trends

Course Redesign, Online Learning, & Assessment in Developmental English

An Interview with Annie Todd, Product Director, Cengage Learning. Over the past few years, many institutions and states have embarked upon course redesign initiatives, particularly in Developmental Math and English courses. In the case of Developmental English, such efforts are typically accompanied by the integration of reading and writing courses into a single, combined course. Annie Todd, who has been working in the Developmental English discipline for the past seven years, has been part of this course redesign evolution. Jeanne Heston recently caught up with her to learn more about the projects that she has helped to drive over the Read More…


Curriculum Issues to Consider Around Course Redesign

Guest Contributor Sande Johnson, Developmental Studies and College Success Specialist, Academic Services, Cengage Learning. So, you’ve made the decision to redesign your curriculum in a specific discipline. What are the next steps you need to take in order to move forward with implementation? Regardless of which program you are planning to redesign, there are three critical considerations that will determine whether or not you are ready to proceed (outlined in our previous article by Dr. Elaine Gray): Budget: You have the funding to sustain a multi-year implementation plan.
Assessment: You either have a baseline measure and a feasible long-term assessment Read More…


Starting the Course Redesign Process: Principles to Consider

When you are considering how to redesign your courses, it can be helpful to hear from faculty at other institutions that have recently completed the process. As you learn about their experiences, you’ll notice that different schools (and different departments) approach the process in various ways. And with good reason: as Dr. Carolyn Jarmon noted in her webinar, “Improving Outcomes and Reducing Costs: The Case for Redesign,” institutions choose to undergo this process for a number of reasons, including high student withdrawal or failure rates, long waiting lists for courses, over-enrollment in courses that fulfill prerequisites for a number Read More…


Course Redesign: Your First Steps

As an instructor in a constantly evolving educational setting, you can likely relate to the desire to find new ways to increase students’ attendance, engagement, and success—as well as such institutional challenges as the escalating costs associated with delivering instruction. In the face of these challenges, many institutions are choosing to re-evaluate how they structure and deliver some of their courses, with the hopes of providing greater consistency in how course material is delivered and graded, in addition to achieving improved student learning outcomes. They’re also considering how they can use educational technology not simply as an “add on” Read More…


User Research: Uncovering the Real Needs of Instructors and Students

An interview with Christine Freeman, Manager, User Experience Services, Cengage Learning. We’ve all had frustrating experiences with software and websites that appear to have been designed with little or no knowledge of who the customer is – screens full of gadgets that are aesthetically appealing but so cumbersome to use that they make it difficult for us to achieve our goals. What makes great online teaching and learning tools great? Christine Freeman and her team know that it is all about building products that make it easier for instructors and students to achieve their goals – improved engagement and Read More…


Higher-Quality Written Assignments: The Role of Artificial Intelligence

An Interview with Erin Joyner, VP and General Manager, and Jason Fremder, Senior Product Manager, Cengage Learning. It has long been recognized by educators and employers that good written communication skills play a critical role in academic and career success. Eleven years ago, the College Board founded the National Commission on Writing to focus national attention on the importance of good writing skills and to help increase funding for programs that help students and job-seekers build their skills. Several years ago, Erin Joyner realized that Cengage Learning needed to provide a technology-based solution to instructors who wanted to increase their students’ opportunities to practice Read More…


Resources that Facilitate Mastery and Engagement in Chemistry Courses

An Interview with OWL Team Member William Vining, PhD. If you studied or taught Chemistry in high school or college back in the 1970’s, 1980’s, or earlier, you probably remember homework assignments that required hand drawings of molecules and hand-written responses. By the time the homework had been graded and handed back to students, particularly if the class size was large, the class had moved on to another topic. Because of the lag time, the professor’s feedback could not be easily used to help the student master a set of concepts before the class had moved on to a more Read More…


How to Inspire Engagement and Manage Disengagement

Advances in technology have obviously had great impact on the field of education. You may find that some of those effects have been positive — for example, you have access to new tools to reach and engage with your students. On the other hand, some may be more negative — perhaps your students sometimes become distracted by their smartphones or other devices during class and disengage from learning. In either event, the fact remains that this shift is here to stay and will expand in years to come. In this video, Stan Gully, co-author of Organizational Behavior: Tools Read More…


Helping Today’s Students Become More Engaged Learners

What does it take to engage today’s students? How can you, as an instructor, motivate them to develop the skills, attitudes, and behaviors that help them achieve success not only in your own classroom, but throughout college and into the world of work? In “College is Not High School: Bridging the Engagement Gap,” a presentation offered during the 2013 Course Technology Conference, Beverly Amer provides insight into the expectations held by many of today’s college freshmen. She starts by examining current research that reveals students’ attitudes toward education-related behaviors such as studying assigned material, participating in class, managing their own Read More…


Online Learning and Assessment in Math Courses

An interview with Gary Whalen, Editor, Pre-calculus & College Algebra, Cengage Learning.  Do you remember your very first college math class? If you graduated from college more than 15 years ago, you probably used a calculator to complete your course work, along with scratch paper and a lot of pencils. And if you were working on Calculus homework late at night and reached an impasse, there was no one to call for hints or direction. If the course was a 6- or 8-week summer course, the issue was compounded by the fact that you did not have much time Read More…