Category Archives: Teaching

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From the Archives: At the End of the Academic Year, Looking Back and Looking Forward

A desk with papers and a laptop computerIt’s graduation season; most colleges and universities have finished for the year, or will in just a few more weeks. That provides an opportunity to take stock of the year just completed, and look to the year ahead. It’s also a good opportunity to get caught up on some of the organizing tasks that often go undone in the last frantic weeks of the academic year.

Over the years, writers here at ProfHacker have provided a number of posts about things to do at this time of year:

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Teaching with Wikipedia: Free Webinar by WVU, April 30, 10.30am-12pm EST

If you’ve been meaning to start exploring what it would take to integrate Wikipedia in your courses, the West Virginia University library is hosting a free webinar on teaching with Wikipedia on April 30, 10.30am-12pm EST.  Topics that will be covered include the gender gap in Wikipedia content and editing, an introduction to editing Wikipedia, sample assignments, syllabi and instructor experiences with teaching with the online encyclopedia.

The event will be led by Jami Mathewson of the Wiki Ed…

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Open-Thread Wednesday: The End of the Semester Approaches!

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Spring has finally arrived in the midwest, and it’s a little more than two weeks after Easter (or only just over a week, if your tradition follows the Julian calendar). For those whose academic calendar follows the semester system, that means the end of the term will soon be upon us, with commencement following.

Between now and then, we’ll be racing to get through the last of our material for our courses, grading assignments and exams, planning for commencement festivities, and saying goodbye t…

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New Features on the DiRT Directory

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DiRT (formerly known as Bamboo DiRT) is a repository of digital tools, organized, and curated by users. The idea behind its creation — as explained in this 2013 post by Seth Denbo — was to try and eliminate the re-creation of digital teaching and research tools that already existed. It has always been my go-to resource for finding tools, as well as sending students and faculty there so they can begin to explore and imagine ways that they might integrate digital assignments into their classrooms…

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Introducing the Digital Pedagogy Lab

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If you’re itching to brush up your digital teaching chops over the summer, the journal Hybrid Pedagogy is offering a Digital Pedagogy Lab this summer. Slated to take place at the University of Wisconsin, Madison from August 10-14, 2015, the lab is a five-day practical institute that will combine discussions of digital pedagogy theory with hands-on practice.

Digital Pedagogy Lab will offer three tracks, each capped at 25 students:

  1. Praxis, by Jesse Stommel and Sean Michael Morris, is an examina…

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From the Archives: Mid-Semester

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Because academic calendars vary so widely, some readers are coming back from spring break now, while others are enjoying a few days away from regular schedules. Some readers are wrapping up winter quarters or have started spring terms; others are somewhere in the middle of a spring semester.

The middle of an academic term can be a tricky time: the first flush of student and instructor enthusiasm for a particular topic or course may have waned a little. Students are feeling the burden of multipl…

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What Ideas About Teaching Have Stuck with You?

A list of things kindergartners want to learn.I love the list in this photo. The kindergarten teacher who asked her class what they wanted to learn about got a list of fantastic answers. I’m sure being asked that question so early in their formal educational process is something that will stick with them.

There are things that stick with me, too, as I think about my own education — both as a student and as a teacher. Like many of us, I could give a list of teachers who inspired me. What’s come to mind more recently, though (probably because…

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“Know Thy Selfie”: A Selfie Group Discussion Assignment

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“Selfies,” or self-taken photographs, have become as ubiquitous as the smartphone. Their popularity has even spurred the formation of an academic group, The Selfies Research Network. Your students take selfies, you probably do as well. But how do we encourage our students to think critically about the selfie as cultural artifact?

Mark C. Marino, associate professor (teaching) of Writing at the University of Southern California, came up with this admirable assignment titled “Know Thy Selfie”, in…

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Making Story Games with Twine 2.0

I’ve written about many game tools here at ProfHacker, including Inform 7, Construct 2, and Inklewriter. One of my favorite platforms to work in personally is Twine. As I wrote previously, Twine is a powerful platform for building HTML5 games that can be played in the browser, and it works in a card-based model that’s very friendly to non-programmers. It’s very quick to pick up and go, so it’s something that can be brought into any discipline as a new way of engaging and expressing material. Re…

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Report from the EURECA Conference on Research and Creativity

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I’ve recently returned (jetlag and all) from Egypt, where I had the opportunity to speak at the American University in Cairo’s EURECA conference, an event that offers a showcase for undergraduate research as well as events focused on the intersection of research and creativity, a topic many of us at ProfHacker are passionate about. For me it was also an education, as I was able to witness some of the approaches to research and undergraduate education on display and participate in discussions su…