Category Archives: Teaching


Five Lessons for Online Teaching from Finishing a MOOC


[This is a guest post by Michelle Moravec, a historian currently working on the politics of women's culture, which you can read about at Follow her on Twitter at @professmoravec.--@JBJ]

At the end of January 2014, I enrolled in an MOOC on corpus linguistics offered by the U.K.-based Open University’s Future Learn. CorpusMOOC, as it was affectionately known and hashtagged on Twitter, was billed as a “practical introduction to the methodology of corpus linguistics for resea…


Remembering the 2013 Boston Marathon with the Our Marathon Archive

5ee847e668198e774022be574d3716b2Today marks the one-year anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and subsequent events that shook the city of Boston. I teach at Northeastern University, blocks from the Marathon’s finish line, and many of our students were directly affected by those events: they were participating in the race, they were helping in the medical tents, they were cheering on friends and family, or they lived in buildings that were evacuated during the tense days following the bombings. Some of our students…


Simple Little Tricks

Sometimes it’s the simplest little tricks that can make a big difference in our work. For example, I’ve written about using carabiners on my backpack to help me keep track of my keys. I like having this smartphone holster for my iPhone, keeping a simple little multitool on my keyring, and wrapping all kinds of things with velcro cable ties.

And for a few years now, I’ve been using rubber bands with my colored whiteboard markers.

Brian and many others may love teaching with chalk, but it’s no bi…


Crowd-Sourcing Examinations

[Note: this post is adapted from part of a talk I recently gave to the NJEDge Annual Faculty Showcase.]

It’s no secret that we at ProfHacker like GoogleDocs. Ryan Cordell has used Google Docs to run a peer-review writing workshop, and George Williams has previously written about using GoogleDocs to take collaborative notes at conference sessions. Guest poster Thomas Burkholder wrote about using Google Forms. I have used all of these, and today I’m going to share yet another use: for compiling a…


5 Tips for Surviving Advising Season

[This post originally appeared in October of 2011, and given that it's that time of the semester again, we decided to republish it today.]

Mention “advising students” as part of faculty workload, and people off-campus probably conjure warm images of a faculty member expansively chatting with a student, probably a major, about future plans, career prospects, and, of course, next semester’s schedule, which is always full of courses the student wants to take, that don’t conflict, and that fulfill …


Give (and Get) Some Good Advice

So how’s your middle-of-the-semester going? Some of you might be on spring break right now, or have just returned from break, or perhaps are looking forward to one next week. The vagaries of the spring calendar mean that start and end dates vary widely, along with spring breaks. Your midterm season might be over, or just beginning.

But no matter what week of the term it is for you, chances are that you know some things now that you didn’t know at the beginning — things about the particular stud…


Open Thread Wednesday: Trying Something New This Semester? How’s it Going?

Journal article in Ukrainian

This semester, I’m teaching a survey course in Western political thought that I’ve taught for several years. I decided to try something new in the course this time around, though. Rather than focusing exclusively on the classic texts themselves, I’m also having students engage one contemporary piece of scholarship related to each of the major texts we read.

I wasn’t at all sure how this would go. When I conducted my midterm evaluation with my students, though, I was pleased to learn that they l…


Join the Global Women Write In #GWWI on Wikipedia Tomorrow!

global women write in logoDespite being open to anyone to edit, Wikipedia has been criticized for its gender gap. To help remedy this, Postcolonial Digital Humanities is organizing a Global Women Write-In (#GWWI) on Wikipedia all-day tomorrow on March 18! 

Why Global Women? 

 If you’ve ever tried doing a Wikipedia search for important women theorists around the world, you might be surprised to note how short the entries are, particularly on their work and their ideas (for example: Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Gayatri Spivak,


Open Thread Wednesday: Snow on the Internet?

It may be March, but it definitely isn’t feeling like spring in many parts of the country. When I checked the forecast over the weekend, I was shocked to see warnings of up to a foot of snow, potentially just in time for my Monday class.

However, as I’ve been chronicling, my Monday class meets synchronously online. So if the university issues a message to students announcing that “All classes are cancelled,” what happens to my course?

Naturally, I turned to Twitter for advice. Jon Becker pointe…


ChronicleVitae: What You Might Have Missed, February 2014

[This is a guest post by Brock Read, an editor for The Chronicle of Higher Education. One of Brock’s most recent projects has been developing and maintaining The Chronicle‘s Vitae, an “online career hub that makes it easier and more rewarding for faculty and administrators to do their jobs each day.” Today’s post is part of an ongoing, monthly series in which ProfHacker will highlight some of the content from Vitae, and Vitae will – in turn – highlight what we’ve been up to here at ProfHacker. –…