Category Archives: Teaching

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Open Source Assignments for Non-Programming Classes

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I’ve been flirting with the idea of asking students in my Educational Game Design module to make their projects “open source”.

I am  wary of the way non-computer scientists use the term “open source”. I often hear people mistakenly refer to free software as “open source”, when its code is not at all open source. I have also heard people in open education talk about how we can learn from open source, but I always felt cautious about this because the contexts are usually different.

The idea of op…

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Making Games with Browser-Based Flowlab.io

Last semester was the first time I encountered a new challenge for my online class: some of my students were using Chromebooks as a primary computer. Several ProfHackers have tried Chromebooks out with mixed results, but I find the biggest challenge they present is the limitation on development software options. Picking the right game-making tool to assign for students requires careful consideration: many platforms are limited to either Mac or PC, making picking a tool that all students can use…

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Open Thread Wednesday: Conducting Observations in Online Classes

The evidence against the effectiveness of student evaluations as a way to measure instructional success or gather feedback for redesigning courses is mounting. However, while many institutions have established peer or faculty center observation programs for getting more direct feedback on teaching, online courses can feel more isolated. It’s not easy to invite a fellow faculty member to “observe” an online class in the traditional sense, and getting immediate feedback from students can be diffi…

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Scaling Up Courses

With the new semester upon us, many people are getting ready to try out new course preps or revisit familiar classes. The too-brief break of the holiday season doesn’t provide much time for preparation, so I find the last days before the semester begins can be a frantic time for revision and planning. I’ve previously addressed strategies for revising a past course, which can be particularly helpful if the dynamics of the course remain generally the same. However, increasing demands on universit…

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Context Matters in Social Media

I’ve been thinking for a while that the real barrier to entry on Twitter is the layers of context you need to have in order to be able to navigate it well. I believe the reason you can have deep conversations in 140 characters aren’t because it’s easy to make deep and meaningful statements in 140 characters (though some people are masters at this), but rather because there are layers of contexts behind each 140 character statement, such that someone who is aware of the context gets so much more…

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E-Portfolios Are Not the Fitbit of Higher Education

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This month Jeff Young, Goldie Blumenstyk, and friends have launched a new section of the Chronicle, called “Re:Learning: Mapping the New Education Landscape”, which looks at some of the recent technological, economic, and political challenges to higher education. I think–and not just because it would be on brand to say so–that this is a potentially interesting refresh of the Wired Campus focus.

On their Facebook page yesterday, they shared a Forbes article arguing that e-portfolios are the Fit…

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Assessing the Process Not the Product of Learning

image of a ladder lying in a forest
I’ve written before on how I believe pedagogy should focus on the process and not the product of learning. I could write about this in theory forever, but I realized that I succeeded last semester in doing it in practice, so I thought I would share what I’ve done.

For context, I co-teach a Creative Thinking and Problem-Solving course, which is a liberal arts option at my institution. The module I teach constitutes half the course, and is focused on educational game design. My students are under…

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Crowdsourcing Curating Networks: It Has to Be Meta

(This post is co-authored with Mia Zamora, School of English Studies, Kean University).

Last week on ProfHacker, Jason Jones invited readers to participate in the open/published peer review process of Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments, published by MLA as a collection of keywords curated by different authors. Have you had a chance to take a look and comment?

In a future phase of keywords for this book, we (Maha and Mia) will be curating the keyword Networks. …

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Open Review for Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities

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The MLA is publishing a collection of keywords on Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments, which features curated sections on a variety of topics related to digital teaching methods. (I am on the advisory board for this collection.)

One of the interesting aspects of Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities is that the keywords are available for open peer review and public comment. This is being staged in batches, both as a sanity-preserving mechanism and to make sure eac…

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Beyond Textbooks and OER: reflecting on #OpenEd15

There has been no shortage of critiques of the open textbook focus at The Open Education Conference #OpenEd15 – I wasn’t at the conference but I followed the Twitter stream and participated in three virtually connecting sessions in which I met both pairs of keynote speakers. I have to say that the conference organizers’ really welcoming attitude towards the involvement of Virtually Connecting showed true commitment to expanding access and openness (thank you Clint Lalonde and David Wiley).

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