Over the duration of this fall semester, there have been a number of articles, essays, and blog posts that have come across my social media feeds, or that have been shared with me. They cover a broad array of subjects, and speak to a number of issues, ranging from general philosophical approaches to specific classroom strategies and techniques. This week’s post is given over to sharing a bunch of these various pieces, in the hopes that you’ll find one, some, or all of them useful, or that they will helpfully intersect with things you’re already thinking about. Enjoy!
Last week on Inside Higher Ed, Alicia M. Reyes-Barriéntez had an excellent set of suggestions for “Teaching First-Generation Latinx Students.” There are a number of important points here, but I find her guiding question–“How do we, as professors, create spaces that are conducive to learning for all of our students, particularly groups of students whom our universities were not created to serve?“–an essential consideration for anyone thinking about student success to consider [emphasis added].
As we move (stagger?) closer to the end of the semester, it’s worth thinking about how we end our classes, particularly when it comes to final exams. The Center for Teaching at the University of California-Berkeley has a set of recommendations for final exams that ask us to focus on how these activities align with our overall goals and learning outcomes for our courses.
One of my favorite higher-ed and pedagogy authors is Stephen Brookfield, who has a new book coming out soon called Teaching Race: Helping Students Unmask and Challenge Racism. In this recent post on the ACUE’s Q Blog, Brookfield introduces the idea of “Narrative Modeling” from his upcoming book, and offers some thoughts on how white educators might be more skillful when it comes to anti-racism work and teaching and learning among racially diverse student populations.
Those of us who teach online know that creating a sense of “presence” for both us and our students is one of the most difficult aspects of online pedagogy. In a recent post for Beyond Another Paper blog, J.M. Littlejohn offers some thoughts on instructor presence in online classes, as well as some useful references for further reading.
One of the more interesting academic podcasts out there is PsychSessionsThis recent episode, an interview with Oregon State University Ph.D. candidate Rachel Soicher, and their interviews are always interesting and thought-provoking, even for those of us who aren’t psychologists by training. (who studies the psychology of learning), is a wonderful discussion of pedagogy, collegiality, and a model of scholarly generosity.
We often here a lot about generational differences among students (“Millenials love to Google things! Generation Z is so digital they only speak Python to one another!”). Perhaps we indulge in some “back when I was a student” reflections as well. Yet, as Clemente Diaz reminds us in a post on The Learning Scientists blog (one of the most useful teaching and learning blogs out there, by the way), much of the argument for these generational differences is overblown. In fact, he concludes, “generational labels don’t actually mean anything” meaningful when it comes to how our students learn, and if we make decisions guided by those labels, we set ourselves up for difficulties and disappointment.
Finally, this isn’t a teaching-and-learning article per se, but as we appraoch Election Day, we would do well to remember just how contested the right to vote has been for many Americans, especially African Americans and other people of color. Several years ago, Slate magazine’s historical blog The Vault published the literacy test that Louisiana used in the 1960s to disfranchise African American voters. It’s a remarkable artifact, and one that we would do well to think about as voting rights in our present day are once again being eroded.
Find out about all our programming, including when and where sessions will be held, by visiting the Calendar page of our site.
Reminder: The “Dis/Ability and Accessibility: Designing for Everyone” workshop originally scheduled for Nov. 6 has been RESCHEDULED. It will now be held on Nov. 13, from 4-5 PM in Rasmussen 217.
Finally, a dog reenacts how it seems like things go on Mondays: