National Arts and Humanities Month

Prepare Your Classroom Style Guides: MLA 8th Edition is Here

In April 2016, the MLA released the 8th edition of their style guide. The updates to the MLA format move toward making it much easier for students writing their research papers to cite digital sources, like YouTube videos, which were cumbersome under the earlier rules. While the MLA citations for paper bibliographies have changed quite a bit, MLA in-text citations are roughly the same. Here are the changes you should be aware of as you get your students ready for this year’s research papers.

Digital publication has changed research and documentation.

The biggest reason for the changes to MLA format Read More…


Pop Culture Pedagogy: Fostering Enthusiasm in College Students

Guest Contributor: Audrey A. Wick, Blinn College (Texas) Instructors have a passion for their subject. Unfortunately, not every college classroom is filled with students brimming with that same level of passion. One job of an instructor, then, is to help foster enthusiasm with students, so they can feel invested and engaged in course material. Pop culture pedagogy is one way to achieve that. Using timely examples, making contemporary connections, and showcasing real-life case studies can bridge gaps of understanding. Additionally, instructors who have a digital component in their class—like the MindTap platform—have even more opportunities for pop culture pedagogy. Regardless of Read More…


Modernizing MLA for the Digital Age

Guest Contributor: Tina Willhoite, San Jacinto College (Texas) MLA first began in 1883 as a way to share scholarly findings and documentation with colleagues.  For over a century, the association has supported and strengthened programs within the humanities.  Just as new inventions and technology have made life easier for inhabitants of the 21st century, MLA, 8th edition, makes academic research much easier to cite in an era of digital publications. The length of the handbook is down to nearly half the size of the seventh edition, which was a whopping 300 pages.  Many of the strict rules have been replaced Read More…


Engaging College Students in Learning with Pop Culture

It can be frustrating to face a classroom of college students who appear uninterested in the material and topic of the course, or to ask a question of the class and receive only silence in response. How can you increase class participation? Engaging students in learning can be a challenge, but there are many techniques you can use to grab the attention of your college students and hold their interest. In some cases, you can integrate elements of pop culture into their assignments. But other techniques, including creating low-risk assignments or designing opportunities to role play scenarios, can help Read More…


MindTap Allows Music Teacher to Share Intricacies of Music Online

Jay Contrino is an adjunct instructor of music at Southeast Missouri State University where he teaches Jazz Appreciation, Theories of Music in Culture, Aural Skills, and applied drum set lessons. He’s been teaching at the college level for many years after working as a performer at clubs, symphony halls, jazz festivals and aboard cruise ships, where he worked side by side with a wide range of musicians, including the Osmond Brothers, the Platters, Mickey Dolenz, Tommy Tune, and others. This varied and exciting background adds to Contrino’s desire for his students to really listen to the intricacies of music, Read More…


In Defense of Learning Grammar Rules

Guest Contributors: Lawrence Barkley and Christine Sandoval, authors of Grammar and Usage, Naturally, 1st Edition Grammar rules have long been the bane of many students at all levels of education, teachers intoning “Don’t end a sentence with a preposition,” “Don’t begin a sentence with a coordinating conjunction,” “Don’t split infinitives,” “Be sure pronouns and their antecedents agree in number,” “Don’t use passive voice,” and “Don’t begin a sentence with ‘There’.”

Grammar origins

But how many of the numerous grammar rules we learned, use, and teach are actually based on a syntactic logic? Not many. In fact, a number of grammar rules as Read More…


MindTap Improves Student Engagement, Helps Teach Art

For Victoria Buck, an instructor who teaches art history at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee, getting students to truly engage with the subject was a goal. Buck is a mixed-media sculpture artist who would like for her students to see the magic in art in that she does, and therefore wanted her students to see particular pieces and learn specific concepts. Many students are inherently interested, but she feared some may lose interest without interactivity and compelling resources like video. After learning about Cengage Learning’s Art Through The Ages on MindTap from a colleague, Buck thought the Read More…


MindTap a Valuable “Work of Art” for Online Art History Courses

Professors of online courses have the benefit of being able to work for colleges that are hundreds of miles away, and hundreds of miles apart. Case in point: Sheila LeviAland, who teaches art history for Lord Fairfax Community College in Virginia and Valencia College in Florida. Since long before her introduction to digital products, Sheila has used one of the field’s classic texts — Gardner’s Art through the Ages. When decision makers at Lord Fairfax switched to MindTap®, Sheila was wary due to a negative experience with another company’s web-based assignment and assessment platform. She needn’t have been. “I Read More…


Philosophy Students Achieve Higher Grades and Instructors Report Improved Critical Thinking Skills with MindTap

In the fall of 2015, MarketingWorks and SEG Measurement, two independent research firms, conducted a comprehensive study of whether students in philosophy courses that use MindTap® receive higher grades and improve their critical thinking skills more than a comparable group of students in similar philosophy courses that do not use MindTap. A total of 227 students and nine instructors teaching 15 philosophy classes in nine different institutions of higher education participated in the MindTap research, including five classes that used MindTap and 10 classes that did not. All instructors who used MindTap provided feedback about MindTap throughout the semester, Read More…


MindTap Leads to Better Scores in Music Appreciation Courses

How do you encourage the students in your Music Appreciation courses to perform to the best of their abilities? Assigning digital could be key. Participation and outcomes improve for Music Appreciation students when MindTap counts for 20% or more of their grade.

Recent analysis of MindTap usage for all disciplines across the 2014-2015 academic year demonstrates that using MindTap can have a significant and positive impact on student learning and outcomes. When MindTap assignments count for at least 20% of their grade, students spend 50% more time in the platform.
Read More…