Category Archives: Teaching

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Do Your Students Take Good Notes?

Whether — and how — students take notes in class is an evergreen topic in discussions of teaching and learning. Unfortunately, I often find myself frustrated and annoyed when I’m explaining something in class and look out at a room full of students who are, admittedly, paying attention to what I’m saying but writing down not a single thing in their notes. Frustration and annoyance do not make for good pedagogy, though, and my off-the-cuff comments in response to this particular student behavior…

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Discriminatory Design in Education and Educational Technology

Anti-homeless bench with armrests

Twice this week I have seen images of these benches. Public benches that have dividers or armrests. These are what Mike Caulfield called “hostile design” because they implicitly prevent homeless people from sleeping on these benches and therefore pass on a social message and enforce particular behavior. Ruha Benjamin in her ISTE 2016 keynote called it something I find more accurate: discriminatory design. Because we all recognize that the design is not hostile to everyone. It is only hostile to…

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Haiku Deck Introduces “Classroom” Option

Back in June of 2013, I wrote a brief post about Haiku Deck, which at the time was simply a free iPad app for creating and showing presentations. In the last 3 years, Haiku Deck has evolved to include web-hosted presentations (and the ability to create presentation through a web-based interface). Unfortunately, if you want to be able to create more than 3 presentations you’ll now have to pay. The most affordable option is signing up for a “Pro” account for $10 a month (though teachers and stude…

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LibGuides: Best Use Scenarios?

I’ve always been kind of ambivalent about LibGuides (and similar tools for helping people navigate topics in the library). If you’re not already familiar with LibGuides, here’s a quick definition courtesy of the Library Success wiki: “A LibGuide is a content management and publishing system created by SpringShare. Libraries may use LibGuides to create subject guides, course guides, information portals, or research help pages to name a few.” You can find many examples across a wide range of topi…

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Tips for Inclusive Teaching

puffin comes out from hiding under a rock

[This post is co-authored with Steve Greenlaw. Steve is a Professor of Economics at the University of Mary Washington, where he is still learning to teach after 30+ years in higher ed.  He blogs at http://pedablogy.stevegreenlaw.org and tweets at @sgreenla.

For context, we both teach at liberal arts institutions so our class sizes are usually between 15-35 students.
]

It started with a blogpost Maha wrote about how we often reproduce marginality in open online spaces. This got Steve thinking abo…

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Re-Thinking Students’ Community Involvement and Education

Recently I’ve been reading about the LEAP (Liberal Arts and America’s Promise) Challenge from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU). Writing in a recent issue of the AACU’s Liberal Education, organization president Carol Gear Schneider explains that “The key concept at the center of the LEAP Challenge is that all college students need to prepare to contribute in a world marked by open or unscripted problems—problems where the right answer is far from known and where sol…

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How to Use YouTube Live Streaming for Free Lecture Capture

photo of sign

[This guest post by Timothy A Lepczyk also also appeared on his own blog, Eduhacker, today. --@JBJ]
When I first heard that Google was discontinuing Hangouts on Air, I panicked. However, that was unwarranted. Hangouts on Air is moving to Youtube Live and you can still use it as a free lecture-capture solution, while saving your institution $20K+ at the same time.

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If you’ve used Hangouts on Air before, then you already have a Youtube Channel. If not, then you’ll need to create a channel. Once y…

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Scheduling 101: Using Calendly for Student Appointments

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Over the years at ProfHacker we have discussed several different tools for scheduling student appointments, including Doodle, Acuity, and ScheduleOnce (as well as some other tools that no longer exist).

When I recently scheduled a meeting with a colleague, I learned about Calendly, which immediately impressed me with its clean, appealing design and simple scheduling process. Like other online scheduling tools, Calendly lets you set times when you will be available for meetings and lets users pi…

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Considerate Collaboration: Google Docs

Bee about to land on flower

A large portion of the work I do exists on Google Docs – whether working on internal documents within my department, for committees, within my classes, or collaborating online to co-author articles, organize events, or provide feedback to other writers. Over time, I realized that just because many people can use Google Docs does not mean they are always considerate in the ways they collaborate on Google Docs. Here are some tips on some areas I feel collaborators (whether peers, or teacher/stude…

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Student-Centered Design Within an LMS

Last year, I started teaching large online courses for the first time. While teaching online still has a lot of limitations and challenges, I’ve enjoyed approaching it as a design problem, and I’ve been trying to improve my online course materials every semester. Updating material isn’t just a matter of refreshing content: I recommend using each new class as an opportunity to check your organization, clarity, and menu design. Here are a few of the strategies I follow when trying to take a stude…