engagement

Grabbing Learners’ Attention Back from the Brink of Distraction

You may have a classroom full of learners… but are their minds as present as their bodies? Your students do maintain their personal responsibility to pay attention. However, with a few simple steps, you can help facilitate their ability to stay mentally — as well as physically — involved in the class. In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips, Fourteenth Edition, Wilbert J. McKeachie and Marilla Svinicki share several suggestions for maintaining your listeners’ attention throughout the entire class period:

    Change up your presentation. Subtle shifts in your body movement, vocal tone, pacing, and use of audio and visual aids can capture your listeners’ attention
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Tips for Students: Staying Engaged in the Classroom

Engagement is directly linked to success in the classroom, and when you are engaged in the classroom, you become a full participant in what you’re learning. These tips, adapted from Constance Staley’s FOCUS on College Success, Third Edition will help students fully engage in the classroom, which will result in better grades and improved learning.

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Engaging Your Learners & Channeling Distractions

This week, we are featuring content from presenters at Cengage Learning’s upcoming Engage 2013 Conference. Today, we’ll hear from Professor Corinne Hoisington. In this video she shares an idea that you can put into action to engage learners at the start of each class period. She also offers tips on channeling potential technology distractions into opportunities to create an active learning environment.  [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wt5PBd6XwcI?wmode=Opaque] What types of activities do you do in your classrooms — on-ground, online, or blended — to get your learners engaged in the material? Share your thoughts and ideas in the Comments section below. Corinne Hoisington, Read More…


Accessibility: Advances in Text-to-Speech Open New Doors

An Interview with ReadSpeaker® CTO Fredrik Larsson Does the mere mention of text-to-speech (TTS) systems invoke memories of the robotic voice of the HAL 9000 computer in the epic 1968 film, 2001: A Space Odyssey? The latest generation of TTS technology bears little resemblance to the systems that were in use in the 1960’s. In fact, recent advances in TTS features – particularly in the areas of voice quality, web-based access, and mobile compatibility – have transformed TTS from an accessibility-focused technology for the blind into an attractive, affordable tool for the general public. In the education space, it Read More…


Adding Some TEC-VARIETY to Online Teaching and Learning

Guest Contributor Curtis J. Bonk, Indiana University. Seeking ideas for engaging learners in your online course? Today, Engage 2013 conference presenter Curtis J. Bonk shares his series of ten motivational principles, organized according to a helpful mnemonic device: “TEC-VARIETY.” What challenges have you faced, and resolved, in motivating online learners? Post your ideas, questions, or below.    With my “TravelinEdMan” moniker attached to my blog and Twitter feeds, friends and colleagues often ask me where in the world I am. Well, from late 2004 to early 2007, I was often found in the UK. During one such trip in March 2005, Read More…


Engaging Students Via Immersion in Virtual Worlds and Augmented Realities

Guest Contributor Chris Dede, Harvard University. This week, we are featuring articles from presenters at Cengage Learning’s upcoming Engage 2013 Conference. Today, we’ll hear from Chris Dede, who describes EcoMUVE, an immersive virtual environment designed to engage students in the process of learning about ecosystems. Though this particular project is designed for middle-school students, the learning principles and methodology behind it have application within higher education as well. Have you used virtual worlds as a part of your course curriculum? How did this serve to engage students in the learning process? Provide your feedback in the Read More…


Welcome Back Warm-Ups

With the start of a new year, and the start of a new term, come a new group of students in your classroom. In addition to standard first-day-of-class activities, such as introducing your course topic, stating your attendance and grading policies, and reviewing course materials, you may wish to devote time to introductions. In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips, Fourteenth Edition, Wilbert J. McKeachie and Marilla Svinicki offer some simple suggestions for getting to know one another. Given the time it can take to make it around the room, these ideas are perhaps best suited for use in a smaller class, Read More…


Building Sound Pedagogy into Integrated Online Course Solutions

An Interview with Kristen Ford, Director of Learning Design at Cengage Learning

Have you ever wondered what it takes to design and build a student-centric, integrated set of online resources and learning activities that can generate measureable improvement in student outcomes? Well, it certainly requires a lot of collaboration on the part of the design and development teams responsible for building the framework and the discipline-specific resources, but it also requires many hours of discussions with – and observations of — the instructors and students who will actually use the products. I had an opportunity to speak with Kristen Ford, Read More…


Say “Goodbye” to the Boring Lecture

You have seen a number of class sessions over the years; either you conducted them yourself, or you witnessed others conducting them. Each one falls into one of three categories: the good, the bad, and the uh—what was that? It does not matter if you’ve taught for a number of decades, a number of years, or just a matter of months, there’s always room to evaluate, fine tune, and perfect your presentation and teaching style. Here are five tips for taking what you already do well and cranking it up, making your class presentations not only something you, as Read More…


Using End-of-Term Student Feedback for Classroom Growth

Gathering and utilizing student feedback is essential to ensuring that the courses you teach are facilitating learning and that your content and teaching styles are constantly evolving with the students. In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers, authors Marilla Svinicki and Wilbert J. McKeachie provide tips on how to gather student feedback and how to use it to improve your course content or teaching style. Tailor the questionnaire to your course – Institutions often provide a standard form that can be used in any class, regardless of discipline or size. Add additional Read More…