engagement

Tools and Strategies to Keep Students Motivated and Focused

Keeping students motivated and focused: The challenge is not a new one, and certainly not exclusive to summer courses, but it can be exacerbated by the siren’s call of warm weather and summer fun that students face when opting to take part in these courses. Today, we’ll examine a few strategies and tools that you can inform them of so they can keep up their motivation, and even improve their focus. In The Confident Student, author Carol Kanar writes about a few strategies that students can use to give themselves a positive push toward self-motivation. Summarized below Read More…


Resources that Facilitate Mastery and Engagement in Chemistry Courses

An Interview with OWL Team Member William Vining, PhD. If you studied or taught Chemistry in high school or college back in the 1970’s, 1980’s, or earlier, you probably remember homework assignments that required hand drawings of molecules and hand-written responses. By the time the homework had been graded and handed back to students, particularly if the class size was large, the class had moved on to another topic. Because of the lag time, the professor’s feedback could not be easily used to help the student master a set of concepts before the class had moved on to a more Read More…


The Motivation to Become a “Finisher”

Sunny blue skies, a dip in the pool, the pull of an impromptu road trip… even the strongest among us can be lured by summer’s appealing distractions. However, we all know that the joys of summer don’t make our responsibilities magically disappear, so it’s critical to develop a strategy for staying on course to meet our obligations and address our greatest priorities. The task-planning skills needed to accomplish our goals are beneficial at any stage of life. But in college, cultivating those skills is an especially important endeavor: without them, a student may flounder, fall behind, and ultimately lose the motivation to complete an Read More…


How to Inspire Engagement and Manage Disengagement

Advances in technology have obviously had great impact on the field of education. You may find that some of those effects have been positive — for example, you have access to new tools to reach and engage with your students. On the other hand, some may be more negative — perhaps your students sometimes become distracted by their smartphones or other devices during class and disengage from learning. In either event, the fact remains that this shift is here to stay and will expand in years to come. In this video, Stan Gully, co-author of Organizational Behavior: Tools Read More…


Inspiring a Reading Mindshift

Contributor: Valerie Shay, Fayetteville Technical Community College. Many students at Fayetteville Technical Community College are juggling life, work and education. As an instructor with a strong background in teaching at-risk youth, migrant children, and Spanish-speaking only students, it was important for me to modify my teaching strategies to fit the needs of the adult learners at the institution. Students are plagued with serious holes in understanding derived from poor secondary schooling, and many are desperate to fill the gaps with the knowledge they are lacking. However, families, bills, and personal issues swarm and encase them creating an endless struggle between Read More…


Helping Today’s Students Become More Engaged Learners

What does it take to engage today’s students? How can you, as an instructor, motivate them to develop the skills, attitudes, and behaviors that help them achieve success not only in your own classroom, but throughout college and into the world of work? In “College is Not High School: Bridging the Engagement Gap,” a presentation offered during the 2013 Course Technology Conference, Beverly Amer provides insight into the expectations held by many of today’s college freshmen. She starts by examining current research that reveals students’ attitudes toward education-related behaviors such as studying assigned material, participating in class, managing their own Read More…


Online Learning and Assessment in Math Courses

An interview with Gary Whalen, Editor, Pre-calculus & College Algebra, Cengage Learning.  Do you remember your very first college math class? If you graduated from college more than 15 years ago, you probably used a calculator to complete your course work, along with scratch paper and a lot of pencils. And if you were working on Calculus homework late at night and reached an impasse, there was no one to call for hints or direction. If the course was a 6- or 8-week summer course, the issue was compounded by the fact that you did not have much time Read More…


Expectations, Goals, and Student Success

As you think ahead to your next term, you may be reflecting on the ways you can help your students reach their short-term goals for success in your course — as well as the long-term goals that they have for their academic and professional careers. Maintaining a supportive attitude and providing positive feedback can be important elements in inspiring your students’ efforts in your course. But what specific steps can you take to encourage greater self efficacy, optimism, persistence, and achievement of goals? During this lively recent webinar, Dr. Christine Harrington, author of Student Success in College: Doing What Works!, explores theory Read More…


Career Skills Activity: The Importance of Looking Ahead

You have a lot to cover during your allotted class time. Though helping students make skill connections to the professional world is something you’d like to do, it may not always be feasible to cover in that time frame. However, there are ways you can quickly drive home the importance of professionalism and career skills without taking up much time. What are some of your ideas for quick activities, practices, or exercises that emphasize the importance of professionalism in a career? Share your thoughts below. In the Instructor’s Manual that accompanies Illustrated Course Guides: Professionalism – Soft Skills for a Read More…


Applying Gamification to Education

For the past several years, the category of “Game-Based Learning” has appeared in the New Media Consortium (NMC) Horizon Report: Higher Education Edition, classified as a set of trends to watch in the two-to-three year horizon. In the 2013 edition of this report, the category was renamed to be “Games and Gamification.” Several weeks ago, this blog featured a number of posts on the use of games in education, clearly a hot topic, as evidenced by the number of readers who have accessed these articles since the original post dates. As the Horizon Report points out, games and gamification are not Read More…