All posts by Anastasia Salter

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Preparing to Teach a Large Online Course

With increased pressure on classroom spaces, many departments are moving courses online. I’ve written here at ProfHacker about teaching online previously, but in that past experience I was teaching a very small synchronous online course. While late-night video chats have their own challenges, that course gave me plenty of opportunities to hear directly from each student and encourage collaboration and discussion. This fall, I’m embarking on an online course on a far different scale: I’m teachin…

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Teaching a Class Again


We never teach the same course twice. Some of the changes are out of our control: new students, new classroom, new time. A move from early morning to late at night can change the whole feel of a topic, while a group of students with strong camaraderie might take on collaborative assignments very differently from a group that includes many non-traditional students or a range of disciplines. And of course when technology is involved, the foundations are likely to shift every semester: even when I…

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Ends of Electronic? A Report from ELO2015

I spent last week at the Electronic Literature Organization Conference 2015, a gathering of scholars interested in work that plays with technology towards literary ends. The international festival is always a showcase of both scholarly and artistic work, and thus never fails to provide me with inspiration for next year’s projects. This year, as “electronic literature” in various forms has been going undeniably mainstream, some of the questions raised at the conference hold particular resonance …

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3 Tips for Taking Stock When Summer’s Vanishing

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The rhythms of academia depend on the summer lulls, even though plenty of us spend them working whether teaching, taking summer classes, or performing administrative roles. While there’s been plenty of discussion on the still-common misconception that academics have summers off, the fact remains that summers lure us in to a different pace. That pace often comes with mile-high expectations of summer productivity, as those of us lucky enough to have time “off” from teaching turn to other projects…

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Report on Games and Learning from GLS11

Last week, I was fortunate to attend the Games+Learning+Society conference at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The conference brings together interdisciplinary scholars, designers, and other practitioners working with games for learning, and thus is a great space to find new inspiration for experiments and games in the classroom.  Just a few highlights of the conference included:

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Making an Impact with Games?

I’ve written a lot about using and making games for the classroom here at ProfHacker, as while games and learning have been around for a long time our ability (and interest) in realizing their potential is on the rise. One of the continuing challenges for bringing games into education is assessing the impact of games on learning. Often, it’s hard even to agree on what we want games to accomplish: are we most interested in raising student engagement? Reaching learners who are alienated by tradit…

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Starter Exercises for Interactive Storytelling


When we think about bringing interactive fiction into the classroom we often focus on the technology. I’ve written here about using accessible tools such as Twine, Twine 2.0, Inform 7, and Inklewriter to create everything from games to interactive essays and digital humanities projects. Bringing in software of this type can be a great way to transform an assignment and add procedural literacy outcomes to a range of disciplines. However, before we get into the technology, we need an idea. Here …

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Open Thread Wednesday: Summer Travel Abroad

I’ve been very fortunate this summer to spend a lot of time traveling, both for conferences and research.

Here are a few of the things I’ve changed now that I’m more accustomed to international travel:

  • Buy a data plan. I wrote a couple of years ago about the challenges of traveling abroad without a data plan. While some countries are fantastic for WiFi access, many locations worth visiting simply require the investment of a data plan for peace of mind and, more importantly, navigation. Many of…
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Re-evaluating the Risks of Public Scholarship


Last week I attended the HASTAC Conference, an interdisciplinary conference from the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (one of the oldest and most active academic social networks around). HASTAC is dedicated to public scholarship: many of its initiatives are based around blogging and sharing ideas through the social network, and the conference included livestreaming many sessions for a virtual conference, with a very active Twitter feed supported by designated…

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Weekend Reading: End of May Edition


As May draws to a close and many of us are settling into summer routines, it’s a great time to take stock of the state of the profession and think about what challenges we can prepare for in the coming school year. This week’s articles take a look at some ongoing debates in the profession.

With many of us at ProfHacker advocating or practicing some level of public scholarship, it can be valuable to learn from the experience of academic “celebrity.” Claire Potter reflects on her experiences buil…