Professional Development: Research Tips for Instructors

Professional development for instructors has evolved and improved. Instructors engaging in career research need extra consideration in the areas of a catered professional development plan, research methods, and mentorship. Try our tips on professional development for instructors doing research.

Professional development trends

Teaching the teacher is a complex process. According to the Center for Public Education, some trends in professional development have been developed over the years to improve effectiveness.
    The primary form of professional development is one-shot workshops, which have been found to be extremely ineffective. Rather, professional development should occur over time providing instructors with ongoing support, upwards of 50-80 hours
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Top Resources for College Student Research

It seems that no matter how many student research papers you assign, each new assignment brings your students the challenge of finding the right sources in a timely manner. Facing an impending deadline can lead some students to try shortcuts that result in lackluster papers that don’t meet academic standards. Instructors can help students take control of the research and writing process by providing guidance along with the project instructions.

Student research guide

In their book, Cengage Guide to Research, 3rd Edition, Susan K. Miller-Cochran and Rochelle L. Rodrigo lead students through the process of completing a research paper. Recognizing that Read More…

When to Spend More Time Teaching Research Basics

While some students make it to college with a good handle on how to manage the research process, others can be bewildered at learning to correctly identify and evaluate resources and baffled by citations. When too many students in your class aren’t ready to delve into research papers on their own, it may be time for teaching research basics. This type of hurdle happens across disciplines, and some similar techniques for teaching research basics can be used regardless of whether your students are researching topics in education, literature or the sciences. How can you identify whether your students are Read More…

Common Goals, Study Habits and Challenges of 2-Year College Honor Students

In an ongoing effort to place students at the center of designing digital learning solutions, Cengage Learning surveyed nearly one hundred members of Phi Theta Kappa, an international honor society for two-year colleges, about their personal and academic goals. The survey, conducted at Phi Theta Kappa’s 2015 annual conference, NerdNation, conveyed a desire for self-improvement and career satisfaction, highlighted the integral role smartphones play in their lives and shed light on challenges members face while pursuing their education endeavors. “Phi Theta Kappa is grateful for our partnership with Cengage Learning,” said Dr. Nancy Rieves, Director and CEO of the Phi Read More…

College Students’ Research Practices

If you’re continually getting papers turned in at the last minute and poorly researched, it may be that students are unsure of the amount of work that must go into writing a polished research paper. To find out where students might be confused or cutting corners, we recently surveyed thousands of college students asking, “On average, how much time do you think it’ll take you to find citable sources when assigned a paper or presentation?”

Research time

Given the options of “Less than 1 hour,” “1–2 hours,” “3–5 hours,” “5+ hours,” we discovered that the majority (47%) of college students think it Read More…

College Students Reveal Where They Begin Research

Do you know how your students work through a research assignment? From a recent survey of thousands of college students, we discovered that the majority (47%) of students think it takes only “1–2 hours to find citable sources” for their research paper. We also asked instructors what they recommend, and naturally, the majority felt this was too little time spent researching. So where do they begin that is so efficient it only takes an hour or two?

Research process

We also asked the students, “Where is the first place you go when doing research for class assignments?” Course materials, Google, LMS, Read More…

Starting a Research Paper: Thirteen Key Tips for Students

In our Fall 2015 Instructor Engagement Insights survey, we asked: “What advice do you have for students beginning their first extensive research assignment?”

We’ve selected thirteen of those tips and shared them below. If your students are about to embark on the process of writing a research paper, pass these tips along!

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Why College Students Choose to Use Library Resources

In a previous post, we noted that a portion of college students opt not to use the college library and its resources as the starting point for their research projects. But under what circumstances do students choose to use resources available to them?

To better understand their reasoning, we recently asked thousands of college students: “What do you like about using library resources to do your research?” Below, we’ve summarized the top reasons that they choose to use library resources for assignments.

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Conducting Research in Textbooks and Google Search

When beginning a research project, where do you think your students typically look for resources first? We recently surveyed over 5,000 college students to discover that 41% of them begin their research in their textbook or course materials. Another 40% start with a Google search. After this, 11% use the library, 5% use Google Scholar, and 1% start with Wikipedia. Each of the resources listed above have their merits at various stages in the research process. Given that “Textbook/course materials” and “Google” comprise 81% of students’ starting points, are your student utilizing these two effectively?

Google for research

Searching online has become second nature instinct for most of us, but Read More…

Google Tools Now Integrated into More Gale Products

Gale is constantly looking for new ways to enhance users’ experience and meet them wherever they begin their research. To this end, Gale recently expanded the integration of Google Apps for Education™ (such as Gmail™, Google Classroom™, Google Drive™, and Google Docs™) into many of its most popular solutions for academic, public, and school libraries. Currently, Gale products with integrated Google Apps for Education include: Research in Context and other In Context resources; InfoTrac; GVRL; Contemporary Authors Online; LitFinder; the MLA International Bibliography; Book Review Index Plus; and the Literature Resource Center. The integration will be added to Kids InfoBits this winter. The integration Read More…