Cengage Learning is pleased to announce our new Developmental Studies eSeminar Series. We hope you will join us and our knowledgeable presenters throughout the semester for one or more of the following free online seminars covering key issues and teaching strategies in developmental education. Use the links below to learn more about and register for our upcoming webinars.

Did you miss a session? Click on the session name below to watch it on-demand. Resources for these sessions are available here.

Developmental Studies eSeminar Series Archive

College Success

Creating a Powerful Syllabus: Doing What Works!

Christine Harrington, Middlesex County College

Date: Thursday, January 12, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Central, 11: 00 AM Mountain, 10:00 AM Pacific
Who Should Attend?: Faculty who want to put research findings into practice as they create powerful syllabi that can set the stage for a great semester.

During this engaging presentation, participants will learn what the research says about the purpose and power of the syllabus. Research based ideas on how to construct an effective syllabus will be shared. For instance, there will be a discussion about what type of information and what level of detail to include on the syllabus. Examples of syllabi will be used to illustrate points. Participants will walk away with practical ideas about how to use this important document to set the stage for a successful start to the semester.

Promoting Social Justice and Community Service: Inspiring 1st Year Students to Get Involved

Jeffrey Kottler, California State University – Fullerton

Date: Thursday, February 9, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Central, 11:00 AM Mountain, 10:00 AM Pacific
Who Should Attend?: First Year Experience Instructors

One goal of freshman classes is to inspire students to feel greater commitment to understand inequities and become involved in proactive efforts to make a difference in their communities, or in the world, through service to others, especially those who have been oppressed or marginalized. Noted psychologist, founder of an organization that involves students in social justice projects, and author of the text, Excelling in College: Strategies for Success and Reducing Stress), discusses ways that students can be encouraged to make service more of a priority in their college experience and future careers. Stories are shared of students working in a variety of projects, both locally and on a global scale.

Daddy, what will college be like when I grow up?

Constance Staley, University of Colorado – Colorado Springs

Date: Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Central, 11:00 AM Mountain, 10:00 AM Pacific
Who Should Attend?: College Success/Study Skills Instructors, Developmental Math Instructors, Developmental Reading Instructors, Developmental Writing Instructors, Department Chairs, and Deans and Other Administrators

Many of today's college faculty are watching trends and making predictions. How are our current students different from students in the past—and where are things headed? We're teaching in the midst of constant, rapid change. Just when you think you have good ideas for revolutionizing your classroom for today's learners, new possibilities present themselves—and challenges abound. According to time management expert Tony Schwartz, “Our lives have been divided into smaller and smaller increments of focus. We do more things than ever, but we’ve lost control of our attention.” Today’s students need to know but don’t want to be lectured, and in the view of many of them, reading and writing take far too much time—“Information is readily available; can’t we just learn however we’d like?” The question is: What will the future be like? Some experts warn that technology will overtake our curricula, co-opt our content, and compromise our focus. Others are excited by the opportunities technology offers us, not only as teachers but as learners. Regardless, we know that “Generation C” (connected, computerized, communicating, always clicking…) is challenging us in new ways, and future students will continue to do so. As their instructors, how can we meet these challenges—to insure their academic success and ours?

Creating an On Course Campus Culture

Sue Olesiuk, Ashville-Buncombe Technical Community College

Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Central, 11:00 AM Mountain, 10:00 AM Pacific
Who Should Attend?: College Success/Study Skills Instructors, Department Chairs

Can you infuse a culture of success into your college’s FYE, developmental, and gateway courses? How about into your campus? The answer is: Yes! We will break down what your college needs in order to get both students and staff “On Course” by building on Skip Downing’s proven strategies and the "Choices of Successful Students". Research shows that students’ affective skills are a determinative factor in college success. But which ones should your college choose to focus on to make a difference? Learn how to really speak the language of student awareness, emotional intelligence and responsibility! Frontline staff, advisors, and faculty can learn ways to create a consistent message of college success to move students from a “victim” to a “creator” role.

A Conversation About Brain Based Learning

Carolyn Hopper, Middle Tennessee State University

Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Central, 11:00 AM Mountain, 10:00 AM Pacific
Who Should Attend?: All Instructors interested in learning more about brain based learning

Brain based learning is using what we have discovered about the brain to develop strategies for using the way the brain works naturally. The core of academic success is for students to know enough about how their brains process information to successfully develop strategies for learning that work for them and most likely save time. I have found that when students understand some basic principles about how the brain processes information, the responsibility for learning shifts dramatically from being the instructor’s job to that of each student. With some basic knowledge students can build on strategies they already know work for them and discover why those strategies work. In this session we will examine three principles and discuss what we can do as instructors to employ those basic principles and what we can encourage our students to do. The principles apply to student learning whether it be in a math, history or writing class.

