Higher Education Teaching: Tips for Better Student Engagement

Every higher education teacher is faced with challenges at some point when it comes to student engagement. From large lecture halls to online courses, there are various ways to lose students’ attention. However, there are also many strategies that teachers can use to regain and keep their students engaged throughout the course. This article will cover several helpful tips for improving student engagement, as well as why higher education teachers should consider getting a higher education teaching certificate to further their careers.

Signs of a Lack of Student Engagement

First, let’s discuss some common signs that may indicate a lack of student engagement in your course. If you notice any of the following, it’s possible that your students are not as engaged as they could be:

  • Students seem bored or uninterested in class
  • Students are frequently absent
  • Students don’t participate in class discussion
  • Students turn in late assignments or don’t complete them at all
  • Grades are slipping

If you notice any of these signs, don’t despair! Next, we’ll talk about why higher education students might disengage and how to get them back on track.

Challenges With Student Engagement

There are many reasons students might lose interest in a higher education course.

1.    Distractions

With the advent of technology, it has become easier for students to be distracted during class. Whether it is through their phones or laptops, students can easily access social media or other websites that are not related to the course material. In turn, teachers need to find ways to limit distractions in the classroom.

2.    Lack of Interaction

In some cases, students might feel like they are not interacting enough with the material or the teacher. If a course is solely lecture-based, it can be easy for students to tune out. On the other hand, if a course is too discussion-based, some introverted students might feel overwhelmed and unable to participate. Finding a balance between lecture and discussion is key to keeping all students engaged.

3.    Boredom

In some cases, students might simply be bored with the material. This can happen if the material is not presented engagingly or if it is not relevant to the student’s interests. Therefore, higher education teachers need to ensure that the material is engaging and relevant to their students.

4.    Administrative

There are also times when student engagement is affected by administrative issues. For example, when a course is cancelled or rescheduled can disrupt students’ learning. In addition, if a teacher is absent, it can be difficult for the students to stay engaged with the material. Students might also be confused about the course requirements or the grading scale. As a result, teachers need to be as organized and clear as possible when it comes to administrative issues.

5.    Motivation

All teachers will face students who are not motivated to learn. This can be for various reasons, such as the student’s personal life or level of interest in the material. As a result, teachers need to find ways to motivate their students.

6.    Non-School Related Issues

Sometimes, a lack of student engagement comes down to factors that are outside of the school’s control. For example, a student might be working a part-time job or taking care of a family member. As a result, the student might not have enough time to dedicate to their studies. In addition, a student might be experiencing personal problems that are affecting their ability to focus on their studies.

Now that we know what the main challenges to student engagement are, let’s take a look at some strategies for addressing them.

Better Student Engagement in Higher Education

There are many different ways that higher education teachers can make their courses more engaging for students. Some of the most effective strategies include:

Make sure your lectures are interesting and interactive

Lectures should be engaging and cover material that is relevant to the course. Students should feel like they are learning something new and important when they attend a lecture.

Use technology in your lectures

Technology can be a powerful way to engage students in lectures. For example, using PowerPoint presentations, video clips, or even simulations can help keep students interested in what you’re saying. Just make sure not to lean too heavily on technology, as it can be easy for students to get distracted by it.

Encourage student participation

When students participate in discussions or activities, they are more likely to stay engaged in the material. Asking questions, calling on students randomly, and giving them opportunities to work in small groups can all help with student engagement.

Get to know your students

If you take the time to get to know your students, they will be more likely to feel comfortable coming to you with their questions or concerns. Getting to know your students can also help you identify any early signs of disengagement so that you can address them quickly. Something as simple as calling your students by name can make a big difference.

Consider getting a higher education teaching certificate

A higher education teaching certificate can give you the skills and knowledge you need to be a successful higher education teacher. With a certificate, you’ll be able to learn about best practices for teaching, assessment, and student engagement.

Making time for one-on-one interaction

This can be done during office hours, in class, or even outside of class. If students feel like they can come to you with questions or concerns, they will be more likely to stay engaged in the course.

Creating a supportive environment

It’s vital that students feel like they are in a safe and supportive environment. This entails respecting  different opinions and backgrounds and creating an inclusive classroom where everyone feels like they belong. To create this environment, focus on building relationships with your students and creating a positive classroom culture.

By following these tips, you can create a higher education teaching environment that is more engaging for your students. Remember, student engagement is important for ensuring students succeed in your course. When you take the time to create a more engaging classroom, you can help your students reach their full potential.

Families, Advocates Call for Stricter Policies on Gun Sale and Manufacture

The latest mass murders in Illinois and Texas have sparked yet another round of rallies against gun manufacturers and retailers. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against the firearms industry, with many believing that accountability should begin with the retailers themselves.

To prevent massacres from occurring regularly in the country, the gun trade should be handled from the ground up.

