community

Tips for Students: Getting to Know Others

The start of a new term can be a significant challenge for students, especially if it marks their first year at a new school. Perhaps they’ve moved to a new city and they’re away from the familiar faces that bring them comfort and encouragement. If it’s their first time living on their own, they could be struggling to find the activities and resources that make their new places feel like home. And even if they’re attending college in their hometown, they’ll be surrounded by hundreds of new people on their new campus, and they may be missing the friends Read More…


Connecting Students With One Another

This week on the blog, we’ve shared some “icebreaker” activities that can get students engaged with each other and with your class. We hope you’re enjoying these activities and that they’re sparking some ideas that you can bring into your course. In today’s activity, selected from the Instructor’s Resource Manual for Student Success in College: Doing What Works!: A Research-Focused Approachauthor Christine Harrington presents an idea that can be used later in the term, once students are a bit more familiar with one another. To promote further connections among class members and with you as their professor, Read More…


Building Community in Your Online Course

In addition to the educational opportunities that broaden students’ intellectual horizons, college life provides a number of opportunities designed to bring students together and broaden their social horizons. Take a look at a bulletin board on a traditional college campus, and you’ll find numerous flyers promoting concerts, guest lectures, movies, club activities, and other enjoyable events that give them the chance to meet other like-minded individuals. Likewise, the periods of time before and after classes offer students the chance to set up a less formal get-together, such as a study group for the big exam or an afternoon Read More…


Helping Your Students Take Advantage of Summer on Campus

For students, summer term can seem a bit more foreign than the “regular” terms they’re accustomed to spending on campus. Many of their friends have gone home for the summer, and they may be feeling the stress of completing coursework while feeling a bit isolated. They may also feel that they’re missing an opportunity to fill out their résumé with important work experience. Our friends at the CengageBrain blog, CengageBrainiac, recently shared some tips for students who are staying on campus for summer. They offer advice for students to employ to broaden both their social as well as Read More…


Enhancing the Complete Educational Experience for All Students

Even in the summer months, a college campus offers many students a hub for their extracurricular activities. Career centers, student affairs offices, on-campus eateries, gyms and intramural leagues, and other services provide students with an opportunity to hone their personal and professional skills, develop relationships outside of the classroom, and build connections to all the informational, educational, and human resources associated with their school. However: due to time, distance, or other pressing priorities, not all students may be able to use, participate in, or take advantage of those services traditionally considered a part of the campus experience. But, given Read More…


Tips for Students: Navigating Your School’s Resources

There is no shame in needing or asking for assistance. However, your students may require guidance in identifying the people and places that can help them chart a path to confidence and success. In her text Student Success in College: Doing What Works! A Research-Focused Approach, Christine Harrington writes, “Research has shown that students who access help perform better (Raskind, Goldberg, Higgins, & Herman, 1999; Strage et al., 2002). Learning when and how to access the right type of support is a skill that will benefit [students] in college and beyond” (p. 21). She offers a number of Read More…


Learning from Fellow Students: Creating a Study Group

Do you encourage students to form study groups to learn from one another outside of class? What have you seen work best in these peer learning circles to facilitate progress? Share with us in the comments section below. We’ve written about the benefits of peer-to-peer learning before, but learning from fellow students can extend beyond course assignments–the benefits of working with peers certainly does. In On Course: Strategies for Creating Success in College and in Life, Skip Downing describes how starting a study group can encourage students to be more invested in course content by interacting more Read More…


Retention Strategies: Tackling Common Challenges

Guest Contributor Sande Johnson, Developmental Studies and College Success Specialist, Academic Services, Cengage Learning. About this time in the term, students start to drop various courses. It may be due to loss of interest or it may be because the material is beyond their ability. What can you do to stimulate interest and keep your students actively engaged in your course? Like our esteemed faculty in higher education, the Academic Services Consulting Group at Cengage Learning often has to address these very issues when launching into course development. We reach out to our instructional designers, editorial, and marketing partners who Read More…


Tips for Students: Participating Effectively in Discussions

At best, discussions can prove enlightening, engaging, and productive for all involved. At worst? We’re sure you have your own adjectives! Though you, as the instructor, generally play a role in moderating the discussions that take place in your class, your students bear the onus of participating in the discussion with respect, responsiveness, and responsibility. Given that your students may not come to your class knowing how to conduct a productive discussion, they may appreciate learning some of its basic elements. Cindy Griffin and Jennifer Emerling Bone’s text Invitation to Human Communication stress that, in order to be an Read More…


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…