student success

Addressing the Challenges of Military Transition: Beginning or Returning to College

Guest Contributor: Andrea J. Burr, DP1 First Class Petty Officer.  What particular needs, attitudes, and expectations do former military personnel bring to the college classroom? How can an instructor address those issues, preferences, and challenges within his or her course?

Given her military experience, as well as her work as an instructor and mentor to ex-military personnel, Andrea Burr is uniquely qualified to answer such questions. Below, she shares her insights into the mindset that they bring to the classroom, and she also offers her strategies for helping these students make the most of class time.
Has your classroom played Read More…


What Personal Attributes Contribute to an Online Learner’s Success?

Most students entering an online learning program know the basic keys to success in education. After all, they have made it to college or graduate school — and perhaps even been at the top of their classes prior to arriving at their new institutions. However, the nature of online learning demands a particular set of skills, attitudes, and habits that lead to success — not to mention the self discipline necessary for programs that allow students to set their own schedule and work at their own pace. For this reason, even the most motivated and diligent students may find Read More…


Getting Learners’ Listening Skills In Gear

We know that effective listening goes beyond merely hearing what another person is saying; it requires one to understand and absorb what’s been said or presented. Thus, effective listening is a skill that, once learned and mastered, can pay dividends not only within one’s educational career, but in personal and professional settings as well. As an instructor, you can play a key role in helping learners master the art of listening effectively. These simple activities, adapted from suggestions in Marilla D. Svinicki and Wilbert J. McKeachie’s McKeachie’s Teaching Tips, can be worked into just about any class session, and will strengthen Read More…


Helping Students Master Challenging Concepts

Guest Contributor: Melisa “Joey” Bryant, Forsyth Technical Community College. In today’s post, Melisa “Joey” Bryant, program coordinator in the Thomas H. Davis iTEC Center at Forsyth Technical Community College, discusses how getting students involved with teaching your class can enable them to tackle challenging concepts and better understand tough material. How do you help your learners conquer difficult topics in your courses? Share your ideas and teaching tips in the comments section below. One of the most frustrating experiences as a student is going into a class and feeling like you are the only one who doesn’t understand what the teacher is saying. Read More…


Helping Learners Conquer Test Anxiety

Taking assessments in the form of tests or exams throughout the term can seem an obviously expected part of the learning process, but it is possible that you’ll encounter learners who struggle with test anxiety. These learners, no matter how well they know the concepts or material covered, may find themselves drawing a blank when they sit down with an exam in front of them. If you so choose, there are options for you to employ to help students cope with their test anxiety. In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers, Read More…


Connect with Them and They’ll Connect with Class

Guest Contributor Bridgett McGowen-Hawkins, Senior Consultant, Cengage Learning TeamUP Faculty Programs. Allow me to let you in on a secret that I wish someone had shared with me during my freshman year at the front of the classroom and behind the lectern: Students are not automatically captive audiences. What?! Yes, it’s the heart-breaking truth. A student will not show up every Tuesday and Thursday to room 104 in Anderson Hall at 11 a.m. simply because a printout from an academic advisor indicates he should. It’s going to take a bit more. Persistence does not just happen, and in all honesty, depending upon Read More…


Fostering Students’ Persistence

In this video, Laura Bracken discusses the importance of retention and persistence in higher education, and the correlations between learner success in developmental math and persisting to complete a degree or certificate program. Though Laura’s discussion is related particularly to her teaching focus, developmental math, her ideas on persistence and its correlation to later success can be more broadly applicable in higher education. Listen as she talks about making a difference in students’ persistence at the classroom level. How do you involve learners in the learning process? Have you noticed that “addressing the whole student,” as Laura mentions, makes Read More…


Retention Strategies: Tackling Common Challenges

Guest Contributor Sande Johnson, Developmental Studies and College Success Specialist, Academic Services, Cengage Learning. About this time in the term, students start to drop various courses. It may be due to loss of interest or it may be because the material is beyond their ability. What can you do to stimulate interest and keep your students actively engaged in your course? Like our esteemed faculty in higher education, the Academic Services Consulting Group at Cengage Learning often has to address these very issues when launching into course development. We reach out to our instructional designers, editorial, and marketing partners who Read More…


Maintaining the Attitude of a Life-Long Learner

If you’re reading this blog post, you obviously value the purpose and process of education — enough to devote your career to it! However, when we’re constantly moving through our daily pattern of meetings, deadlines, paperwork, and other pressing responsibilities, we can potentially lose sight of those things that enable us to move forward in new and challenging directions — and that, in itself, can make us feel stuck, stale, or solution-less. In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips, Marilla Svinicki and Wilbert J. McKeachie share some suggestions for identifying new methods, strategies, and opportunities that you can bring into your Read More…


Five Ways to Engage Adult Learners

The same things that can make your classroom more challenging to manage can also make it a richer experience for both you and your learners. Having a mix of different generations in your class can be one of those challenges. Adult learners will likely walk in the classroom door with some different experiences, strengths, and demands than more “traditional” learners have. But as with all learners, the key to reaching them is in engaging them. Below, we share five guidelines to help you engage adult learners, adapted from the TeamUP Professional Development Portal module on Engaging Read More…