All posts by Natalie Houston

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Why I Record my Conference Presentations

record stop buttons

While I was attending the ADHO Digital Humanities conference this summer, I wound up talking with several people about the shifts we’ve noticed in presentation styles within our respective disciplines. Although presenter habits vary by discipline, by field, and by conference, in my own fields of literature and digital humanities I’ve certainly noticed a shift away from the reading of written papers towards a more flexible presentation style, often accompanied by projected slides.

Back in the pr…

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From the Archives: Creating Syllabi

We’ve written quite a lot at ProfHacker about syllabus and course design. Check out 2010’s Archives post or the many posts tagged with syllabus or syllabi. This roundup of posts focuses on the basics of syllabus creation.

What Do You Need to Do?

  • In a previous Archives post on Syllabi and Course Design, I said

    Keep in mind, the first rule of productivity is “don’t fix what’s already working.” If you’re satisfied with the assignments, policies, and course plans you’ve used before,…

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On Deadlines

hourglass wrought iron

Some hard (and sometimes hard-won) truths about deadlines, academic and otherwise:

Some deadlines are really, truly, firm. And some are not.

Some deadlines come with negative consequences for not meeting them in a timely fashion. Some do not.

Some negative consequences take physical or visible forms, such as late fees, delayed diplomas, or cancelled accounts. Some negative consequences are psychological and emotional, such as feelings of embarrassment, guilt, or shame.

Deadlines and their flexi…

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Your Information Diet

cutlery

How’s your diet these days? Many people find the summer months to be a good time for making some healthy adjustments to their eating patterns, whether that means eating more fresh vegetables, eating more regular meals, or trying new recipes or cooking methods.

Just as the foods we eat affect the strength, health, and overall well-being of our physical body and brain, the information sources we absorb can affect our attention, emotional state, and mental well-being.

In a recent blog post entitle…

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Make Tomorrow Better, Today

sunrise

There are plenty of good suggestions out there about how to create new habits, how to make the most of your mornings, and how to balance your energy for optimal performance. (And we’ve even written a few of these ourselves here at ProfHacker.)

But today I just want to say that you don’t need to read another book or blog post about how to process your email or what to eat or when to do the things on your to-do list.

You already know what helps you be the best version of you.

So right now, just s…

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Tools I Use: Online Noise Generators

fans

We’ve written before at ProfHacker about choosing your playlist to change your life, about creating a soundtrack for the semester, about choosing songs for the pace of your desired daily run, and about noise-cancelling headphones when you just want silence.

But sometimes you don’t want either music or silence, but just the right sort of background noise. Many people love Coffitivity, a site (and also mobile app) that offers the background noise typical of a coffee shop. Although I often work re…

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Back to the Basics: the Urgent/Important Matrix

four cubs

(This post is the second in an occasional series revisiting classic productivity methods and tools. See the first post, Back to (GTD) Basics: The Two-Minute Rule)

One of the productivity tools that Stephen R. Covey has made well known in books like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and First Things First is a four-quadrant matrix that visualizes the four possible combinations of Urgency and Importance:
Continue reading

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From the Archives: On Grading (II)

A stack of papers

Grading student assignments is a significant feature of many academics’ workload, especially as the end of semester nears. In the years since our first round up post, From the Archives: On Grading we’ve written quite a few useful posts about grading philosopies, tools, and approaches:

Philosophies and Methods

In Cross-Disciplinary Grading Techniques, Heather wrote about adopting humanities methods for grading open-ended assignments to her physics courses.

Ryan writes about how he can Avoid ‘Gra…

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How to Easily Schedule a Meeting Across Time Zones

Online communications tools such as Skype and Google Hangouts can make scholarly collegiality and collaboration more personal than email-only relationships. But what isn’t always easy is scheduling the time for phone calls or online meetings, especially when you’re collaborating across several time zones.

International meetings can be particularly difficult to schedule, especially since different countries perform their seasonal clock adjustments (like Daylight Savings Time) on different dates.

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From the Archives: All About Games

Sorry board game

From playing games, to teaching with games, making your own games, and even gamifying your email — the ProfHacker archives have a lot to offer when thinking about games.

Games in the Classroom
Anastasia has written a very thorough series of posts on Games in the Classroom:

  1. Part 1 explains that games can help students through exploring content through new or multiple points of view, learning through making, and collaboration.

  2. Part 2 explains how and where to discover games that you might wan…