Survivors of the July 4th mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, have filed an action against Smith & Wesson Brands.

The lawsuit was filed last week against the companies and other persons allegedly complicit in the attack, killing seven people and wounding 40 more. Meanwhile, survivors of the Uvalde, Texas, shooting have filed legal claims against the culprits.

During mass massacres, the gun business faces less liability under federal law.

While the cases will be complex due to the right granted by federal laws, many people, particularly victims, relatives, and advocacy groups, are optimistic that the frequent occurrences of mass shootings, albeit unfortunate events, will become a route for manufacturers and retailers to assume charge.

The cases are primarily motivated by the issue of the manufacturer’s sales and marketing strategies. Advocates argue that if the court finds in favor of the plaintiffs’ request to put more robust requirements on manufacturers, the circumstances will impact how Americans access and purchase firearms.

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The lawsuit and the plaintiffs

According to Eric Tirschwell, a firm director representing the complainants, one shooting suggested that the gunman had a collaborator in committing the crime.

Furthermore, the plaintiffs filed against Smith & Wesson Brands targeted the firm, claiming that the company’s marketing methods were dishonest and appealing “to the impulsive, risk-taking tendencies of civilian adolescent and post-adolescent males.”

The plaintiff’s case also named the distributor who cleared the sale of the Smith & Wesson pistol used by the suspect to kill the victims. If the court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, a jury trial and monetary damages will be ordered.

The victims of the Uvalde incident are prosecuting Daniel Defense, Firequest International Inc., and Oasis Outback for punitive damages. The accusations were filed in Texas’ Western District Court.

The complaint named not just the manufacturer and distributor of the firearms but also city, police enforcement, and school system officials. According to the statement, the officers’ flaws, both inside and outside the school, resulted in the deaths of 21 kids and instructors.

According to the lawsuit, the weapons maker sold the pistol to the shooter shortly after his 18th birthday. This was “reckless, deliberate, intentional, and needlessly endanger American children.”

“This is a company that chooses to stay ignorant of the harm they cause communities like Uvalde so they can continue to recklessly market their products and make millions.”

When asked for the shooter’s response, the defendant in the Highland Park case pled not guilty, whereas the Uvalde shooter died.

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The case goes a long way

The PLCAA, or Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, heavily protects gun manufacturers against crimes committed by consumers who use its products. The statute, approved in 2005, protects gun manufacturers from liability for shooting offenses involving their firearms.

Jake Charles, a weapons law expert, predicted that the battle against gun makers and dealers would be protracted and tough as a result of PLCAA.

“PLCAA is quite clearly the biggest boon to manufacturers and dealers in cases like these. It’s a strong shield against many types of claims arising from gun misuse,” he said.

The Nobel Peace Prize will be Awarded Again, Experts Keep an Eye for Possible Recipient

The Nobel Peace Prize will again be given this Friday in Norway. The prize is awarded in the face of the heated tension between Ukraine and Russia, marking it as the biggest war in Europe in over seven decades.

The continued pressure exerted by both countries against each other makes this year’s Nobel Peace Prize among the most important and complicated.

As a result, the Norwegian committee had difficulty selecting the individual who would receive one of the most coveted awards in the world.

To receive a Nobel Prize, especially during tumultuous times, is a big responsibility as it signifies hope and strength amid uncertainty.

Experts added that the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize would be unclear due to several factors.

Dan Smith, director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), said, “Sometimes, it’s hard to figure out who might get the prize because there are so many possible candidates.”

“This year, it’s hard to figure out who might get the prize because there’s so little good that is happening in the world of peace and security.”

Naturally, the Nobel Prize is very unpredictable, and anybody could be awarded the honors. Therefore, the selection board that screens the candidates for the accolade is kept secret.

Of course, experts in peace and security have people in their minds who might snatch the award, but even they are uncertain as the thought process of the selection committee is kept under wraps.

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The war in Ukraine and its impact

During the First and the Second World Wars, any candidate had not received the Nobel Peace Prize.

There are also certain instances that the prize was not given at all. However, historically, the Nobel prize was given in times when there was little hope or many countries were suffering due to conflict.

And with the current geopolitical conditions in Europe, the people who will select the recipient of the award would make a crucial decision.

The prize will symbolize peacemaking, and as such, it will weigh heavily inside their minds.

Among other individuals eyed by several experts are Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR). Both have considerably come in aid of people who needed help in times of need.

Volodymyr is a figurehead who defends his people amid assaults from Russia, while the commissioner is someone who has helped displaced people due to war.

“Zelensky is a war leader, and what is happening at the moment is war. You can admire or not admire the action he’s undertaking, but it’s about war and the armed defense of his country. That’s a fact that should be respected in and of itself,” added Smith.

“Hopefully, the war will come to an end, and they will make peace. If Zelensky or somebody else can contribute to making that peace, then there will be time to acknowledge that enormous achievement.”