True Grit: Is Resilience Something We Can Teach?

Constance Staley, University of Colorado - Colorado Springs

Date: Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Central, 11:00 AM Mountain, 10:00 AM Pacific
Who Should Attend?: College Success/Study Skills Instructors, Developmental Math Instructors, Developmental Reading Instructors, Developmental Writing Instructors, Department Chairs, and Deans and Other Administrators

True grit. It’s the title of a famous novel and movie, but what does it have to do with today’s students? Grit is defined as “firmness of character; indomitable spirit; pluck: She has a reputation for grit and common sense.” Students with grit tough things out, despite huge obstacles that get thrown in their paths. Grit explains the difference between two students who fail the same calculus test but have very different reactions. One throws the exam in the trash can on the way out of the lecture hall and refuses to ever crack the textbook open again. The other vows to study differently and spend more time at it. “I’m not going to let calculus get the better of me. I’m going to take control of my learning so that it gets the best from me!” Join this e-seminar about helping today’s students develop true grit with FOCUS author Constance Staley.

Getting Students Engaged in Critical Thinking

Clay Austin, TeamUP Faculty Programs Consultant

Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Central, 11:00 AM Mountain, 10:00 AM Pacific
Who Should Attend?: College Success/Study Skills Instructors, Developmental Math Instructors, Developmental Reading Instructors, Developmental Writing Instructors, Department Chairs, and Deans and Other Administrators

Arum and Roksa’s (2010) book, Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, has again called instructors to promote in their students complex critical thinking skills instead of simple memorization. Yet some students in our developmental education and student success classrooms complain that critical thinking is boring and too hard. This session will help you simplify and energize critical thinking in your classroom. We will share ideas, examples, and activities to demonstrate methods that can be adapted for use with any subject matter to help develop students' critical thinking skills.

Developmental English

Teaching Students to Generate Strong Supporting Sentences in Argument Paragraphs

Bob Connelly, Santa Fe College
Julie Robitaille, Santa Fe College

Date: Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Central, 11:00 AM Mountain, 10:00 AM Pacific
Who Should Attend?: This presentation may help instructors who are looking for activities that will help students to develop strong supporting details or who want to use sentence combining activities that are relevant to students’ academic writing.

Often the paragraphs that developmental students write lack strong supporting sentences. We will present the form of the argument paragraph we teach and show how we encourage students to generate strong supporting sentences. Students are required to generate specific details for their supporting ideas and relate those details to the topic sentence. Because we require each supporting sentence to include both specific details and an explanation of how the details develop the topic sentence, students must combine their ideas by using coordination and subordination. The paragraphs they learn to write have lots of relevant detail, strong logic, and varied sentence patterns.

Developmental Reading Strategies: One Classroom, Four Distinct Students

Laura Meyers, TeamUP Faculty Programs Faculty Advisor

Date: Thursday, February 16, 2012
Time: 4:00 PM Eastern, 3:00 PM Central, 2:00 PM Mountain, 1:00 PM Pacific
Date: Friday, February 17, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Central, 11:00 AM Mountain, 10:00 AM Pacific
Who Should Attend?: Developmental reading Instructors

As developmental reading instructors, we are called to teach a diverse group of students in one classroom. This webinar will explore four different developmental reading students: the non-traditional student returning after years away from formal schooling, the English Language Learner trying to overcome the language barrier, the “18-year old, fresh-from-high-school” student, and the student coming from a Special Education background. Often, students fall into more than one of these categories. Interviews of students representing these groups will be shared to explore obstacles, experiences, and successes. Suggestions for classroom strategies and discussion will follow.

Designing and Teaching an Integrated Reading and Writing Course

Mitchel Burchfield, Southwest Texas Junior College

Date: Thursday, February 23, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Central, 11:00 AM Mountain, 10:00 AM Pacific
Who Should Attend?: College Success/Study Skills Instructors, Developmental Reading Instructors, Developmental Writing Instructors, Deans and Administrators

Institutions across the country are beginning to offer a combined reading and writing developmental education course. This webinar will show developmental educators how to construct an effective course that combines these two essential (and closely related) subjects. Participants will examine the rationale for offering this course and show how to combine the student learning outcomes from separate reading and writing courses into one course. The importance of addressing the affective domain in the construction and teaching of the course will be emphasized through the choice of reading selections and writing assignments. Handouts and sample syllabi will be sent to participants.

