critical thinking

MindTap Best Practices: Winning Ideas

Through our recent MindTap Best Practices contest, instructors across the country shared the creative and effective ways that they’ve used MindTap to spark student engagement and critical thinking in their courses. We enjoyed reading each response and appreciate all that they’ve done to create an engaging course experience for their students.

Below, we’ve listed the winners, along with their winning ideas. We congratulate each of them, and thank them for telling us how they “turn the light on” student engagement with MindTap.
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Using Bloom’s Taxonomy to Promote Higher Level Thinking and Learning in Introductory Accounting Courses

Bloom’s taxonomy has been used for years to promote higher level learning in the academic learning environment. This paper focuses on the application of Bloom’s Taxonomy in an Introductory Accounting Course in the online learning environment. Learning levels will be applied to the introductory concepts of creating financial statements. The paper will present a practical application of Bloom’s Taxonomy, using specific examples of a company’s annual report. The application will allow students to move from basic memorization of introductory accounting concepts to using their critical thinking skills to evaluate and synthesize accounting concepts. Students will realize the learning objectives of the course as they progress through the levels of learning. Assignment examples will be given and explained in the paper.

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MindTap for Introduction to American Government

Rich Powell teaches at the University of Maine, and has used MindTap in his Introduction to American Government course for approximately a year, in conjunction with Janda et al.’s The Challenge of Democracy text. Rich teaches his Introduction to American Government course both in person and online. He appreciates that MindTap offers a seamless integration into the Blackboard Learning Management System. MindTap’s integration with Blackboard lessens his workload and adds to his efficiency, while giving students a better overall experience.

Rich has also found the content within MindTap helps engage his students in course concepts. The engaging content found in MindTap reinforces students’ understanding of concepts they learn in class while developing their critical thinking skills.

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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…


Solving the Biggest Challenge of Teaching Critical Thinking

Instructors, administrators, and school board members tend to all agree that critical thinking is a valuable skill for college students to develop. However, deciding to teach it in the classroom is often easier said than done. Instructors may wonder where to begin, how to motivate their students, and how to structure learning outcomes. To determine where to start, we asked our community to identify their top challenge with teaching critical thinking. Read More…


The Efficacy of MindTap in Business and Computer Courses

When asked about their teaching challenges, college instructors often share a common refrain—the desire to 1) engage their students in their coursework and 2) foster critical thinking.

With so many of today’s students fixated on digital devices, it’s logical that digital products can serve as a gateway to improving student engagement and analytical thinking, and consequently, learning. Examining the best practices of instructors who use digital solutions in their courses can spark ideas and reveal effective strategies for addressing seemingly intractable teaching and learning problems.

Cengage Learning’s MindTap® has generated positive outcomes in a variety of business and computer courses, and been lauded by instructors and students alike. This white paper summarizes quantitative studies as well as the individual experiences of a few instructors who have found MindTap to be both effective and appealing.

 

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Share and Win with MindTap: Call for Best Practices

How do you maximize student engagement? There are a multitude of ways to promote interaction and encourage participation in a college course.  Whether you incorporate videos into class time, set up forums for online discussion, or follow the flipped classroom method, the goal is to increase student engagement and success. If you are a current MindTap user, we are pleased to offer you the opportunity to share your bright ideas and successful methods with other educators.  Enter our contest to tell us how you use MindTap to turn the light on engagement. The requirements are simple:

    Craft a 150-word (maximum)
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Adopting the Attitude of a Critical Thinker

Becoming a critical thinker is a process. Adopting the attitude of a critical thinker is an important part of developing the habit of thinking critically about the world around us. In Becoming a Critical Thinker, Eighth Edition, Vincent Ryan Ruggiero outlines what he calls “four empowering attitudes” of a critical thinker. We’ve summarized these below. Encourage your students to adopt these attitudes, and they’ll start developing the habits that enable them to think critically about the information that comes their way. 1. Stay humble. As Ruggiero writes, “There’s always room for improvement.” When you stop seeking to acquire more Read More…


Students’ Opinions on Challenging Coursework

You might think that students resist challenging coursework. But is that truly the case? We wanted to know, so we set out to learn their opinions about the level of challenge they’re experiencing in their college courses… and whether or not they believe those challenges are welcome and effective part of their learning process.

In our recent Student Engagement Insights survey, we asked students: How challenging do you find the majority of your courses? Their responses are below:

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College Students on Critical Thinking in the Classroom

According to our recent “Student Engagement Insights” survey of over three thousand college students, 99% of students believe critical thinking is an important skill for them to learn in the classroom. Additionally, 92% believe what they learn in class sharpens their critical thinking skills for the “real world.” Terrific! But how many instructors and institutions find room for teaching it in their curriculum? Read More…