English

Innovators Speak: Creating a Co-Requisite Model for English Composition

Author: Greg Underwood, English Department Chair at Pearl River Community College As a chair, I helped oversee the Pearl River Community College English department’s shift from offering nine non-transferrable developmental hours before students could enroll in the traditional first semester writing course, to a track where those same students now directly enroll in a transferrable, four-credit hour first semester writing course. We’re now in our second year, and our tracking numbers show that academically, students perform at or above the levels they did previously. Combined with the fewer developmental hours students no longer have to take, we now retain more Read More…


Innovators Speak: Advice I Wish I Had While Considering, Planning and Designing our English Co-Requisite Model

Author: Dr. Jenny Billings, Chair of English and Study Skills at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and Cengage Faculty Partner A year ago, I attended a state-wide meeting about changes coming to North Carolina Community Colleges: Developmental English was going to be redesigned, again. Rather than panic, pretend like it was going to go away, or wait around, I volunteered my department, my college, to be the first to pilot the proposed changes. I figured that if we were the first to pilot, we could help inform the System Office and possibly influence the decisions made. Plus, this is a good Read More…


Effective Assessments: Objectives, Goals, and Results

By: Dr. Jenny Billings – Chair of English and Study Skills, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and Cengage Faculty Partner   As someone who majored in and teaches English, I surprise others by how into numbers and data, I actually am. I have always been careful, curious, and strategic; I am always anticipating the outcome, what an action will yield. That’s a trait I have in common with my best friend, who actually teaches Mathematics.

Creating SMART Goals in Higher Ed Courses

While earning my doctorate, I took a class on data-driven decisions and one on planning and assessment. The combination of these classes Read More…


Questia: One Thing You Need to Build Confident Writers

by Dr. Jenny Billings, Cengage Faculty Partner and Chair of ACA, DRE, and ENG and English Instructor at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Having taught Developmental Reading and English students, I’m deeply aware of the effects self-doubt can have on first-year writing students. Many of them come in feeling behind, lacking the confidence they require to be successful. Some students need their academic foundations built, or rebuilt, while others only need refreshers to get them on their way. I’ve found that Questia can help in either circumstance. It can serve as #JustOneThing to alleviate students’ worries and fears, especially Read More…


Boost Student Writing Using NetTutor with MindTap English

Faculty Partner, Audrey Wick, is a full-time English professor at Blinn College in Texas Student engagement and collaboration are important in an academic environment, especially to help students produce quality writing. Part of the writing process involves students being able to obtain, understand, and use feedback. To help them do this, I incorporate NetTutor through MindTap. It’s #JustOneThing I can do with my developing writers. NetTutor qualified tutors work in on-ground centers in Florida and Arizona to provide digital feedback. They give my students a rich, informed voice of writing expertise to help them develop their skills while my students never Read More…


The Whole View—Building Student Success with the MindTap Progress App

As a Professor of English at Blinn College, it is crucial to bolster and maintain my students’ performance. If there were #JustOneThing I could recommend to my peers, it would be the MindTap Progress App.

What Does the Progress App Do?

The Progress App enables me to reach out individually at the beginning of the semester and at midterms to students who may not understand what I expect of them in my online class. Using the Analytics Tab, I can see which students are not fully engaged in the class, how much time they are spending on course work, Read More…


Writing for Student-Turned-Employee Success

I teach a Business Communications course that is housed in the Business College at Ball State University. Although writing is considered vital throughout our curriculum, Business Communications is the core course where we polish students’ business writing skills. This sophomore-level course is designed to prepare students with the writing foundations for their upper-division courses—and for future business careers. A major focus of the course is our Employment Communications unit. The employment project I use includes three parts: An internship: students select one and report on how it relates to their career goals.
A résumé: students write one according to the internship Read More…


How My Students Turn Investigative Writing into a Work of Art

Art history can be intimidating for students new to the discipline of studying artworks for their historical and stylistic context. Each semester, I begin class with handouts that include definitions of art, art history and the methodologies used by art historians including examples of formal, stylistic and contextual, iconographical and critical theory analyses. I introduce the language of art history that includes the basic elements and principles of art. I also provide students with a list of questions as preparation for discussing artworks and for writing a three-page museum paper based on an artwork of their choosing. I ask Read More…


Bringing Criminal Justice Writing into the 21st Century

Criminal Justice has a well-worn aphorism, “If it isn’t in writing, it never happened.” A huge stressor for my students happens when they lose or can’t find an out-of-class assignment or research, or their USB, CD etc., gets corrupted, damaged or left at a friend’s place. These 21st century tales of woe replace “the dog ate my homework.” Instructors have the option to:

    Award the student a “0” for the assignment—this signals we don’t believe them or we don’t care
    Allow the student a redo—this signals due dates are suggestions, or instructors are gullible
    Some variation of these two
Rather than address a Read More…


MindTap for English—Just One Thing: Questia

Audrey Wick, Cengage Faculty Partner and full-time English Professor at Blinn College in Texas, offers her experience with Questia through MindTap and why she recommends it for all students. If you want to give your students #JustOneThing, think about empowering them through access to quality research. That’s what students get with Questia through MindTap. More than a database, it’s an all-in-one digital library that helps students understand the research process, find reputable sources, obtain the information they need, and integrate the content with citations without ever leaving their virtual classroom space. Reluctant learners and those unfamiliar with academic libraries Read More…