As you review students’ final exams, read their papers, and get set to turn in your course’s grades, you’ve likely got your mind set on a well-deserved break.
But, as we’re all aware, the new term will be here soon! So, before you close the books on this term, save yourself some time by taking a few steps to get ready for the next term now.
To help you in the process, we recently asked Cengage Learning’s Digital Solutions Coordinators: What are your top tips for instructors who are either wrapping up the end of this term or preparing for the next term?
Below, we’ve shared their responses, which include time-saving course-prep and tech tips, as well as suggestions for getting your Cengage Learning digital solution ready for your next class full of students. These ideas will help you make a smooth transition into the next term!
Make the Transition to Next Semester a Breeze With These Tips from Cengage Learning Digital Solutions Coordinators…
“Extend out your course end date for grading purposes. You may still need access to grades after the course officially ends.”
“Have your students enter their school ID when registering. Will help with transferring grades from the product to the school.”
“Always download a copy of the gradebook in case a student has questions later (after the class has ended). And try to get prepared for next term as early as possible instead of waiting until the last minute.”
—Leigh Ann Goetz
“While preparing for next term, decide if you want a copy of your course for the next term. As long as it’s the same textbook and edition, you can create a course using a copy of the current course.”
“My tip for instructors who are wrapping up the end of this term and preparing for the next term would be to think about any changes they would like to make to their current course. If they like how everything is set up, we can easily copy the course for them.
If there are changes they would like to incorporate, we are happy to do that as well. The sooner we get the correspondence from them, the sooner we can have them prepared for the semester. This also leaves time for last minute changes before the chaos of the beginning of the semester.”
“1. Update your syllabus as early as possible to include the Spring dates, so anyone you give it to – whether it be the DSC, your students, etc. – will have a firm understanding of how the course is laid out over the term.
2. Think about what you may like to change regarding your Cengage digital course, and make a note. Schedule a time to speak with your DSC to make sure these changes are made for the new term.
3. If you’re using the same product, check with your bookstore early to ensure they have enough textbooks/access codes for the next term.”
“My top tips for instructors are:
1. Create a folder or get a flash drive that you can use to store questions you have had about your technology product throughout the semester. Also save and include any of the answers or documents that I have sent you as solutions to those problems. This way they will have an area they can refer back to for future semesters.
2. I suggest instructors take some time prior to the start of their class to go into their technology solution and explore; this way they can familiarize themselves with the product they will be using. Even returning users can be surprised or confused by new changes that have been added to our products.”
“Review the assignments in your gradebook to evaluate what assignments may need to be changed. For example, if students breeze through an assignment and score really high, you might add in a few more challenging questions for the new term. Conversely, if the majority of students struggle with a specific assignment, consider revising the content to include some questions that might have better guidance or additional examples.”
“I would just recommend thinking ahead of how you can use technology throughout your course. Do you want your students to read a chapter before class? Assess how much they know before a new unit? Use the technology available to your advantage! Maybe I’m biased, but there are some wonderful resources on the Instructor Companion Site as well as through our products. As a college student, I was more likely to complete an assignment online than paper, since I’m always on my phone or laptop anyway. From semester to semester, I would recommend instructors take a good look at what they’re teaching and demo their online courses ahead of time to see what engaging resources they can provide for their students. It is so much easier to implement technology into your course when you have a well thought-out plan rather than trying to squeeze it in before class starts at 9 a.m. I would also recommend taking advantage of the services DSCs offer- it’s so cool (even to me as a DSC) that as an instructor, I could have a MindTap or OWLv2 expert working with me to set up my entire course for me and my students. Don’t forget about that partnership!”
We hope you enjoyed these suggestions.
Want to get in touch with your Digital Solutions Coordinator? Find the help you need at the website for Cengage Learning’s Engagement Services.