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Kremlin critics might also be included

With Russia getting more criticisms for its brutal treatment of its smaller neighbor, experts predict that critics of Putin’s regime might be in line to get the Nobel Peace Prize. An example is Alexey Navalny, who has since vocally opposed Russia for its policies and war against Ukraine.

Navalny was imprisoned because of it. In 2020, he was poisoned and Navalny blatantly put the blame on the Russian government.

“Navalny, I think, is heroic, (but) he’s a political leader. It’s a prize that is to be awarded not for how great you are but for how great the things you’ve done are,” said Smith.

Another figure who might be in line to receive the Nobel prize is Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, an opposition leader in Belarus, who ran against a strong ally of Putin.

“Both Tsikhanouskaya and Navalny are vocal critics of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A shared Nobel Peace Prize between them would be seen as a clear protest of the Russian aggression and the assistance by Belarus, and as support of democratic and non-violent alternatives to Lukashenko and Putin.”


Asteroid that Wiped Out Dinosaurs Also Caused a Massive Tsunami that Swept the Earth, Research says

We learned in our elementary grade science lessons that the dinosaur extinction was brought about by a town-sized asteroid smashing our planet straight.

After the colossal space rock, which was around 8.7 miles or 14 kilometers wide, crashed in the area near the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico 66 million years ago, over 75% of all animal and plant life on Earth perished.

The results of recent research indicate that the asteroid may have also caused a worldwide tsunami in addition to damaging the location it struck.

The impact-related occurrences were sufficient to create the circumstances for many species to become extinct. For example, wildfires damaged flora and habitat, global temperatures spun out of control, and aerosol, soot, and dust were in the air.

Within 48 hours of its initial impact, the world’s tsunami—which dwarfs all tsunamis known to humankind—had reached the farthest points. Thousand times more powerful than tsunamis caused by earthquakes today, according to scientists, is the energy contained in the tsunami.

The American Geophysical Union Advances designed a model to chart the tsunami’s route by examining sediment cores in order to determine the scope of the damage and reach of the tsunami.

The research organization released the journal on Tuesday. This is the first simulation on the subject to be published in a scholarly publication after passing a peer assessment.

The research also noted that thousands of kilometers away from the impact site, the impact produced a wave with a height of several miles. So, the mega-tsunami entirely erased the sediment record that existed before and during the event.

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Molly Range, the lead author of the study, said, “This tsunami was strong enough to disturb and erode sediments in ocean basins halfway around the globe, leaving either a gap in the sedimentary records or a jumble of older sediments.”

Researchers studied the energy produced by the tsunami that slammed the Indian Ocean in December 2004 to put the event on an imaginable scale. Over 230,000 people died in what is thought to be the deadliest tsunami in recorded history.

In comparison to the Indian Ocean tsunami, the tsunami caused by the asteroid was 30,000 times more powerful. Its energy was also 100,000 times greater than that of the Tonga volcano’s eruption.

Determining the asteroid’s path

In order to simulate what happened in the first 10 minutes following impact, Brandon Johnson, the study’s co-author, employed a tool called hydrocode. Johnson estimated that the asteroid was traveling at a speed of 26,843 miles per hour, or about 43,200 kilometers per hour, when it neared the seas off the Yucatan peninsula.

A tsunami that was 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) tall may have been created when it struck the ocean due to its weight and force.

More powerful waves were formed by succeeding debris after the original asteroid, which caused them to travel hundreds of kilometers after impact.

A mile-high, ring-shaped tsunami traveling across the ocean and around 137 miles (or 220 kilometers) from the impact site followed the first 10 minutes, causing disaster to all people and property.

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The result

The Central American Seaway, South Pacific Ocean, and North Atlantic Ocean were identified to have the greatest underwater currents overall based on information gleaned from sediments discovered in various oceans worldwide. Conversely, the Mediterranean Sea, South Atlantic, South Indian Ocean and North Pacific currents were less intense.

“We feel these deposits are recording the effects of the impact tsunami, and this is perhaps the most telling confirmation of the global significance of this event,” said Range.

National Books Awards has Revealed Nominees for this Year’s Awarding Ceremony

The National Books Awards will recognize another batch of literature this year, and the contenders have already been revealed.

The event should highlight this year’s up-and-coming authors, while numerous others are making a comeback.

Yoko Tawada and her translator Margaret Mistutani, for example, were nominated for Translated Literature after winning the National Book Award in the same group in 2018.

Meanwhile, Gayl Jones, Scholastique Mukasonga, and Sharon Olds are among the nominees. Jones is nominated in the Fiction category for “The Birdcatcher,” Mukasonga in the Translated Literature category for “Kibogo,” and Olds in the Poetry Category for “Balladz.”