We Love Words: Engaging Students with Vocabulary

Susanne Picchi, Joliet Junior College
Margaret Richek

Date: Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Central, 11:00 AM Mountain, 10:00 AM Pacific
Who Should Attend?: College Success/Study Skills Instructors, Developmental Reading Instructors, Developmental Writing Instructors, Developmental Coordinators

Engaging students in their own vocabulary learning is extremely empowering. These vocabulary strategies can be used in any and all classrooms to help students master and become comfortable with higher-level language. Five time-efficient strategies include "million dollar words" to guide self-selection and writing, word associations for deepening knowledge, word grouping for awareness of alternative forms, word alive for building class participation and spirit, mystery word for context clues, and build-a-word for practicing classical word elements. Each one will be described and illustrated.

A Writing Teacher’s Toolkit: Six Surefire Strategies for Teaching Revision

Kiala Givehand, TeamUP Faculty Programs Faculty Advisor

Date: Thursday, March 15, 2012
Time: 4:00 PM Eastern, 3:00 PM Central, 2:00 PM Mountain, 1:00 PM Pacific
Date: Friday, March 16, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Central, 11:00 AM Mountain, 10:00 AM Pacific
Who Should Attend?: Developmental Writing Instructors

Teaching students to revise can seem like a daunting task in the developmental writing classroom. In this webinar, we will uncover six surefire strategies for teaching students to revise. No longer will we send students home to improve their writing, only to find that they simply typed a pretty paper. Let’s arm our students with the tools they need to write effectively in all areas of their life. This webinar will get you started.

Just How Important is the Topic Sentence?

Laraine Flemming

Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Central, 11:00 AM Mountain, 10:00 AM Pacific
Who Should Attend?: This session would be appropriate primarily for developmental reading instructors, although writing instructors debating the value of teaching about topic sentences might be interested as well.

While it might seem an unlikely source of controversy, the concept of the topic sentence can generate heated discussions in both reading and writing circles. There are those who feel that no decent paragraph would appear in public, either in print or on line, without one. While others argue that topic sentences are artificial constructs, which rarely show up in real world texts of any kind.

The object of this webinar is not to resolve the controversy in favor of one side or the other but to suggest that what we teach students about topic sentences can vary with the context. If we are talking about management texts, topic sentences just might be the main event. But if we are reading descriptions of historical events, particularly on line, they might play second fiddle more often than one might think. The emphasis of this webinar will be on providing examples of concrete practice materials along with text excerpts that illustrate how topic sentences can be flexible shape shifters, whose form and presence depend heavily on the context in which they appear.

Teaching Students to Identify and Correct Their Personal Error Patterns

Susan Fawcett

Date: Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Central, 11:00 AM Mountain, 10:00 AM Pacific
Who Should Attend?: College success/Study Skills Instructors, Developmental Writing Instructors, Department Chairs, Deans and Other Administrators, Writing Coordinators

Helping students eliminate their own grammatical errors is a tall order, as every English instructor knows. In this session, we will discuss factors that hinder or help the transfer of grammatical skills from exercises to students’ own writing and to other courses and tasks. The presenter will share tools and strategies to help students successfully recognize, track, and correct their personal error patterns.

Developmental Math

Tips for Teaching the Language of Algebra

Alan Tussy, Citrus College

Date: Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Central, 11:00 AM Mountain, 10:00 AM Pacific
Who Should Attend?: Faculty seeking a collection of strategies, suggestions, and visual aids used to increase your student’s ability to read, write, speak, and think using the language of algebra.

Algebra is a language in its own right. In this session, the presenter will share instructional techniques that can increase your student’s ability to read, write, speak, and think using the language of algebra. We will explore the important relationship between thought and language as detailed in the research of a famous educational psychologist. We will also discuss specific ways to improve student concept formation when you instruct them in the classroom and during office hours. You will take away a collection of strategies, suggestions, and visual aids that you can immediately put to use not only in your developmental classes, but in mathematics classes of all levels.

Establishing Foundations to Support Student Success

Richard Aufmann, Palomar College
Joanne Lockwood, Nashua Community College

Date: Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Central, 11:00 AM Mountain, 10:00 AM Pacific
Who Should Attend?: College Success/Study Skills Instructors, Developmental Math Instructors

This session is devoted to discussing several successful strategies we have used in Prealgebra through intermediate algebra to encourage concept development. We will offer suggestions for introducing concepts in a way that fosters thinking about a concept and relating it to concepts already learned.

