.  Recently, Cengage Learning’s 4LTR Press team conducted a survey among students, asking their preferences for print or digital resources in the educational context. Review the results for a quick snapshot of what they’re thinking. You may find the trends interesting! What are your reflections on the Read More…


Your Teaching Ideas

As an educator, no matter your teaching environment, you’re constantly looking for new ideas for engaging your students and keeping them motivated to learn. We admire this trait, and we’re also inspired by the ideas you’ve shared with us. In this spirit, we’re pleased to share some of those ideas with our readership. See below for ideas on keeping students — and yourselves! — engaged with, and energized for, the educational process. Do you have any teaching ideas you’d like to share with the community? Respond in the Comments section below! ***** Most of today’s students prefer hands-on learning in the classroom. Therefore, Read More…


Learning Styles: A Response

An early issue of the Cengage Learning eNewsletter was devoted to the topic of “Addressing Different Learning Styles.” This issue prompted some feedback from instructors with opposing viewpoints on the matter of basing one’s teaching style on this idea. Below, Dr. Melanie Cooper, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Education at Clemson University, provides her response. We welcome thoughtful, academic dialogue around all the topics we discuss at our blog. If you have any feedback, please feel free to submit it via the Comments section below. Guest Contributor: Melanie M Cooper, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Clemson University (Clemson, SC) The Cengage Learning Read More…