For their debut novels, writers Sarah Tess Gunty (The Rabbit Hutch), Alejandro Varela (The Town of Babylon), and Sarah Thankam Mathews (All This Could Be Different) were all included in the Fiction category.

The National Books Awards have also opted to reward all finalists in the Young People’s Literature Category, the organization’s first sort of effort.

Among the contenders is Tommie Smith, who is recognized not just as an athlete in the United States but also for publicly condemning racial discrimination during the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico.

The National Book Awards are gearing up and will share the winners on November 16 in New York City. Lifetime achievement awards will also be handed to Art Spiegelman and Traci D. Hall.

Hall is the American Library Association’s first African American female executive director.

The National Books Awards will also award the category winners monetary prizes totaling $10,000. The entire list of finalists and the books they have written is shown below.

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Tess Gunty, The Rabbit Hutch

Gayl Jones, The Birdcatcher

Jamil Jan Kochai, The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories

Sarah Thankam Mathews, All This Could Be Different

Alejandro Varela, The Town of Babylon



Meghan O’Rourke, The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness

Imani Perry, South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation

David Quammen, Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus

Ingrid Rojas Contreras, The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir

Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa, His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice

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Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, Look at This Blue

John Keene, Punks: New & Selected Poems

Sharon Olds, Balladz

Roger Reeves, Best Barbarian

Jenny Xie, The Rupture Tense


Translated Literature

Jon Fosse, A New Name: Septology VI-VII. Translated by Damion Searls

Scholastique Mukasonga, Kibogo. Translated by Mark Polizzotti

Mónica Ojeda, Jawbone. Translated by Sarah Booker

Samanta Schweblin, Seven Empty Houses. Translated by Megan McDowell

Yoko Tawada, Scattered All Over the Earth. Translated by Margaret Mitsutani


Young People’s Literature

Kelly Barnhill, The Ogress and the Orphans

Sonora Reyes, The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School

Tommie Smith, Derrick Barnes and Dawud Anyabwile, Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice

Sabaa Tahir, All My Rage

Lisa Yee, Maizy Chen’s Last Chance

Netflix to Open New Gaming Studio, Aims to Strengthen its Mobile Gaming Arm

Netflix has come a long way. From mailing DVDs to producing entertainment materials, then becoming the leading streaming company in the whole world. But it seems like Netflix is not done yet. The company is gearing to make another breakthrough, this time in gaming.

Netflix announced on Monday that it will be furthering its venture into mobile gaming and will build the company’s first in-house game in Helsinki, Finland.

The facility will spearhead the creation, development, and enhancement of Netflix games which will be launched as soon as possible.

After the streaming giant suffered massive losses during the last fiscal cycle, the company hopes to retain its subscribers and attract new customers with the new facility.

However, this year, Netflix saw a 60% plunge in its stocks for the first time in a decade. The financial crisis faced by Netflix can be attributed to the broader national and global economic downturn.

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A long-term plan

An analyst from D.A. Davidson, Tom Forte, said that the decision Netflix made puts them on an offensive side than a defensive one, which ought to benefit the company should its gaming department be successful in its undertakings.

“To Netflix’s credit, they’re a long-term thinker. If you think about their pivots, the DVDs to streaming, they think long-term, and they act long-term,” said Forte.

Forte explained that Netflix understands that the gaming industry will become the main focus of the 21st century.

People are now spending more time playing and streaming video games, which is why Netflix saw the need to penetrate the industry. Moreover, Netflix-themed games could also be used to market the productions created by the streaming platform like Stranger Things.

The team behind the gaming department

The Netflix gaming studio will be under the supervision of the company’s VP of Game Studios, Amir Rahimi, and a gaming veteran Marko Lastikka.

“This is another step in our vision to build a world-class games studio that will bring a variety of delightful and deeply engaging original games — with no ads and no in-app purchases — to our hundreds of millions of members around the world,” said Rahimi.

According to the VP, the area they chose was Helsinki because it is supposedly the place of the best game talent in the world.

While the team is building the department from scratch, they are confident that given enough resources, they will be able to build an empire not to be reckoned with.

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Once completed, the gaming studio in Helsinky will be Netflix’s fourth gaming studio. It has already acquired Next Games, Night School Studio, and Boss Fight Entertainment. All of which have helped Netflix rake in consumers for its 32 games, which have been downloaded around 30 million times.

Netflix games are available for mobile devices running on Android and iOS. Tables, phones, iPhones, iPads, and iPods could download the games, with themes varying from each other such as “Stranger Thing:1984” and “Hextech Mayhem: A League of Legends Story.”

The new gaming studio will soon open. However, Rahimi said that they would take small but careful steps to help the facility grow and become a global player in terms of mobile gaming.

“It’s still early days. Creating a game can take years, so I’m proud to see how we’re steadily building the foundation of our games studios in our first year, and look forward to sharing what we produce in the coming years,” he said.