trends

Applying Gamification to Education

For the past several years, the category of “Game-Based Learning” has appeared in the New Media Consortium (NMC) Horizon Report: Higher Education Edition, classified as a set of trends to watch in the two-to-three year horizon. In the 2013 edition of this report, the category was renamed to be “Games and Gamification.” Several weeks ago, this blog featured a number of posts on the use of games in education, clearly a hot topic, as evidenced by the number of readers who have accessed these articles since the original post dates. As the Horizon Report points out, games and gamification are not Read More…


Incorporating Research into a Student Success Course

My teaching approach stems from my belief in my students and their ability to achieve at high levels if given the right amount of support. I bring research on student success and memory, and extensive modeling and support into my student success classes. I use actual peer reviewed research studies in my student success course as the foundation for our conversations on student success strategies. This increases the credibility of the course for both students and the campus. Even students who have taken a class on “study skills” will quickly discover that this course is different. The inclusion of Read More…


Beyond eTextbooks

Over the past several years, publishers and educational technology companies have increased their focus on creating tools to help improve student outcomes in individual courses, overall rates of student retention, and graduation rates. At the same time, there has been a focus on lowering the overall cost of education. One component of that equation is minimizing the time-to-graduation, a goal which can be accomplished by increasing the level of student preparedness and/or ensuring successful completion in remedial or college-level courses; another is decreasing the overall cost of materials. The tools and technologies that have emerged over the past few Read More…


The New Rules of LMS Content Integration

On campuses around the country—both physical and virtual—more and more instructors are being asked to increase course loads and to manage their workloads with fewer administrative resources. Driven by decreases in government and donor funding and increases in tuition discount rates, administrators have been forced to reduce the number of full-time teaching positions. At the same time, instructors are being asked to adopt new or expanded outcomes-based policies and assessments, to redesign courses, and to move more of their sections online. It is no wonder that many of them are looking for ways to streamline the course preparation Read More…


Making a Difference in Computing Courses

An Interview with Cheryl Costantini, VP, Brand Management, Cengage Learning. When business productivity applications were first launched in the early 1980’s for the brand-new personal computers that had been introduced by companies like IBM, Compaq, DEC, and NEC, software was delivered in a box that contained a packet of floppy disks and two manuals – a references manual and a user manual. Most users learned how use the products on their own, with both manuals open on their desks, next to their computers. There were training classes available, but many professionals simply did not have time to attend classes. The Read More…


Elements of Effective Online Instruction

What does it take to be an effective online instructor? What technical skills must you master? What technologies should you use? If you find yourself asking these questions (or ones much like them), you’ll benefit from the insights that Ken Baldauf shares during this presentation recorded during Cengage Learning’s recent 18th Annual Course Technology Conference. Here, Baldauf — who has helped many of his colleagues at Florida State University bring their courses online, and has also taught numerous successful online courses himself — discusses the elements of an effectively run online course. To frame the conversation, he begins with a brief retrospective of various online tools, Read More…


Hot Technologies and Cool Applications for Your Classroom

Whether you teach history or human physiology, accounting or architecture, there’s a way for you to bring the latest technologies into your classroom in an engaging and entertaining way. In this presentation from Cengage Learning’s 18th Annual Course Technology Conference, Mark Frydenberg and Corinne Hoisington demonstrate how you can use a variety of technologies and applications to get your students involved in and excited about the topics you’re covering in class that day. You’ll see a variety of low- and no-cost tools that allow you to share and collaborate over online content, build dynamic timelines, create interactive images, “publish” your own Read More…


Strategies for Improving Student Retention Rates

It’s no secret that the issues of post-secondary student retention and persistence are areas of national concern. If you have been working in the field of education for any length of time, your institution has probably experimented with or implemented a variety of solutions designed to improve the retention rate for first-to-second year students, which currently hovers at approximately 72%, according to the most recent data from ACT®. If your institution believes – as many do – that retention is the job of everyone on campus, you may have explored or implemented an early warning and tracking system that collects Read More…


Creating a Learning Experience that Sticks with Students

“When we’re talking about relevance, we have to be thinking about making what we’re doing, or tying what we’re doing, to [students’] future.” — Christy Price “What we must understand is that we have to make the learning experience streamlined, we have to make it lean, we have to simplify it. Focus on the key things that you want your students to learn.” — Carey M. Roberts As an instructor, you likely encounter the frustration of distracted and passive students — as well as the thrill of seeing students become excited about and involved in what they’re learning. Undoubtedly, you have your Read More…


Using 3D Virtual Worlds to Improve Outcomes and Engagement

An Interview with Nicole Yankelovich, CEO of WonderBuilders, Inc., Executive Director of the Open Wonderland Foundation, and Visiting Scientist, Center for Educational Computing Initiatives, MIT. You probably know at least a few professors who have successfully integrated 3D virtual worlds, like those enabled by Second Life, into their courses. On the other hand, you probably know many more who have not yet taken that leap. Fortunately, the technology behind immersive 3D virtual environments continues to evolve, with new capabilities, toolkits, and applications that help to lower the bar for adoption within the education space. The Open Wonderland Foundation, launched in Read More…