technology

Print or e-Book: What’s Your Preference?

Our colleagues at CengageBrain.com recently asked students whether they preferred to use e-books or textbooks and thousands of students poured in to share their opinions. Printed textbooks took the lead in this head-to-head face-off with 73% of the votes, but e-books certainly had their die-hard advocates as well! Now, we’d like to hear from you. Perhaps you remain a proponent of the printed word; on the other hand, you could opt for an electronic book or journal article whenever one’s available. Or, your preferences could vary depending on the particular reason you’re reading or accessing information. Share your Read More…


Do You Use “BYOD” in Your Classroom?

Take a look at your classroom, and you’ll surely see students with a variety of tech tools: smartphones, tablets, laptops… if they can bring it into the classroom, they likely will! Some instructors are choosing to embrace this fact, and they’ve adopted what’s often called a “bring your own device” (BYOD) approach to technology in the classroom. They incorporate technology-oriented exercises, activities, and projects designed to engage students and encourage active participation in the learning process.

Have you adopted the BYOD approach to technology in the classroom? Share your experiences and opinions below.

 


Learning the Latest Presentation Software

Whether you’re conducting a classroom lecture, leading a department meeting, or presenting your research at an international symposium, you want to leave your audience with a positive impression of your work and a clear understanding of your message. You know that software can help you create a colorful, memorable presentation, yet you don’t want to build a slide deck that is either dull and unengaging or overly flashy and overwhelming to the viewers. Though you can choose from a variety of presentation software options, you likely have Microsoft® PowerPoint® readily available to to you. Given that Microsoft Office 2013 came out Read More…


Tips for Conducting Student Peer Reviews Online

Among its numerous other benefits to writing and research, technology provides a variety of ways to simplify the student peer-review process. Here, we share a few ideas that can help foster that process online, adapted from recommendations offered in Susan Miller-Cochran and Rochelle Rodrigo’s Wadsworth Guide to Research, Second Edition:

    Word processing programs offer the ability to track changes and insert comments, making them an ideal tool for peer-review projects. The writer can send a copy of the document via e-mail; each student, in turn, can add on their comments. At the end of the review process, the writer receives the feedback
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Evaluating a Website’s Appropriateness for Scholarly Research

If you’ve spent any time on the Web, you know that the quality, credibility, and reliability of available information varies greatly. Though you may not be concerned about the academic credentials of someone who’s writing restaurant reviews or sports commentary, you do recognize that it’s critical to diligently vet the sources you rely upon for your research projects. However, this reality may come as a surprise to some of today’s students who are used to typing a few words into a search engine and choosing the first few results as their sole sources of information on any given topic. Given Read More…


How to Search an Electronic Document for Relevant Information

The searchable nature of electronic documents can make it fairly easy for students to “flip through” a publication and see whether or not their chosen research topic is mentioned somewhere within the text. However, they may quickly discover that, although a word appears fifty times, it may not be used in a context that’s at all meaningful to them. Therefore, they can’t stop at finding the relevant keyword, but they must take some time to thoughtfully review the material and give consideration to its appropriateness for their work. This “Techno Tip” from Susan K. Miller-Cochran and Rochelle R. Rodrigo’s Read More…


Developing Digital Collections that Facilitate Scholarly Research

For many scholars (and indeed, many students), nothing quite matches the excitement of investigating primary-source material related to their research projects. Newspapers, diaries, maps, photographs, manuscripts, ephemera, and other archival materials grant us a peek into the past and illuminate our understanding of private lives, political developments, and pivotal events as they occurred. In years past, you could only review the materials you could visit in person or retrieve from willing institutions. But today, we have the luxury of examining material from the world’s libraries, archives, and repositories from the comfort of our home, office, or library computers. As you can 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…


Effective Strategies for Managing and Leading Online Courses

If you, like many readers of the Cengage Learning Blog, have taught an online course, you can name some of the factors that lead to a satisfying learning experience for your students. You might list such things as: clearly stated goals and expectations; frequent and timely communication; use of dynamic and interactive learning tools; or, well-written instructions for navigating the learning management system. As you designed your course for this term, you likely built many of these strategies into your teaching plan. It can also help to consider what makes for an ineffective course. Inefficiency, inconsistency, lack of cohesiveness… anything that Read More…


Teaching With Technology for Greater Student Engagement

Many instructors have seen the benefits of integrating technology into their courses, and have noticed its ability to help them create a student-focused learning environment. Indeed, technology tools can facilitate students’ self-discovery and provide them with numerous, creative ways to explore topics, gather and exchange information, and present what they’ve learned to you and to one another. In this video, Cengage Learning author Beverly Amer addresses the changes taking place in today’s higher education environment. She considers how these changes—many of which are driven by technology—impact the ways that instructors interact with students and guide them through the learning process. In Read More…