Posts Tagged ‘Rebecca Schuman’

Interesting array of articles, this time drawn heavily from InsideHigherEd.

–Could this be a “game-changer,” as they say?  Not sure: Academics Launch Torrent Site to Share Papers and Datasets.  Could definitely lead to some interesting legal situations.

–Perhaps THE most interesting and read article from this past week: “Keep the ‘Research,’ Ditch the ‘Paper,” by Marc Bousquet, from Feb 10.  He makes a lot of valid points, including some that I’ve noticed over the years in teaching history-based writing courses. If I had more leeway in terms of assigning homework and making demands on my students’ time, I would try more of his and Rebecca Schuman’s suggestions for making students’ efforts worth their while.

–Interesting article about issues in Canada’s newspaper digitzation initiatives.

–Great article, as always, from the Dean: if you see a search is running again, after you’ve already been rejected once, don’t hesitate, apply to the job: When Searches Fail.

–Purdue University’s IMPACT site, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) page and resources.

–Really good article by Elizabeth H. Simmons from Friday the 14th, “A Scholarly Approach to Your Career.”  I think the bottom line of the article is “figure out what you need to be successful, and then go make it happen.”  Common sense, but still, you’d be surprised how many people go to grad school without realizing they’re responsible for their own professional development.

“Let’s Scramble, Not Flip, the Classroom,” by Pamela E. Barnett. We shouldn’t make every class a discussion-based, interactive format.  Lecture has a place as well.  Good to hear that–there is a tendency among pedagogy folks (including SoTL enthusiasts, I’ve sensed) to roll the eyes at the thought that lecture could be an effective teaching/learning tool.  Given that a lot of schools do not have the luxury of making every section a seminar-sized one, I’m glad there’s recently been a push to show that lectures are effective learning tools.

The University of Maine at Presque Isle is dropping “grades” and moving to “proficiencies” in its curriculum. Look forward to seeing how this works.

–Post from GradHacker: “Maximizing Methods Courses.”  Good advice: you don’t want to come out of these feeling that you lost time.

“How Should Big-Time College Sports Change?”  Good grief, don’t get me started…

–Thoughtful article, “There Is No Demand for Higher Education.” Key quote toward the start of the article, about the assumption that there is a huge demand for education (and hence the need for MOOCs, etc.):

[T]he more I think about MOOCs and consider the nature of this demand, the more I come to believe that there is no inherent demand for education, and definitely not for the education they’re peddling as a possible substitute for the traditional system of higher education.

Because the demand isn’t for education, per se. It’s for what we believe education can provide: a secure, stable life. This narrative may not even be true, as Freddie DeBoer argues in a recent post, but we cling to it anyway, because what choice do we have? If we instead believed that painting ourselves purple from head to toe had the same effect, we’d all be walking around looking like Barney the dinosaur.

Have a great week, everyone.

In the continuing effort to organize my reading more effectively, I’m starting a “state of the profession” category on the blog. This is a round-up of professional articles that I’ve found of interest during the preceding week or two. Sometimes there will be commentary, sometimes I’ll just list the articles. Apologies in advance if the commentary comes off as opinionated–I take it as a given that I haven’t had time to learn all the facts, or to read every perspective on a given subject, so I’m always open to constructive criticism and additional resources that will make me a better person.  HOWEVER, since I’ve seen some royal higher-ed blogging dust-ups in the past six weeks, before people decide to provide self-righteous advice on which articles I really should be blogging or believing, just note that posting an article doesn’t mean I agree with it, it just means that it’s, well, interesting. If the link is to a Chronicle story, you might be out of luck if your institution doesn’t subscribe, because, well, that’s the way the Chronicle is.  Otherwise, most of these materials should be free to access.  This first edition includes articles from several weeks back…

Here goes…

January, 13, the Chronicle, To Fix Graduate Education, Johns Hopkins U. Grapples With Some Trade-Offs.”  When all is said and done, I can’t help but have the impression that faculty and grad students are adopting a “have our cake and eat it too” approach here. Coming from a small graduate program myself, I can say that while reducing enrollment makes TA’ing and seminars a bit more strenuous, it’s hardly impossible, and it shouldn’t be the place to make your stand.  One subtext, of course, is that if you keep enrollments as they are, you are expecting your grad students to pursue a variety of careers, not simply chase that fading tenure-track dream. Except I don’t think that *is* the expectation.

January 15, the Chronicle, “Doubts About MOOCs Continue to Rise, Survey Finds.”  Surprise, what was preached as an education salvation-narrative might well be inaccurate.

January 16, the LARB, “Pixel Dust: Illusions of Innovation in Scholarly Publishing.”  This has been going around lately: why digital publishing isn’t as revolutionary sui generis as is often assumed.

January 24, from The Professor Is In, “Graduate Student Shrimps on the Doctoral Barbie: The View from Tenure (A Guest Post).”   Very important post on how expectations to have graduate students can affect your status in the department and university.

January 30, from Inside Higher Ed, “Equality for Adjuncts,” a review of Keith Hoeller’s Equality for Contingent Faculty. From all accounts, a very important book, though the steep price tag will keep the average person from buying it. The claim that adjunct equality is a civil rights issue is already a contentious one.  I’m skeptical of that claim, to put it mildly–read an excellent rebuttal the other day, can’t for the life of me remember where. But I’m sure we’re only getting started on this conversation.

January 30, from Slate,Hit ‘Em Where It Hurts: The solution to the higher-ed adjunct crisis lies in the U.S. News rankings.”  Interesting idea.

January 31, from The Atlantic, “Down With Textbooks.”  Why textbooks are not effective educational tools, if you couldn’t guess from the title.

Happy Super-Bowling