lecture tips

Tips for Using Lecture Aids Effectively

Audio and visual aids such as presentation slides, video clips, charts, and animations can help you emphasize the key points of your lecture. They also enable students to visualize and better understand the concepts you are describing. As an educator, you surely want to know how to use these types of tools for maximum benefit. In Cengage Advantage Books: The Speaker’s Compact Handbook, Fourth Edition, authors Jo Sprague, Douglas Stuart, and David Bodary offer a number of suggestions that can help you use your tools to enhance (rather than detract from) your presentation. We’ve summarized some salient points to keep in Read More…


What Every Educator Must Do Before Walking Into the Classroom This Fall: Take Stock, Gear Up, Then Rock It Out!

Guest Contributor: Bridgett McGowen-Hawkins, Senior Professional Educator, Cengage Learning Peer-to-Peer Faculty Development and Consulting. Summer break usually signals a time for educators to step away from the classroom and recharge the mind and body, but hold on to your swimsuit! A population of learners who wants more and an industry demand for college graduates who can think more, do more, and create more dictate that sun, sand, and surf be accompanied by “So how did the last term go?” Before packing away the sunscreen and returning for the fall term, take stock of what you did in the past, and Read More…


Best of the Blog: Crafting Engaging and Successful Lectures

As we wrap up this “Best-Of” series at the Cengage Learning Blog, we’re highlighting an article that addresses one of the soft skills that can greatly enhance your effectiveness as an instructor: your presentation style. In this popular post, Bridgett McGowen-Hawkins shows you how to “Say ‘Goodbye’ to the Boring Lecture.” Read on, and you’ll gather her top tips for lectures and presentations that engage students in the material you’re striving to communicate to them. Want more? Read the following posts, packed with suggestions for enhancing your professional and personal skills:

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Best of the Blog: Getting (and Keeping) Your Students’ Attention

From the outset of the Cengage Learning Blog, we’ve frequently addressed the topic of motivating and engaging your students, as we know that is of central concern to many educators. In “Grabbing Learners’ Attention Back from the Brink of Distraction,” one of the blog’s most popular articles on this topic, we offer suggestions that can help you facilitate your students’ ability to stay mentally — as well as physically — present in your class. For more about motivating and engaging your students, read these recent posts:

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Creating Podcasts: Where to Start

If you’re beginning to explore the “flipped model” of instruction, you may be pondering how you can deliver lecture content outside the classroom walls. Podcasts are one popular means of delivery for many instructors. Simply defined, a podcast is “a series of audio or video files that are broadcast to a computer or personal media player over the Internet by publication in an RSS feed” (Shelly and Frydenberg, p. 106). The process of creating a podcast is fairly simple. However, if you’re brand-new to this process, you may be seeking an orientation to what it entails and where, exactly, you Read More…


Tools and Technologies for the Flipped Classroom

Over the past few months at the Cengage Learning Blog, we’ve featured a number of posts that address tools and technologies that can be integrated into the “flipped classroom.” Below, we’ve listed a number of them. Review their suggestions, and you’ll garner a wealth of ideas for your course.

    In the video “How Technology is Changing Instruction,”  author Roger Arnold discusses his observations regarding a shift in attitude toward using technology or new models (such as the “flipped classroom”) to deliver — and engage students with — course material.
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Engaging Your Students Using Inverted Instruction

What trends in education have you been taking notice of that will require instructors to take new approaches to engaging, educating, and retaining students? Start the conversation below. In this presentation, recorded at the 2013 Course Technology Conference, author and professor Jeff Butterfield hosts a 45-minute session on how you can meaningfully engage your students by using a “flipped” or “inverted” instructional model. He begins his presentation by citing some of the important changes in education today, including shifts in student demographics, disruptive technology and instructional models, and rising student concerns about things like financial aid and Read More…


Collecting Meaningful Feedback Via Informal Assessment Techniques

You’ve worked hard to create an engaging, active learning environment for your students (maybe you’ve even used some of these ideas), but how do you measure your success in a meaningful way? As an instructor, you may wish to not only assess students’ progress in your course, you may also want to assess the effectiveness of a new teaching method or classroom activity you’re trying prior to the end of term. It can be helpful to get this kind of information from students while the experience is still fresh for them, rather than relying on feedback Read More…


Try Technology Tools To Enhance Your Teaching Style

Guest Contributor: Cathy Scott, Navarro College. You may find that in developing your professional and leadership skills, it becomes necessary to test out new ways to be the most effective teacher you can be. Technology tools offer new ways to engage students and create an active learning environment. In this article, author and professor Cathy Scott outlines some of those available tools, but she points out that while integrating technology is important to promoting an active and engaging learning environment, you remain the most important part of your students’ learning experience. As you develop your skills, trying new things 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…