community

Creating Connections Among Dispersed Faculty

According to a recent survey by Cengage Learning, 49% of adjuncts rarely feel connected to fellow educators, and 8% never feel connected. On a similar note, 40% of the adjuncts who responded said that “poor connections to colleagues/institution” posed a challenge to their work.

How can you help improve these connections and develop community among the adjuncts on your campus?
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Tips for Students: How to Be Understanding of Others’ Views

Learning how to better understand the viewpoints of others is a valuable skill for people of all ages.  This can be applied when you’re considering the opinions of classmates, an author of a book, a lecturer, or even among your friends. The important key is to not be too quick to judge rashly. You’ll want to put yourself in their shoes and consider the context in which the conflicting opinion came to be. Authors John Mauk, Jayme Stayer, and Karen Mauk, in their book Think About It, 1st Edition, suggest that to do this for a reading, students should identify the Read More…


The Strength of Adjunct Instructors’ Connections with Students

For the past few weeks, we’ve been exploring various aspects of adjunct instructors’ experiences, such as the top challenges that adjuncts face, as well as the top benefits of teaching as an adjunct instructor.

Among the benefits, 75% of the more than 170 adjuncts who responded to our survey named “interactions with students” as one of their favorite aspects of their jobs. Undoubtedly, this comes from the classroom experience: their ability to interact and engage with the learners who enter their (physical or virtual) classrooms.

In today’s post, we’ll explore in greater depth what adjunct instructors had to say regarding their ability to connect with students, as well as the strength and quality of those connections. How confident are they in the current state of those connections? And, what might help them develop even stronger connections that lead to improved student success?

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Tips for Students: How To Get the Most Out of Summer

Summer break is just around the corner for many students. Some college students use their summer vacation to relax, while others take the opportunity to get ahead. Whatever their preference, share these tips with your students for getting the most out of their summer. Read More…


Charity Work in College: Benefits to Student Volunteering

Students always find new ways to surprise their instructors. More and more high school and college students are participating in charity work these days for a variety of reasons–primarily because they enjoy it! If your students haven’t caught the charitable bug yet, they may just need a few hints and a nudge to get things started.

To begin with, we asked our community of educators if college students at their school have opportunities to participate in volunteer work. Discover how the opportunities at your school compare to those of your peers, and find some tips to share with your students on the many benefits of volunteering. Read More…


Tips for Students: Get the Most Out of Your Online Course

Online classes provide terrific opportunities for college students around the world. They’re easy to work around a busy schedule, no commuting, and you don’t even have to live in or relocate to a college town. Both with their own unique merits, online courses and in-person courses require slightly different approaches. Share our top tips for succeeding in an online course with your students. Read More…


Overcoming Obstacles to Creating Online Community

Many instructors have voiced their concern about the lack of community that forms in their online classrooms. The first step to overcoming any on-going challenge is isolating the biggest issues. To determine this, we asked thousands of students and instructors about the biggest struggles to creating a strong online community. Read More…


Tools and Methods for Building Community in Online Courses

In an on-campus class, the development of community among students can come somewhat naturally as a result of their participation in your assignments. Class discussions, team projects and presentations, and study groups can help students get to know one another and develop a sense of familiarity and cohesion. What’s more, an impromptu invite to coffee or lunch after class is a very typical way for students to make friendships and build connections with their classmates.

Given that online students may never have the opportunity to meet in person, the process of building community in online courses can be more difficult. However, that’s not to say it can’t be done; it certainly can! It does take some effort, as well as some strategies that differ from the ones you’d use in an on-campus course.

We recently asked instructors: What methods you use to encourage community in your online classes? Below, you’ll see how they responded.
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Connecting with Students: What They Want and Expect

Strategies for connecting with students today are not the same as they may have been ten, or even five, years ago. While some students are open to whatever works best for instructors, others expect their instructors to connect with them via the latest communication methods, and others still prefer only to interact during class. Find out what students say are their expectations for communicating with instructors. Read More…


Tips for Students: How Student Collaboration Improves Learning

As with many processes within the classroom, student collaboration becomes part of an ongoing cycle. Students may not feel comfortable participating in class, so they don’t get to know their classmates, so they don’t collaborate outside of the classroom, so they don’t form a community, and therefore don’t feel comfortable participating. It’s endless! But how to intervene? To learn more about the benefits of student collaboration, Cengage Learning recently surveyed thousands of college students and instructors to see what the top benefits of collaborating in and outside the classroom are.   Read More…