curriculum development

How Can I Get Ready for Finals, and Other End-of-Semester Necessities

Guest Contributor: Dr. Steven Neal, University of Tennessee, Knoxville As the temperatures are dropping and the leaves are changing, so too are the attitudes of the students. More and more are sending an email or asking in person ‘how can I do better?’ or ‘how can I get ready for the final?’ There is not one simple response, but a multi-faceted approach that one must take to truly be successful.

Helping students focus their study efforts

When preparing for a final exam, students often come to see me with questions and begin with “I understand (fill in topic), but why does (fill in Read More…


Enhanced WebAssign: Increasing Passing Rates in Beginning Algebra

Powerful online homework solution, Enhanced WebAssign, engages classroom learners with immediate feedback, rich tutorial content, and interactive eBooks, helping students to develop a deeper conceptual understanding of their subject matter. With passing rates hovering near 75%, could a redesign of beginning algebra to include online homework increase instructor effectiveness and student engagement and retention? In this study, follow the success of one program at the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay. Read More…


Aplia Sparks Increase in Learner Success Rates in Developmental Reading Course

Considering adding an online-learning homework solution to your repertoire but unsure of its effectiveness? In this study, follow the success of a developmental reading course at Mid-South Community College. You’ll learn how Aplia has lead learners to higher rates of achievement and helped instructors increase their effectiveness. Read More…


Tools and Technologies for the Flipped Classroom

Over the past few months at the Cengage Learning Blog, we’ve featured a number of posts that address tools and technologies that can be integrated into the “flipped classroom.” Below, we’ve listed a number of them. Review their suggestions, and you’ll garner a wealth of ideas for your course.

    In the video “How Technology is Changing Instruction,”  author Roger Arnold discusses his observations regarding a shift in attitude toward using technology or new models (such as the “flipped classroom”) to deliver — and engage students with — course material.
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Engaging Your Students Using Inverted Instruction

What trends in education have you been taking notice of that will require instructors to take new approaches to engaging, educating, and retaining students? Start the conversation below. In this presentation, recorded at the 2013 Course Technology Conference, author and professor Jeff Butterfield hosts a 45-minute session on how you can meaningfully engage your students by using a “flipped” or “inverted” instructional model. He begins his presentation by citing some of the important changes in education today, including shifts in student demographics, disruptive technology and instructional models, and rising student concerns about things like financial aid and Read More…


Teaching Shorter Summer Courses: Focus on Outcomes

As this term comes to a close, you may find yourself looking ahead toward teaching a summer course. Though you may still find that you encounter many of the same challenges teaching during the summer months that you would otherwise, it can also pose its own unique challenges. Among them, you may find that students find it even more difficult to focus on being in class when they’d like to be enjoying a summer break, or that you have less time to get them up-to-speed with course content. One of the other challenges that can be unique to Read More…


Using Assessment Data to Tweak Next Semester’s Instruction

Guest Contributor: Erin Doppke, Senior Instructional Designer, Cengage Learning Custom Solutions. There’s no need to wait to review data collected from student satisfaction surveys or final examsit may be that the keys to making tweaks to your course to improve learning for next term are already in your hands. In this post, Senior Instructional Designer Erin Doppke provides advice on increasing the effectiveness of your course by evaluating it using assessment information. How do you evaluate your course’s overall effectiveness and decide whether or not you’d like to make changes for the next term? Share your ideas and experiences Read More…


Collecting Meaningful Feedback Via Informal Assessment Techniques

You’ve worked hard to create an engaging, active learning environment for your students (maybe you’ve even used some of these ideas), but how do you measure your success in a meaningful way? As an instructor, you may wish to not only assess students’ progress in your course, you may also want to assess the effectiveness of a new teaching method or classroom activity you’re trying prior to the end of term. It can be helpful to get this kind of information from students while the experience is still fresh for them, rather than relying on feedback Read More…


Improving Learning Outcomes: A Change in Philosophy

Guest Contributor: Worth Hawes, PhD, Senior Academic Services Consultant, Cengage Learning. In today’s post, Worth Hawes shares how his attitudes toward setting learning outcomes have changed since his time as a PhD student teaching philosophy to undergrads. How have your opinions, perceptions, and attitudes shifted with regard to establishing expected outcomes up front? Has your experience been similar, or have you taken a different road to the opinion you have today? Please share with us in the comments section below. I’ll confess that when I was finishing up my PhD in philosophy fifteen years ago—writing the dissertation in between Read More…


Creating Online Activities that Align to Your Outcomes

As an instructor, you’ve probably seen (or employed) many of the exciting — and research-based — techniques and principles you can use to engage and motivate students in the online environment. However, you have also likely come to recognize that you need to use those tools and techniques in a manner that helps your students achieve the specific learning goals and objectives you have identified for your course. In their presentation “Aligning Objectives in Online Classes,” Cengage Learning’s TeamUP Faculty Programs provide guiding principles for creating online activities that will help your students achieve the learning outcomes you’ve Read More…