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Beginning of semester pulse check!


Now that the Fall semester is in full swing, it's time for me to do a quick "pulse check" to see how things are going! I hope that you're enjoying your classes and your students so far, BUT from my own teaching experience I know each semester comes with it's own unique set of challenges. New courses, new students, new course materials, new administrators...just to name a few! Change is good but it can also be overwhelming.


Please feel free to share any of the challenges you're currently facing. We have so many amazing instructors with varying levels of experience in this community, and sometimes it helps to have a sounding board of others who "get it." Perhaps one of your colleagues can provide some strategies that can help.


This forum is a great place to start with any questions or concerns, but don't forget about the many resources Cengage provides in addition to the community! There are instructor manuals, training videos, and other useful materials posted on our website and within your course products. Your learning consultant is always ready and willing to help, so please feel free to reach out to him/her with any questions or concerns. If you or your students experience any technical problems you can get excellent support through Of course, if you're not sure where to go for help you are always welcome to email me and I can point you in the right direction!


My biggest challenge is dealing with the students who know that the CompTIA A+ 1000 series exams are about to launch, but don't really understand how the exam release and retirement system works.  Some fear that their 900 series certifications will expire as soon as the 1000 series releases, not understanding the 3-year expiry and renewal cycle work either.

I have discovered that simply providing them the link to the CompTIA website that explains is all is not helpful.  about 2/3 of them will still be confused until I more-or-less read it to them.  This frustrates me not because of the students' failure to know in advance but because our K-12 system is so broken that they cannot read, understand, and comprehend for themselves.  This isn't just an issue with my ESL students.  In fact, my ESL students often read better than my native English speaker students.


Just getting into my course and getting started is half the battle for many of my students, but things are going surprisingly well and we're already at week 5!


@Sandy_Keeter, cool beans!  We are also starting Week 5.