Tag Archives: pedagogy


From the Archives: Using Twitter

robinThe essential ProfHacker introduction to Twitter is Ryan’s appropriately titled post, How to Start Tweeting (and Why You Might Want To). He covers all the basics, including creating your profile, using lists, and following hashtags. But we’ve written quite a few other posts about this popular social media platform:

Making the Most of Twitter

Erin’s primer on Choosing #Hashtags explains how to make the most of this feature of Twitter.

I wrote about Using Twitter Lists to streamline your reading e…


How to Jump Start a Flagging Discussion Class

jumper cables

If you teach a discussion-based course, you know that sooner or later, there comes a day when you notice that your students’ once-enthusiastic participation seems to have vanished. You can’t know exactly when that day might happen (though flu season and midterms both can be influential factors) so you will have prepared your course material and in-class activities as you always do. And nothing you try to do seems to be working. So what do you do next? Here are a few strategies I think of as aki…


Livetweeting Classes: Some Suggested Guidelines

livetweeting1At ProfHacker, we’ve written a lot about using Twitter in the classroom. Mark has written a framework for teaching with Twitter; Ryan about disposable Twitter accounts for classroom use; Erin on choosing hashtags. I’ve used Twitter in the classroom for some pretty successful assignments; particularly in the case of live tweeting films (see one of my previous assignments here). Unlike the typical passive viewing sessions, live tweeting allows instructors to directly engage in the student’s lear…


Open Thread: Are Closed Book Exams Still Relevant?

Skilled_and_unskilled_laborers_taking_the_TVA_examination_at_the_highschool_building,_Clinton,_Tennessee.-_-_NARA_-_532813Knowledge is changing. In the world of print knowledge, internalized knowledge of facts once signaled expertise. But in the age of smartphones, Google and Wikipedia, this knowledge is now at our fingertips. How important, then, is it for our students to have this knowledge memorized?

Does this change our notion of what constitutes “learning”? Are closed-book exams, the mainstay of print knowledge, still useful? Professionals rarely have to undertake closed book exams in real life. Lawyers co…


Learning How to Teach History in a Digital Age

Cover of Teaching History in a Digital AgeYou only have to read a few of Mills Kelly’s posts at his blog Edwired to pick up on his overarching argument: historians should pay as careful attention to scholarship on teaching as they do to the scholarship in their fields of research. There is a growing body of “Scholarship on Teaching and Learning,” demonstrating, for example, that lecturing is the least effective method of teaching. Kelly contends that historians “have remained stubbornly ignorant of the history of teaching and learning i…


Making Scientists: Some Assembly Required

science lab[This is a guest post by Jeremy Yoder, a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Plant Biology at the University of Minnesota. You can find him online at Denim and Tweed, or follow him on Twitter at @jbyoder.--@JBJ]

One of the quirks of academic science is that earning a graduate degree in science doesn’t necessarily prepare you for teaching, which is one of the principal things one does after earning a graduate degree in science. Graduate school is pr…


Reacting to the Past: An Open Game Based Pedagogy Workshop at Duke, January 19-20

In June this year, I found myself screaming at the Ming dynasty Emperor Wanli for wanting to anoint his third born son in place of the first born. For all my remonstrations, I was executed as a Confucian martyr on the next morning. The following day, I entered a chaotic meeting between illustrious American citizens desperate to uphold slavery and a team of Abolitionists. All in all, in the last week I travelled between five centuries in a matter of four days.

I was not in a time machine. I was a…


Announcing Three Digital Workshops at the 2013 MLA

Boston MBTA train outside Boston Garden[This is a collaborative post written by Brian Croxall, Ryan Cordell, and Adeline Koh.–@bc]

As of this week, registration for the 2013 MLA Convention has begun. While there is always lots to do at the convention, we want to draw your attention to three associated events that you may want to sign up for as well.

1. A Digital Pedagogy Unconference

If you would like to talk with other people working in the modern languages about different methods, philosophies, or assignments for integrating digita…


The Cure for Thinking is Work

Men at Work SignIf you’re a scholar or student in the humanities and you’re having trouble making progress on that latest article or essay you’re supposed to write, chances are that you’re thinking too hard.

What? Thinking too hard?

Yes, thinking too hard. Thinking is the bane of our existence in the humanities, rooted in Romantic visions of the lone and misunderstood genius, conjuring thoughts of philosophical profundity out of nothingness. If that’s how scholarly discourse truly proceeded, we’d have thousands…


Keeping Up With Online Assignments and Grading

Busy!One of the best parts of of being a union president is that you get invited to new faculty orientation and similar events every year, so you get to meet new colleagues from all over campus. This year, at lunch, the topic of discussion at my table eventually turned toward learning management systems vs. roll-your-own assignments. New part-time faculty often have the experience of having to juggle multiple LMS platforms–one for each campus or system–every semester, which isn’t fun or efficient.