In recent years, you’ve likely seen that your institution is paying increased attention to student retention rates. In fact, if you are like many instructors, you have been tasked with identifying specific ways you can address this issue in your course and on your campus.

At Cengage Learning’s recent 18th Annual Course Technology Conference, Sandy Keeter and Melinda White shared their creative best practices for increasing retention, participation, and student success in their online Office Applications course. In this video, you’ll see them discuss the benefits of team teaching in the online environment, as well as ways that retention specialists, tutors, and embedded librarians can work with you and your students to support course goals. They illustrate their points with specific examples of how they maximize use of their course learning management system and chosen technology solutions (including Cengage Learning’s SAM) to manage assignments and discussions, monitor cheating, provide feedback, and facilitate the grading process — all elements that lead to increased student success.

Attendees of the session also offered their best practices for teaching in the online environment. We’d also like to extend that invitation to “virtual attendees” such as yourself! Provide your ideas in the comments section below, or e-mail them to thinktank@cengage.com.


Sandy Keeter is a Professor in the IT Department at Seminole State College in Florida, where she teaches a variety of Office Applications classes. She is the SAM administrator on campus and is a Cengage Learning Technology Power User. Read additional teaching suggestions from Sandy Keeter in our post Using Text Messaging in Your Mobile Technology Learning Plan.

Melinda White has over 25 years experience working with computer technology. She is the Program Manager for Computer Programming and Applications and teaches Introduction to Computer Programming and Office Applications courses at Seminole State College in Florida.

Watch additional presentations from the 18th Annual Course Technology Conference — and more — at Cengage Learning’s YouTube channel.