student engagement

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…


How to Build Student Engagement in Study Sessions

Studying is essential for college students to remember facts, understand material, and get the most out of their education, yet there aren’t courses in studying. Fortunately, there are ways you can help if students are exhibiting poor study skills. Within lesson plans, before or after class and in office visits, teachers can encourage student engagement in study sessions. If you’re considering creating a new study session for students in your class, here are some classroom ideas to develop essential study skills and strategies on how to study for a test.

Importance of study sessions

Students may be stressing over their preparedness for Read More…


Teaching Grammatical Terminology in the College Classroom

Written by Lawrence Barkley and Christine Sandoval, authors of Grammar and Usage, Naturally, 1st Edition   In no other field except grammar and rhetoric, to our knowledge, do instructors sometimes forego the use of the field’s professional vocabulary when teaching the subject in introductory courses. Take, for example, the following two sentences, one from anthropology, the other from biology. In anatomical position, the skull is the most superior skeletal element, connected to the postcrania by the occipital condyles attaching to the superior articular facets of the atlas. The CRISPR/Cas (Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR associated protein) system, a prokaryotic immune system Read More…


Congratulations to the Winners of the Make It Count Contest!

Throughout this spring we received great videos of instructors across the country sharing the ways that they make it count with digital tools. Some encourage classmate collaboration while some foster critical thinking and others involve social media, but all utilize digital resources in unique and compelling ways to engage students in learning. The votes are in, and we are thrilled to announce these three winners of the Make It Count contest:

First Place

Aiyda Evans, Morgan State University

In her Introduction to Sociology course, Aiyda uses YouTube to present music videos from around the world to incite student discussion around Read More…


Meet the Challenge of Engaging the Reluctant College Student

Every major has required classes that help form the core foundation of learning in a discipline. However, that doesn’t always mean that students are enthusiastic about the subject. Take, for example, an accounting class that is required of all business majors. It’s likely that many of the students are only taking the class because it is required. They hate numbers and are intimidated by math. What can you do to engage these students and persuade them to see the benefits of understanding accounting concepts? In his book “Engaging Teaching Tools: Measuring and Improving Student Engagement,” David Sladkey described techniques that 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…


Announcing the Make It Count Contest Semi-Finalists: Vote for a Winner Now!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Make It Count contest! We are pleased to announce the ten-semifinalists of the Make It Count instructor video contest. This contest asked college instructors to submit a video sharing their favorite digital assignment and how it engages students in learning. Now, you have the chance to vote for the winners! We have been blown away by the tremendous number of submissions full of fantastic ideas for using digital resources to make it count in the classroom. We’ve heard from instructors across the country and across the curriculum, from Computer Science Read More…


How To Orchestrate Productive Classroom Discussions

Guest Contributor: Sherri Singer, Department Head for Social & Behavioral Sciences at Alamance Community College The long pause: we’ve all experienced waiting an eternity in our classrooms hoping for just one student to respond to our questions. Articles and advice from tenured faculty flow about  the value of the long pause. If we wait long enough, they will respond. And sometimes they do, with a disappointing answer, leaving you hanging in the middle of a failing classroom discussion.  Or  we sometimes get one student responds who, and responds and responds.  Classroom interaction and discussion is a balancing act that can perplex even Read More…


Webinar: Motivate College Students with Active Learning

At Cengage Learning, we know that instructors of all types are always on the lookout for new ways to engage students and transform them into active learners. That’s why, in October of 2015, we expanded our partnership with the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD), a membership organization committed to promoting and celebrating excellence in teaching, learning, and leadership at community and technical colleges, to co-host a series of webinars, podcasts, and blog posts covering professional development topics for adjunct faculty and administrators.

Active learning

Our most recent webinar hosted through our partnership with NISOD, titled “Koala to Kangaroo: Getting Your Read More…


SXSWedu: Learning from the Student Voice

Guest Contributors: Chloe Ryan & Brandon Pinette At this week’s SXSWedu festival in Austin, Cengage Learning sponsored a panel focused on the student voice.  The panel featured four diverse student voices and covered topics ranging from the role of social media in the classroom to gamified education experiences and how digital tools can enhance learning.

Technology in the classroom

The students agreed that as technology plays a central role in all other aspects of life, it’s necessary for instructors to find thoughtful and creative ways to use digital tools inside and outside of the classroom.  Zak Malamed, Executive Director of Student Voice, led Read More…