student success

Engaging Minds Blog: 2015’s Most-Read, Most-Shared Posts

It’s the end of the year, so we’re taking some time to look back at some of 2015’s most-read, most-shared, and most-discussed posts at Engaging Minds, the Cengage Learning blog.

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How to Support Student Success in the New Year

As the year comes to a close, we at the Engaging Minds blog are taking a look back at some of the topics we’ve addressed this year.

Given that academic success is a top-of-mind topic for instructors and students, we aren’t surprised that our posts on that topic are among our most read.

Below, we’ve shared four of 2015’s most popular posts on student success. We thought that, as you reflect on the close of the year, you might enjoy reviewing these posts as well. The posts discuss some of the key factors that motivate and engage students, and include a variety of tips that you can bring into you own classroom.

Read one or read them all… then jump down to the comments section and share how you support student success in your own courses!
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Insights From College Students: The “Draw Your Day” Activity

The scope of a student’s life often measures beyond academics. More often than not, there are an assortment of additional responsibilities that hinder the student’s ability to solely focus on school work. These factors range from working a part-time job to raising a family. For these reasons, it’s important for Cengage Learning to align with the students’ lives and be a learning tool that can be used to fit their academic needs.

In order to better understand the life of a student, Cengage Learning led a focus group where they asked eighteen students to participate in a Draw-Your-Day activity where students draw their days from start to finish. The purpose of this activity was to see how and when students study given their already busy lives. Of the eighteen students surveyed, no two responses were exactly the same.
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“This Program Changed My Life”: McDonald’s First Graduate of Career Online High School Shares His Story

In March 2015, Juan Garcia became the first graduate of Cengage Learning’s Career Online High School, an AdvancED/SACS accredited program offered to eligible McDonald’s® employees as part of the company’s Archways to Opportunity initiative. Through the program, McDonald’s® employees can earn both an accredited high school diploma and career certificate in one of eight high-growth, entry-level career fields. Below, Juan shares his story.
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Questions to Help Adult Learners Set Their Success Strategies

Typically, the adult learners in your course want to succeed, and they are quite driven towards achieving success. However, most are also balancing many responsibilities, activities, and commitments at home, work, and elsewhere. As a result, they may have an ultimate goal in mind (a certificate or diploma that leads to a job)… but, they may benefit from additional encouragement and support, as well as a “refresher” on the specific traits, positive habits, and attitudes that enable them to earn academic success. In the Instructor’s Manual for her text, The Adult Learner’s Companion: A Guide for the Adult College Student, Second Edition, Deborah Davis provides a set of ten Read More…


Thought Leadership Recap: Inclusive Access and Student Retention

How can new business models impact at-risk students and increase retention? Academic executives from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College implemented an inclusive access partnership across multiple campuses and experienced impactful success. Learn about their experience in the Thought Leadership Forum: Inclusive Access and Student Retention. Inclusive Access Needs Assessment: Rowan-Cabarrus Community College had to address a number of challenges including:

    Course material cost and access
    State-mandated curriculum redesign
    Student empowerment
    Retention
New Business Model: To tackle these issues and lift student success, a variety of business models were considered. Inclusive Access, a model that integrates the cost of course materials into registration fees and delivers content Read More…


Answering Test Questions: Three Essential Strategies

As the term comes nearer and nearer to its completion, students become more and more concerned about final exams.

Of course, if students want to successfully complete their final exams, they must invest ample time in preparing and studying for them. However, the manner in which they take those exams can also have a bearing on their performance during the examination period.

Below, we’ve shared three student success strategies for completing exams with confidence and competence, as summarized from Linda Wong’s Essential Study Skills, Eighth Edition. Share them with your students before you administer your final exam.

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Ten Steps to ‘A’-ing Accounting

Most students in introductory accounting have not had a course like accounting before. They need some direction or many will flounder. To encourage and give direction to students the at the beginning of his course in introductory accounting, Belverd E. Needles gives his “Ten Steps to ‘A’-ing Accounting.” He goes over these points on the first day of class and refers back to them during the course. He has used this approach for several years and has found that it leads to a higher success rate. Please feel free to use it in your class and let him know how it works.
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How Prerequisite Activities Boost Student Preparedness

Guest Contributor: Jennifer Schneider, University of North Georgia. How can we encourage students in a positive manner to come to class prepared? I have been struggling with this question since I began my career in education. After committing to research on teaching unprepared students, I feel like I have come up with a few strategies that have been working in my class. The most effective strategy I have implemented is the use of prerequisites. I teach highly quantitative courses where repetition is the key to understanding course concepts. Therefore, I require students to complete a series of practice exercises prior Read More…


Hints to Help Your Students Prepare for Final Exams

Although the close of the term may still be a few weeks away, it’s not too early for students to begin considering how they might prepare for final exams. By getting a head start on planning out their study strategies, students can avoid much of the last-minute pressure they feel when they put off studying until the last minute… and, as a result, they can enter into final-exam time with greater confidence.

Eight things students should know before studying for their final exams

The following questions, based on material in Practicing College Learning Strategies, Seventh Edition by Carolyn H. Hopper, can help students develop their approach to preparing Read More…