Category Archives: Teaching

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Open-Thread Wednesday: Anything New?

FireworksThe new academic year has arrived (or soon will, for those who start after Labor Day). Though there may be a certain sadness to the end of summer, a new academic year can also bring the excitement of a fresh start. It’s a time for meeting new people and trying new things, for faculty no less than for students.

Some new things may be major: a new course, or perhaps a new project. In my case, the new is something small. I’ve changed the first essay assignment in my writing course. For several year…

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Playing Cards in the Classroom for Student Collaboration

In my courses, I often put students into small, temporary groups for collaborative work that takes place in class or over the course of a few days. This work ranges from analysis of an assigned reading to researching a local issue to creating a digital resource to conducting an interview with a faculty or community member. We cover how to ensure effective collaboration and communication in small groups, including assigning and managing tasks (something for which an online tool like Basecamp can…

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Designing Engaging Course Documents with Piktochart

syllabus

This is a guest post by Julie Platt, currently Assistant Professor of English at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. She researches and teaches about writing centers, creative writing studies, professional writing, and technical communication. On Twitter, she’s @Aristotlejulep.–@JBJ]

It’s sometimes a struggle to get students to carefully read course documents. Many student questions, especially at this time of year, can be answered with “Please check the syllabus!” However, when I c…

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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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From the Archives: Getting Ready for the New Semester

classroom

Sooner or later, the fall semester will start — and of course for some of us it already has. Here are some tips from the ProfHacker archives to help you navigate the transition.

Getting Ready to Teach

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New Online Courses in Digital Pedagogy

Digital Pedagogy Lab screenshot

There is a ton of free material on learning how to teach with new digital tools online. That’s one of the best things that ProfHacker writers have been dispensing since its inception. We’ve written about teaching with Twitter, with Wikipedia, creating interactive texts with Twine, even the Creepy Treehouse problem of friending your students on social media. One of the things we haven’t done, though, is offer online courses on digital pedagogy–a new venture the journal Hybrid Pedagogy has taken …

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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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Susan Cain’s Quiet Revolution

lake

In personality typologies derived from the work of Carl Jung, introverts are described as people who gain energy from solitude and extroverts as people who gain energy from being around other people. Understanding where you fall on the introvert-extrovert spectrum can help you understand your own energy patterns and how best to work with them within your professional and personal life. (As an introvert, for example, after attending several sessions at an academic conference and interacting with…