discussion tips

Five Ways to Engage Adult Learners

The same things that can make your classroom more challenging to manage can also make it a richer experience for both you and your learners. Having a mix of different generations in your class can be one of those challenges. Adult learners will likely walk in the classroom door with some different experiences, strengths, and demands than more “traditional” learners have. But as with all learners, the key to reaching them is in engaging them. Below, we share five guidelines to help you engage adult learners, adapted from the TeamUP Professional Development Portal module on Engaging Read More…


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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What Activities Work to Achieve Learning? Merrill’s First Principles

It’s likely that you encourage learners in your classroom to connect the material you’re covering to examples from their own lives. How do you then take it a step further and get them to think critically and apply what you’ve taught them to solve a problem? Leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below. Guest Contributor: Erin Doppke, Senior Instructional Designer, Cengage Learning Custom Solutions As you approach your courses for next semester, consider incorporating an instructional model on which many instructional designers rely: Merrill’s First Principles of Instruction (Merrill, 2002). Instructional designers think of Merrill’s First Read More…


The Fiscal Cliff

Though it’s been in the news for some time, tensions continue to grow as we get nearer to the fiscal cliff looming at the end of this year and Congress has still not reached a compromise. What is the fiscal cliff, how did we get here, what provisions are involved, and what’s important to note if you’re teaching about it? Prior to the election, Bill Raabe, taxation professor at Ohio State University and author on the South-Western Federal Taxation series and Federal Tax Research text, recorded a podcast about the fiscal cliff, what it means, 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…


Building Community Via Engaging Online Discussions

On its face, an asynchronous conversation conducted via a discussion board may not seem as personal or immediate as a conversation that takes place in a more traditional classroom. However, an online discussion can be just as spirited, enlightening, and engaging as one taking place in the face-to-face environment — if it is facilitated well. How can you, as an instructor, help students gain the full benefit of discussions in your online course? In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers, contributors Erping Zhu and Matthew Kaplan offer the following tips:

    Create a
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Four Tips: Creating Prompts for Online Discussion Boards

Particularly for online courses, using discussion boards can be an effective way to encourage group or team interaction. You can encourage peer-to-peer interaction as students react or respond to a prompt and then interact with one another based on those responses, or assign a prompt for each student to read and respond to that you can evaluate personally. No matter the goal of your discussion board activity, you likely want to ensure that students’ responses are thoughtful, complete, and insightful. Read on for tips, courtesy of the TeamUP Professional Development Portal, that you can keep in mind as Read More…