student success

Activity: Help Students Manage Stress and Anxiety at Test Time

As discussed in Paul Nolting’s presentation, which we featured yesterday, test anxiety can keep students from performing to the best of their abilities. Examination time can also prove challenging for those students who must balance multiple commitments, deadlines, and responsibilities. Thus, stress management and time management techniques are valuable tools in a student’s academic toolkit. If you’d like to help students discover how to better manage their stress during test-taking time, try this “stress level check” from the Instructor’s Resource Manual that accompanies Christine Harrington, Ph.D.’s Student Success in College: Doing What Read More…


Addressing Math and Test Anxiety

In your role as an instructor, you’ve probably seen the the detrimental effect that math or test anxiety can have on your students. And if you haven’t observed this for yourself, perhaps you’ve experienced test anxiety other forms of anxiety in your own life. Either way, you likely recognize that anxiety rarely, if ever, produces any positive results. In fact, it can hinder people from taking part in beneficial and meaningful activities, can rob them of the enjoyment of a potentially pleasurable activity, and can keep them from performing to the best of their abilities. If you would like to Read More…


Academic Integrity and the Online Setting

Some students may be tempted to believe that they’ll have an easier time cheating in an online course. They may think: “the instructor’s not here in the room with me; my cheating will go unnoticed.” However, acting on this (mistaken) belief could exact a heavy toll. Depending on your school’s policies, their lack of integrity could cost them a passing grade, credit for your course, time spent re-doing the work, or other disciplinary actions, some of which may be noted on their permanent transcripts. Repeat offenses may bring about suspension or expulsion. Though you may not be able to stand Read More…


Tips for Students: Overcoming Your Fears of Public Speaking

Very few people have the natural ability to walk up to a podium and deliver a perfect presentation without any sort of training—or fear. Indeed, most speakers gain their polish through practice, as well as through dedication to building the skills that increase their competence, confidence, and credibility as speakers. If you include a speech or presentation as part of your class assignments, you probably have a number of students whose anticipation of that due date ranges from nervousness and apprehension to outright dread. And if they haven’t been exposed to speech or performance training, they may not realize Read More…


Tips for Students: How to Contribute Positively to a Team

If you’ve participated in a group or team of any sort, you recognize that each individual’s efforts either add to or detract from the group’s success. (You probably have some stories that testify to this experience as well!) Though some positive and negative traits may be readily identifiable, those who are new to group work—or those who want to improve the quality of their contributions—may be seeking some direction regarding the individual attitudes and behaviors that lead to better team performance and increased camaraderie. In Industrial/Organizational Psychology: An Applied Approach, Seventh Edition, Michael G. Aamodt offers Read More…


Activity: Speaking Up in Group Situations

When working on a project, each member of a team typically works toward reaching consensus on the decisions that need to be made. Furthermore, most people want to minimize the opportunity for conflict, which can make meetings uncomfortable and ultimately distract a team from its overall aims. Unfortunately, at times, this desire to avoid conflict supersedes people’s willingness to challenge a popular idea, because they fear that raising their concerns will brand them as “troublemakers” and disrupt the unity they’d worked so hard to achieve. As Cindy Griffin and Jennifer Emerling Bone state in their text Invitation to Human Communication, group members should “…remember Read More…


Tips for Students: How to Read a Textbook

We read for many reasons: to stay abreast of current research and trends, to learn how to accomplish a certain task or develop a new skill, to keep up with the latest news, or perhaps simply to enjoy a well-told story. The way we read different types of material can vary as well. For example, you’re likely to read a journal article much more attentively than you would a piece you found in a popular magazine. Obviously, it benefits us to pay closer attention to the reading material that will have a lasting effect on our personal or professional lives. Read More…


Activity: Reviewing Your Study Strategies

As we seek to develop our skills in any activity—from cooking gourmet meals, to playing a musical instrument, to running half-marathons—we can experience a great deal of improvement by applying time-tested techniques and adopting experts’ best practices. However, we’re still likely to encounter snags, difficulties, and challenges that hinder us from performing at the level of accomplishment we hope to achieve. That’s why it is often helpful to take a step back, observe what we’ve been doing, and make corrections where need be. In this way, we come to realize that we can learn a great deal from Read More…


Encouraging Students to Develop Critical Minds

Most of us have a wealth of information readily available to us. Thanks to the Internet and other media sources, we receive news and entertainment all day, every day, at a rapid pace. And if you don’t receive the information, it’s relatively easy to seek it out; enter a query into a search engine, and within seconds you’ll receive millions of results that provide you with links to articles that address your topic from differing perspectives—and varying levels of relevance, accuracy, and authority. It is indeed fairly easy to get information that is somewhat related to the matters that Read More…


Maintaining an Effective Environment for Online Teaching and Learning

Just as you’d take the time to set up your physical classroom for an optimal learning experience, it’s wise to consider what you can do to set up and maintain your computer in a manner that supports the goals you’ve established for your online course. Likewise, online students should consider their computers their classrooms and study halls, and therefore use their tech tools in a way that optimizes their ability to achieve academic success. In their book E-Learning Companion: A Student’s Guide to Online Success, Fourth Edition, Ryan Watkins and Michael Corry list some steps you and your students Read More…