All posts by Anastasia Salter

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Reasons to Open Source Your Syllabus


The Open Source Renaissance flickr photo by opensourceway shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

This semester I’m teaching a new graduate course prep. I always enjoy putting together a new syllabus, but graduate courses are particularly exciting: I always have more things I want to teach than can possibly fit into a semester. During my summer planning, I read and reread articles and gather possible materials, and consult the best reference of all: everybody else’s syllabus.

When I fi…

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Open-Thread Wednesday: After the Hurricane

If you were in the extensive path of Irma, like I was, then this week has probably changed drastically from what you imagined when you wrote this semester’s syllabus. My campus has been closed for classes since last Thursday, and won’t re-open for students until next Monday. In the great scheme of the impact of a tremendous storm like this one (or Harvey), the loss of instructional time is relatively minor, but it will present challenges for all of us faculty looking ahead to meet the learning …

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Open Thread Wednesday: After Submitting the Tenure Dossier


Fresh Minted Paper flickr photo by Zach_Beauvais shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

The start of the semester is full of beginnings: new classes, new students, new positions, new challenges. For some of us it’s also a time of transition. Faculty applying for tenure and/or promotion typically spend the summer preparing dossiers, and submit files at the end of summer, preparing for what can often be a nine-month process of waiting, commenting, and holding one’s tongue. I submitted …

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Weekend Reading: Fading Summer Edition


Sundial, Perranporth flickr photo by Tim Green aka atoach shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

Summer is moving quickly, especially for those of us with semester start times looming just around the corner in August. This is the time of year when deadlines on the calendar are definitely closer than they appear. I for one have found myself increasingly focused on the calendar, but it’s important to take a break and find time in summer for recovery and reflection. With that in mind, this …

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Open Thread Wednesday: What’s at the Bottom of your To-Do List?

Every few days of summer, I recopy my to-do list to a new page of my notebook (currently, a Moleskine Professional Notebook because I like the page layouts.) Jason wrote about addressing the challenges of unstructured summer time through careful to-do list management previously: he advised making use of regular reminders to keep important tasks in front of you. I’ve written in the past about my preference for physical to-do lists, but I find the very act of recopying is enough reinforcement for…

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Confronting Your Book Collection

While spring cleaning may be traditional, summer cleaning fits better with the academic cycle particularly as it tends to be a time of transitions: whether you are moving to a new institution, a new position, or just switching gears on a writing project, summer is an opportunity for addressing both physical and digital clutter. I’m in the midst of my summer cleaning now, but I’m at the point where things always fall apart: trying to reconcile my fixed set of shelf space with the number of books…

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Thinking Digital with External Review Materials

For many, the academic tenure process begins over the summer. Even if your institution’s internal review process and material submissions seem to be lurking months away in August or September, the process of preparing for and submitting materials for external review is likely already underway or on the summer to-do list. Just picking a list of external reviewers can be a challenge: Nels wrote a great post a few years ago discussing the process of selecting appropriate reviewers, and Karen Kelsk…

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Open Thread Wednesday: Online Class and Virtual Attendance Challenges

Like many of you, I’m in a moment of rapid transition, with spring semester grades barely posted and summer classes already underway. For students who are motivated by their graduation pace, funding, or other needs, summer classes are a great way to move forward: when I was an undergraduate I regularly embraced the format. As a faculty member I have more mixed feelings, particularly with the rising popularity of online summer classes.

This summer I’m revisiting a difficult format that I’ve onl…

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Review: The Interactive Past

I frequently write here about the potential for using games in the classroom, and I’m always on the lookout for interesting transdisciplinary engagement with this idea. So I was excited to see the recent open-access Sidestone Press release of The Interactive Past: Archaeology, Heritage & Video Games edited by Angus A.A. Mol, Csilla E. Ariese-Vandemeulebroucke, Krijn H.J. Boom & Aris Politopoulos. The project is interesting both as an academic approach (it was funded via Kickstarter) and as a co…

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Weekend Reading: Goodbye March Edition

I’ve been exchanging emails with a lot of fellow academics this week and we’ve commiserated over the difficulty of March. Whether you were on spring break or not, there’s something about this month and its placement in the already-fast spring semester that I always find dizzying. Here’s a few links to reading while catching one’s breath this weekend:

  • The University of Guelph Library is making fun use of one of my favorite tools, Twine, for a short interactive experience “Manage Your Research:…