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 time, and taking personal responsibility. These attitudes are largely informed by the learning experiences they had in high school, which, in turn, shape the expectations they bring to your college classroom.

To help you address these expectations in your own course, Amer outlines a number of strategies for bridging the gap between the attitudes and habits that students currently hold, and the skills they’ll need in order to achieve academic success. She also describes some specific tools that have helped her students become more engaged in the learning process.

What new strategies for engaging students did you gain from Amer’s presentation? Do you have any additional suggestions? Share your ideas below. 

Beverly Amer is on the faculty of the W. A. Franke College of Business at Northern Arizona University, where she has taught computer information systems, management information systems, and accounting courses to thousands of students over the past fourteen years. Her passion is helping students connect their classroom learning experiences to professional work and business environments.