lecture tips

To Flip or Not to Flip: That is the Question

Guest Contributor: Beverly Amer, Northern Arizona University. For as long as there have been students, there have been teachers trying to engage them in learning. The Socratic Method has stood the test of time, as have many others that have followed. One of the latest such methods to hit the halls of higher education is called the “flipped” classroom. In a flipped classroom model, the responsibility for information-gathering – traditionally controlled and delivered by the instructor in front of the class – moves to the student outside the confines of the classroom lecture hall. No more does the instructor Read More…


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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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…


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…


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…


Five Ways to Engage Adult Learners

The same things that can make your classroom more challenging to manage can also make it a richer experience for both you and your learners. Having a mix of different generations in your class can be one of those challenges. Adult learners will likely walk in the classroom door with some different experiences, strengths, and demands than more “traditional” learners have. But as with all learners, the key to reaching them is in engaging them. Below, we share five guidelines to help you engage adult learners, adapted from the TeamUP Professional Development Portal module on Engaging Read More…


Reaching the “ME” Generation

Guest Contributor: Dr. Jonathan Duchac, Merrill Lynch Professor of Accounting, Wake Forest University

What do you do to connect with a new generation of students? Below, Dr. Jon Duchac, accounting professor and author, writes about the “ME” Generation — what makes them unique, and how you can reach them. 

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What Activities Work to Achieve Learning? Merrill’s First Principles

It’s likely that you encourage learners in your classroom to connect the material you’re covering to examples from their own lives. How do you then take it a step further and get them to think critically and apply what you’ve taught them to solve a problem? Leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below. Guest Contributor: Erin Doppke, Senior Instructional Designer, Cengage Learning Custom Solutions As you approach your courses for next semester, consider incorporating an instructional model on which many instructional designers rely: Merrill’s First Principles of Instruction (Merrill, 2002). Instructional designers think of Merrill’s First Read More…


The Fiscal Cliff

Though it’s been in the news for some time, tensions continue to grow as we get nearer to the fiscal cliff looming at the end of this year and Congress has still not reached a compromise. What is the fiscal cliff, how did we get here, what provisions are involved, and what’s important to note if you’re teaching about it? Prior to the election, Bill Raabe, taxation professor at Ohio State University and author on the South-Western Federal Taxation series and Federal Tax Research text, recorded a podcast about the fiscal cliff, what it means, Read More…


Four Steps to a Stellar Presentation

At some point, most of us will give a presentation to an audience. In her book New Perspectives: Portfolio Projects for Soft Skills, Beverly Amer offers a four-step approach to creating and delivering an effective presentation. Whether you’re in charge of providing first-timers with needed advice, or your own skills need some polishing, these simple steps will help alleviate anxiety and ensure a smooth performance. Step 1: Plan. Several key questions will help you develop a strong presentation that’s tailor made for your audience and purposes. As you begin, ask yourself:

    What is the purpose of your presentation? What action or response
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