by

Five Ways to Say No

say no to yes Do you ever find yourself attending an event or participating in a project that you don’t really have time for, aren’t interested in, or won’t benefit from in some personal or professional way? It happens to all of us. It can usually be traced back to that moment when you agreed to do the project, or attend the meeting, even though you already knew you didn’t want to. Or maybe you did think you wanted to attend – it seemed like a reasonable thing to do, or you wanted to support the person or gr…

by

Suggested Edits in Google Docs

Suggesting edits in Google DocsSince ProfHacker first launched (can it really be five years ago?), we’ve written numerous posts referencing Google Docs. One of my own earliest posts dealt with using Google Docs in my writing course when portfolio readers might still need paper copies of students’ work, and Ryan’s written about using it to run a peer-review writing workshop.

Google Docs remains an excellent tool for working with students on their writing skills, and in late June, Google added a new feature that makes it even m…

by

Google Classroom: First Impressions

13083732955_007e5ce4de_z The new learning management system (LMS) offered to Google Apps for Education users has recently become fully available: Google Classroom. In its current early incarnation, the option may be attractive for instructors who are not currently using an LMS and want to give one a try, but only if they are already using the Google Apps for Education or have a registered domain that they can configure for its use.

Once Google Classroom app has been added to your account and a class has been setup, the…

by

From the Archives: the First Week of the Academic Term

Classroom The ProfHacker archives are full of useful ideas, tools, and advice relevant to the first week of a new academic semester or quarter. In addition to the posts highlighted below, you may want to check out some previous From the Archives posts on New Semester, New Year, Creating Syllabi, and Grading.

Teaching: the first week

  • Brian’s So Now You’re A Teacher is aimed at new instructors, but contains useful reminders for anyone heading back into the classroom.

  • The ProfHacker team assembled a li…

by

Weekend Reading: August & Everything After Edition

7976509870_fd12524842_z As summer, for many of us, speeds towards its inevitable end, I am reminded of the ebb and flow that marks this time of year: the daylight has begun waning sooner, and our daily habits and patterns will shift (or may have already shifted) to accommodate the demands of a new term, a different course, the same course but on a different day, new or returning service work, and the everyday responsibilities of family, friends, and our own selves.

Like many of you, over the last two weeks, I’ve becom…

by

Five Things That Helped Us Survive Summer 2014

summer field

With the new academic season right around the corner, the ProfHacker team thought we’d share some of the things that we found especially useful, enjoyable, or interesting during the Summer months.  We hope you’ll find something useful or entertaining for the months ahead, especially since the weather will stay warm in many places for a few weeks. (You may also want to check out our 2010 and 2011 Things That Helped Us Survive Summer posts.) Let us know your favorite summer items in the comments…

by

Citing Syllabi

5167905071_e42568a44f_zMy first experience in the syllabi bakery was years ago while doing some tech support for a certain well-known scholar. She was staring at the beginnings of a reading list on her office computer while I tried to restore a dead laptop. Suddenly, she jumped to her feet and began to browse through her impressive collection of books, ‘Agency,’ she mumbled, ‘I need to assign something on agency.’ The professor was still on a search for agency when I left.

Wow, that looks hard, I thought. Having read …

by

Open Thread Wednesday: Tips for a New Campus

7976036483_96c0559ddb_k For most of us, the start of the semester is either underway or looming just around the corner. For those who, like me, find themselves on a new campus this fall, this new beginning is even more dramatic. There are many posts from the archives with ProfHackers offering advice to newcomers on campus: Brian wrote an open letter to new graduate students; Billie offered advice to first-time professors; Jeffrey addressed new departments chairs; and Nels offered tips for the newly-tenured. Taking on …

by

Back to School Supplies

binder clips

Part of getting ready for the new academic year involves stocking up on necessary supplies. Some of the suggestions we’ve covered before at ProfHacker include:

As I’ve mentioned previously, as a child I always loved getting the list of required sch…

by

On Politeness as a Strategy

5606052734_abf32d20c8_b
Despite its fondness for elaborate rituals, higher education really isn’t all that polite. Every campus has its faculty or staff member(s) who are notoriously fractious and hard to work with, and, more generally, higher education doesn’t really select for “playing well with others.” (Indeed, if you Google “academic decorum,” a result on the first page includes musings on whether creativity and collegiality are truly compatible.) Higher education’s traditional employment practices can mean that …