online learning

Making the Digital Leap Simple Institution-Wide: Community College Leadership Speak Out

While the affordability issue in higher education is nothing new, it is often considered a problem exclusive to four-year institutions. According to recent studies however, this is not the case. More than half of all community colleges in the U.S. are reportedly too expensive for low-income students. What’s even more surprising? Around 70% of respondents to a survey conducted by the Hope Center for College Community and Justice at Temple University experienced food insecurity, housing insecurity or homelessness in the previous year. Knowing this, it’s not surprising that textbook and course material costs Read More…


Growing Enrollment & Student Potential: How One Program Prepares Learners for Higher Education

This fall, freshmen across the University of California’s campuses will arrive with expectations of how to excel—but with the institution’s newest location comes new student experiences. In rural Merced, one unique student population brought opportunities to effect change in a community and bring digital literacy to young learners—many of whom are the first in their families to enroll in higher education. Kevin Reimer, Instructor in UC Merced’s University Extension Department, reveals how he developed a dual-enrollment program that builds skills for high school students while putting them on the path to college.   Reducing Fears for First-Time Enrollers Merced is located in a Read More…


Adjusting the Lens: Active Learning in Online Classes

Author: Shawn Orr, Director of the Center for Innovation & Teaching Excellence; Professor of Communication Studies, Ashland University As a college faculty member for more than 25 years, I’ve taught thousands of undergraduate students in a traditional classroom setting, utilizing active learning strategies to engage and involve students in the learning process. Changing charts, card flip, expert groups, clearest/muddiest point, group projects, polling, augmented reality and case studies—all tools of the trade I know, love and use every semester. Then came online classes. I taught my first completely online course 15 years ago. I’ll be the first to admit it was Read More…


Cengage Unlimited Gives You Access to Materials for Your Courses—and Your Future Career

Have you ever sat around in class wondering, “What am I doing here? How is this relevant to my future? Can I afford this?” I know I have.  When it comes to the real world, what do you truly need to know to succeed? Don’t you worry, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re also one of those students who avoids buying textbooks because they cost so much—and you think you can get by without them—Cengage Unlimited might just change your mind. Because as a Cengage Unlimited subscriber, a student can access so much more than Read More…


Maintaining Momentum with MindTap

The e-Text initiative at Rowan-Cabarrus was a success after its first semester (Fall 2014), so we decided to expand it almost immediately. In Spring 2015, we added two English courses to the e-Text listing—both very similar in their content, course objectives and goals for students. In these two courses, we decided to use the same Cengage textbook, but different editions. In ENG-102, Applied Communications II, we used an earlier version delivered digitally through CourseMate. This was a “simple way to complement (Cengage textbooks) and course content with study and practice materials.”* In ENG-114, Professional Research & Reporting, we Read More…


Re-Energize Your Online Discussions Mid-Semester

One of the biggest challenges in e-learning is keeping up motivation throughout the course. For many college students, enthusiasm for classes may wane mid-semester; online students, who lack the face to face feedback to reinforce their motivation, may experience this even more strongly than their on-campus peers. To re-energize your online discussion, think about the kinds of discussion questions that will not only engage your students in the course material, but also help them relate and apply the material beyond the classroom.

Motivation and instructors

“Your instructors will typically be an excellent source of motivation,” Ryan Watkins and Michael Corry advised Read More…


College Teaching Strategies to Motivate Online Students

If you teach online courses, you’re aware that your teaching strategies for engaging college students in a virtual setting have to accommodate the lack of face-to-face contact. One of the greatest challenges for an online student is staying motivated throughout a course. How do you engage students in an online environment? Consider these teaching strategies as you reach out to your online students.

Social support

An online learning environment has many benefits, such as self-paced learning, and the ability to view coursework around the student’s own schedule. But the environment can be a lonely one, as well. In order to create Read More…


How to Make Introductions in Your Online Classroom

College students today have a whole new realm of get to know you activities to master — those directed specifically at an online classroom. There are many ways to break the ice and make introductions, some more effective than others. Read on for some how to tips to help you make the online classroom experience positive.

How to make introductions

Maybe you professor has offered specific instructions about how you and your fellow college students should get to know one another. But if they haven’t, what are some things you should consider before you make introductions? First, consider the setting. What you Read More…


Teaching Tips for Engaging Students in the Online Classroom

The online classroom is gaining ground and popularity. The challenge for teachers at any level is figuring out how to foster a class discussion when all eyes are on a screen, at different times, rather than directly in front of you all at once. A successful class discussion can be difficult when you are in the same room as your students, but engaging students in another room, building or state requires another level of effort. What are some teaching tips you can employ?

Common problems in the online classroom

When it comes to online classrooms, most cater to adult learners Read More…


OLC Innovate: Innovations in Blended and Online Learning

The Big Easy played host to the inaugural conference geared to education leaders, faculty, system administrators, and course designers in pursuit of quality online learning. Attendees were invited to challenge existing barriers to innovation and re-imagine the learning experience. Through diverse sessions, workshops, and labs, the conference fostered dialogue and networking around emerging ideas in instructional design, pedagogical innovation, mobile technology, accessibility, online learning and course delivery, adaptive learning, and many more.

Thinking beyond the course

In partnership with Learning Objects, Cengage Learning hosted the lively session: Thinking Beyond the Course in Curriculum Design. The hosts, Natalie Skadra, Director of Instructional Design Read More…