engagement

Addressing the Challenges of Military Transition: Beginning or Returning to College

Guest Contributor: Andrea J. Burr, DP1 First Class Petty Officer.  What particular needs, attitudes, and expectations do former military personnel bring to the college classroom? How can an instructor address those issues, preferences, and challenges within his or her course?

Given her military experience, as well as her work as an instructor and mentor to ex-military personnel, Andrea Burr is uniquely qualified to answer such questions. Below, she shares her insights into the mindset that they bring to the classroom, and she also offers her strategies for helping these students make the most of class time.
Has your classroom played Read More…


Collaborative Learning: Extending Learning Beyond the Classroom (Part 2 of 2)

Guest Contributor:  Kristopher M. Carilli, Account Executive, ConnectYard.

Part Two of a Two-Part Series. Read Part One, Collaborative Learning: Leveraging Social Learning Sites, here.

The development and expansion of a new class of sites, Social Learning Sites (SLS), has enabled learners and their instructors to realize the benefits of the social web in academia. SLS provide the ability to expand one’s network by rapidly creating contacts to people, as with traditional social networking sites (SNS). In addition, SLS follow best practices for encouraging improved student learning outcomes and persistence to graduation. Decades of research on undergraduate learning has distilled several key Read More…


Getting Learners’ Listening Skills In Gear

We know that effective listening goes beyond merely hearing what another person is saying; it requires one to understand and absorb what’s been said or presented. Thus, effective listening is a skill that, once learned and mastered, can pay dividends not only within one’s educational career, but in personal and professional settings as well. As an instructor, you can play a key role in helping learners master the art of listening effectively. These simple activities, adapted from suggestions in Marilla D. Svinicki and Wilbert J. McKeachie’s McKeachie’s Teaching Tips, can be worked into just about any class session, and will strengthen Read More…


Learning Through Visuals

Contributor: Dr. Haig Kouyoudjian. A large body of research indicates that visual cues help us to better retrieve and remember information. The research outcomes on visual learning make complete sense when you consider that our brain is mainly an image processor (much of our sensory cortex is devoted to vision), not a word processor. In fact, the part of the brain used to process words is quite small in comparison to the part that processes visual images. Words are abstract and rather difficult for the brain to retain, whereas visuals are concrete and, as such, more easily remembered. To Read More…


Increasing Success Rates for STEM-Focused Learners

According to recent government data, only 15% of all U.S. college students graduate with STEM-related degrees. At the same time, U.S. job market demand for STEM-related skills is at an all-time high, with an estimated 2.4 million new and replacement job openings expected through 2018, according to a 2011 study by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University. So why aren’t more college students seeking-out degrees, certificates, and other credentials in STEM-related fields, and how can institutions help their students identify best-fit academic paths to high-demand – and often high-paying — jobs? Owen Software, founded Read More…


Connect with Them and They’ll Connect with Class

Guest Contributor Bridgett McGowen-Hawkins, Senior Consultant, Cengage Learning TeamUP Faculty Programs. Allow me to let you in on a secret that I wish someone had shared with me during my freshman year at the front of the classroom and behind the lectern: Students are not automatically captive audiences. What?! Yes, it’s the heart-breaking truth. A student will not show up every Tuesday and Thursday to room 104 in Anderson Hall at 11 a.m. simply because a printout from an academic advisor indicates he should. It’s going to take a bit more. Persistence does not just happen, and in all honesty, depending upon Read More…


Essential Digital Resources for Workforce Development Programs

The technology resources that are available to today’s workforce development programs are a far cry from the resources that were available just a few years ago. The demands of industry-specific training programs, especially those designed to help close the gaps in the middle-skills job market, have driven the development of digital tools and media that contribute to measurable improvements in completion rates and outcomes. Market pressures and incentives, such as high unemployment rates, the scarcity of workers with related skills, and the time pressures of federal grants, such as TAACCCT, have encouraged course content producers to accelerate the development of digital resources Read More…


Fostering Students’ Persistence

In this video, Laura Bracken discusses the importance of retention and persistence in higher education, and the correlations between learner success in developmental math and persisting to complete a degree or certificate program. Though Laura’s discussion is related particularly to her teaching focus, developmental math, her ideas on persistence and its correlation to later success can be more broadly applicable in higher education. Listen as she talks about making a difference in students’ persistence at the classroom level. How do you involve learners in the learning process? Have you noticed that “addressing the whole student,” as Laura mentions, makes Read More…


The Use of Personal Response System in Accounting Courses

A Personal Response System uses hand-held wireless transmitters, receivers, and computer software to obtain immediate feedback from students. The technique is similar to “asking the audience” on the game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire? This easy-to-use tool enhances interaction among students and the instructor and appears to increase learning. The classroom environment becomes more competitive as students strive to select correct answers to questions asked by the instructor. Any time during a lecture, the instructor can project a question on the screen or simply orally ask a question of the class and students provide answers. The instructor obtains immediate feedback that assesses the students’ understanding of the concept. Immediate feedback provides satisfaction to the students that they have mastered the concepts and identifies students’ misconceptions that a skillful instructor can correct through additional explanations and retest the students’ master through reformulation of additional questions.
 
The use of PRS appears to be a valuable tool for increasing interactivity within accounting courses. Not only is the technology easy to use but also available at low costs to universities. As instructors continue to develop courses that include the use of PRS, various research opportunities exist to determine whether PRS enhances learning
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Who Are Our Students?

Whenever I am with teachers of beginning accounting I hear complaints about the new generation of students. “They won’t read the chapters. They won’t do the homework. They won’t come to class. And on and on.” One professor told me, “I’m so glad I’m going to retire next year so I don’t have to deal with these students anymore.” These comments were so common that a year or so ago I decided to examine the issue of “Who are our students?’ This Trends piece reports on what I found; why this generation is as good, only different, from past generations; and how I think we can engage these students.

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