Category Archives: Teaching

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Sharing Learning with Working Examples


One of my favorite parts of writing for ProfHacker is having a space to share experiments, ideas, classroom strategies and, yes, occasionally failures. Thus I’m always excited when I find spaces with that same philosophy of collaborative learning and give me new ideas to spark my next project. I recently was introduced to one such platform, Working Examples. Working Examples is a community site for sharing educational projects while they are still in progress: it’s somewhat a collection of blog…

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Get Involved In Classroom Design: A Grant to Upgrade Your Classroom

Have you ever been frustrated by the largely immobile set-up of a typical classroom? Have you ever wished for the opportunity to redesign the space in which you teach?

Here’s an opportunity: if you teach grades 8–12 or at an institution of higher education, Steelcase – a company that sells products and services for corporate offices, classrooms, and healthcare settings – is offering some substantial grants for you to redesign your classroom into an “active learning center.” The awards range…

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Lessons from Teaching with Games


The latest issue of Syllabus, an open access journal that explores the syllabus as a piece of scholarship that should be annotated and shared with the educational community, is entirely dedicated to Teaching with and about Games. As an advocate of games in the classroom, I was very excited when I first saw the call for this issue from editors Jennifer deWinter and Carly A. Kocurek, and I’ve just finished reading through it. There are a number of ideas from the collection (which is practically a…

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Integrating Wikipedia in Your Courses: Tips and Tricks

screenshot of adeline koh's feminist theory wikipedia course page

Wikipedia is the seventh most-popular website on the Internet and is the web’s most popular and largest reference resource. Many instructors decry student reliance on this online encyclopedia open to anyone to edit, but I am part of a growing movement of teachers who integrates student editing of Wikipedia pages into our pedagogy. There are many pedagogical reasons for this; integrating Wikipedia editing into your courses

  • teaches students to navigate the rules and social norms of an online co…

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Creating Color-Blind Accessible Figures

Colored pencils, 2 views: full color spectrum + limited color spectrum simulating color-blind view

Today marks the start of the #1ineveryclassroom public awareness campaign by the UK-based Colour Blind Awareness organization to point out the prevalence of colorblindness and the need for greater awareness on the part of educators.

There is tremendous variation in how individuals perceive and distinguish colors. These differences can be due to color vision deficiency or color blindness, as well as other medical conditions affecting the eyes or brain. Other factors such as device display settin…

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What Are Your Favorite Faculty Development Blogs?

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[Lee Skallerup Bessette is a Faculty Instructional Consultant at the Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CELT) at the University of Kentucky. She primarily works with faculty on digital pedagogy and digital humanities. She blogs at College Ready Writing and you can find her tweeting prolifically at @readywriting.--@JBJ]

I’ve recently taken on a new role in Faculty Development, which in my case means that I primarily help professors who want to improve their teaching. I’m real…

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Open Thread Wednesday: Teaching for Night Owls and Early Birds


One of my favorite parts of being a professor is this continual reset. Every semester there are new classes and new students along with a completely new schedule. While this is mentally exhilarating, it can be difficult to rebuild a routine every few months. A few years ago, I found myself teaching classes regularly that met until nearly 11pm at night. As someone who is usually ready for sleep at 10, that took a lot of adjustments and new strategies to keep both the students and myself fully en…

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Live-Tweeting Assignments: To Use or Not to Use?

twitter in the classroom

We’ve written a great deal on using Twitter in the classroom at ProfHacker. Ryan has written on creating disposable accounts for classroom use, Erin on how to choose hashtags, Jason on how to disable retweets, George on twitter archiving strategies, and my post on suggested guidelines for livetweeting a class.

This post explores some of the benefits and drawbacks to one of my most successful teaching exercises using Twitter—getting students to “live tweet” films. “Live tweeting” basic…

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A Scavenger Hunt Exercise to Teach Research Methodologies

Stockholm Library

This semester I’ve been assigned to teach one of my program’s core courses: an introduction to research methodologies. This is the second time that I’ve taught the class. My first time teaching research methodologies didn’t go so well. My students looked listless and unengaged the entire semester. Wanting to learn from that past experience, I’ve decided to try out a whole bunch of different approaches to teaching the class this time including getting students involved in more hands-on…

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Are those files really final?

cemetery

A recent post by Charlie Harvey, titled The word final should never appear in filenames points out that when you’re sharing files with colleagues,creating a clear system for filenames reduces a lot of potential frustration:

There is a file you need to read. Maybe it has some important stuff in it. A contract that went through a bunch of revisions. That sort of thing. Only, when you go to the directory on your company samba share there are 30 files that it could be.

Inevitably at least 3 of thes…