Some of the exercises we recommend require the student to select the correct operation or to explain the meaning of an answer. We provide exercises to develop comprehension in percent problems, mixture problems, uniform motion problems, and work problems. We also have suggestions for projects that require the synthesis of several concepts.

How to Get Students to Succeed in Developmental Mathematics with Deep Understanding

Greg Cripe, Spokane Falls Community College
Peter Wildman, Spokane Falls Community College

Date: Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Time: 4:00 PM Eastern, 3:00 PM Central, 2:00 PM Mountain, 1:00 PM Pacific
Who Should Attend?: College Success/Study Skills Instructors, Developmental Math Instructors

Research has indicated that students who come to class prepared have a higher rate of success. Duh! But how can we get students to come to class prepared? The presenters have adopted some particular strategies that reward students for pre-class preparation. In particular, these models include the incorporation of reading questions, practice exercises, outlines and concept maps. Students who come to class prepared are then ready to be further engaged during the class period. The presenters will show how group activities can foster an active learning environment while promoting deep understanding. Not only will participants be presented with activities that stress the rule of four; verbal, numerical, graphical as well as symbolic models, participants will be shown effective strategies to utilize these materials.

The Changing Learning Experience: What Is My Role?

Dan Petrak, Des Moines Area Community College

Date: Tuesday, April 3 2012
Time: 4:00 PM Eastern, 3:00 PM Central, 2:00 PM Mountain, 1:00 PM Pacific
Who Should Attend?: Developmental Math Instructors, Department Chairs, Deans and Administrators, Faculty and Administrators Using Technology in the Classroom

The roles of the teacher and student are changing within today’s technologically enhanced learning environment. Web sites, intelligent homework systems, and other tools are creating a more customized learning environment face-to-face as well as online. As the traditional one size and one pace fits all instruction dies, Community College faculty may be left to wonder what their role is. This webinar will discuss some advantages and challenges the modern classroom poses for faculty and how these new roles can encourage higher levels of learning and interaction with students.

Developing Critical Thinking Through the Use of Real-Life Applications

Mark Clark, Palomar College
Cynthia Anfinson, Palomar College

Date: Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Central, 11:00 AM Mountain, 10:00 AM Pacific
Who Should Attend?: Developmental Math Instructors

What are students taking from our math class? What do we want them to transfer from their mathematics courses to their other classes on campus? Teaching our student math skills without helping them learn to think critically hinders them from applying mathematics in their future fields of study. By using real-life applications and asking students to explain what their results mean, we can help them develop their critical thinking and communication skills. This webinar will present several questions we can ask our beginning and intermediate algebra students to assess their ability to think critically as well as how to apply the math skills they learn to multiple areas in their lives.

Teaching Developmental Math? There's an app for that!

Rochelle Beatty, TeamUP Faculty Programs Program Manager

Date: Thursday, April 5, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Central, 11:00 AM Mountain, 10:00 AM Pacific
Who Should Attend?: Any instructor teaching developmental mathematics as part of any two or four year program

Come join us for a webinar that will explore some of the latest APPs available for Developmental Math. Whether you are new to the APP environment or are interested in knowing what APPs students might be using to promote success during their academic journey, this is definitely a session you don’t want to miss. Share your expertise with the group while learning how others are using this latest technology to engage students in Developmental Math.

Being There: Creating Presence in the Online Developmental Mathematics Classroom

Rochelle Beatty, TeamUP Faculty Programs Program Manager
Damon Givehand, TeamUP Faculty Programs Consultant

Date: Thursday, April 19, 2012
Time: 4:00 PM Eastern, 3:00 PM Central, 2:00 PM Mountain, 1:00 PM Pacific
Date: Friday, April 20, 2012
Time: 1:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Central, 11:00 AM Mountain, 10:00 AM Pacific
Who Should Attend?: Developmental Math Instructors

Consider the student who struggles with math basics, but whose best available option is online learning. The implications here are significant. Without the familiar face-to-face interaction, online education can be a daunting transition for any student. This webinar aims to address various aspects of teaching mathematics online. The focus will be on enhancing the instructor's presence as a means for increased student achievement; reviewing key elements of course content; creating authentic teacher and student connections; establishing effective grading and homework practices; and sharing tips for student success.