226 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2023
    1. “My job involves supporting faculty wellness through pedagogy, but also supporting students’ wellness through the practice of pedagogy,”

      Fascinating order in that sentence. I don't think we pay enough attention to the way that course design/practice choices impact faculty wellness.

  2. Jan 2023
    1. Students working together in a group trying to make meaning out of their own data could find themselves in a similar situation. Your lack of imagination about your own data may not result in a lack of imagination by others about what they think of you. Putting students in these situations without preparing them about assumptions they might make of others could lead to embarrassment and misunderstanding. 

      This is a really interesting point about all kinds of self-disclosure in the classroom, but especially disclosing what third-parties think about you.

    2. Another way of understanding Michelle’s “so what?” feeling as she looked at her inaccurately targeted ads is that “so what?” is an expression of ambivalence, and ambivalence is complicated. Ambivalence is created when we hold contradictory ideas that are hard to square with one another, and holding contradictory ideas can be kind of exhausting. Sometimes it’s easier to disconnect and say to ourselves, “If it’s so complicated then why should I care about this topic at all?”

      This may be the most compassionate passage about disconnecting from complex topics that I've ever seen. As a GenXer I'm tempted to tie "ambivalence" to what we used to call "slacking". (Before a corporation decided "slack" was a way to always care about work...)

    3. When engaging in data literacy work in our classrooms, it’s helpful to keep two ideas at play at once: on the one hand, these algorithmic systems are nowhere near as “smart” as these platforms want to lead us to believe they are; and on the other hand, concerns about accuracy can distract us from the bigger picture, that these platforms are built on a logic of prediction that, one nudge at a time, may ultimately infringe upon users’ ability to make up their own mind.
    4. The funny thing is, despite having already reflected on this “trap of accuracy” before, Michelle still fell for it when she saw her inaccurately targeted ads staring at her on the screen. The promise of accuracy and of being seen is just too alluring. 

      What does it say about a society where the power of "being seen" is so much filled by advertising and corporate relationships? Maybe nothing, maybe the craving to be part of a group marked by consumption patterns has always been there. But even so I feel like there's a difference between the active behavior of being a "regular" at a bar or restaurant, or an "Oldsmobile Man", and being assigned a statistical bin of user profiles.

    5. ultimately advertisers are more interested in understanding what might nudge users towards certain behaviors, and that’s perhaps better understood as a game of probable futures more than accurate presents
  3. Nov 2022
    1. This need not mean continuing face-to-face lectures online, but it does mean that the pandemic is not the time to deploy radical pedagogies or new technologies.

      How does this claim relate to the growth of radical pedagogies during the lockdown? Massive increases in Pass/Fail grading, growing interest in the "ungrading" umbrella of alternative assessment strategies, course redesign for low-stakes assessment, etc?

      (One answer is that it wasn't a good time for experimentation - see the comments in the conclusion about arguing from data - and we might consider these as adaptations, not intentional "deployment".)

  4. Oct 2022
    1. The skill to spot objects of interest amid the general detritus can also be said to be a defining characteristic of the educational technologist—it takes time to get “your eye in” and appreciate what is important and useful in new technological developments and to separate them from the pro- or anti-technology rhetoric.

      Important and useful, of course, always with regard to local context. (Maybe local context is the shapable channel Weller refers to above?)

    2. series of museums

      Ed tech as the Mall in Washington DC? (Even bigger than the Smithsonian Institution.)

    3. Mead (1934) suggests that an individual’s identity is created by the degree to which that person absorbs the values of their community, summarized in the phrase “self reflects society.” Snow (2001) also argues that identity is largely constructed socially and includes, as well as Mead’s sense of belonging, a sense of difference from other communities. Identity is seen as a shared sense of “we-ness” developed through shared attributes and experiences and in contrast to one or more sets of others.

      Consider in reference to the faculty/staff divide, to arguments over Faculty Status, to contingency, etc.

    4. Association for Learning Technology’s certified membership process
    5. Techniques for developing commonality among individuals can include running primers for people new to ed tech, explicitly bringing multidisciplinary perspectives to bear on tech issues, having common problems to address, crowd-sourcing principles, and so on. This is akin to making the suitcase items individual while also making their combined contents mutually useful. The approach is to reach some form of consensus, but that consensus itself is fluid and changeable, varying over time and location, just as the contents of the suitcase will vary depending on specific trips.

      Considering ed-tech organizations, and which have been more and less useful. MHMB seminar/EDU-PLACE. CLAMP. CLAC. MITC/NITLE. EDUCAUSE. OH5. ALA?

    6. evaluating evidence

      Potentially disturbing claim here about the statistical nature of evidence, if "small trials" are dismissed. Assumption that solutions which work for large groups also work well on the small scale.

      (Note that Weller says "good practices and processes in terms of evaluating evidence" which blunts this critique - but I still think it's a risk.)

    7. A recognized ed tech discipline in fact might be interdisciplinary and incorporate components from psychology, sociology, education, computer science, statistics, et cetera. This would help to establish a canonical body of texts, presumably, with which most people in the field are familiar.

      Fascinating. I've often interpreted appeals to citation in ed tech discourse as something between name-dropping and appeals to authority but it's interesting to reconsider that dialogue as canon formation.

    1. core of immutability

      Life finds a way?

    2. In this model, it is also necessary to create a cultural context in which students themselves see the value in such experimentation and are not penalized for it.

      And do not penalize faculty members for it!

    3. Education is often decried for being slow to change, for being stuck in the past, but whether tech companies realize it or not these are exactly the values that they seek to appropriate. Education is a (generally) recognized universal good. It has longevity, history, and social capital. These characteristics, as much as the millions of users with associated dollars, are assets that tech companies seek to acquire

      "Disruption" of business models and appropriation, not disruption, of their trappings.

    4. the historical immutability of the position of the aristocracy

      Compare with the historical position of the teacher as enacted in the LMS?

    5. gestation

      Another metaphor! Gestation - childhood - teenage years!

    1. However, with both of these uses of metaphor, our existing views on ed tech will also influence how we then think about the validity of the metaphor itself. The mapping outlined in the introduction is not just one way from the base domain to the target domain, but there is a reverse influence from our knowledge of the target domain that shapes how we view the base domain.

      Metaphor as a two-way street.

    1. Lukeš (2019) proposes three uses of metaphor in explanation.

      Metaphor as invitation - just the door in to a new subject. Metaphor as instrument - examining where the metaphor does and doesn't apply. Metaphor as catalyst. - understanding the target well enough to use the metaphor to make judgments and predictions.

    2. The freedom to play with ideas, and to explore new ways of thinking, critiquing, deploying, and analyzing ed tech provided by metaphors, is much needed if we are to develop a better appreciation of its possibilities, implications, and limitations.

      "Playful" activity as inherently "free" and actively necessary - compare to earlier sentence about whether that's "appropriate in the formal requirements" of a job.

  5. Aug 2022
    1. I always wonder about the campus fetishists: how close do you live to campus, and is your parking free?

    2. But, let's turn our attention to HyFlex for a moment.

      Great points here! How many of our experiments with hybrid online-F2F experiences failed fundamentally because of bad design? "No boundaries" is not a design, and "all things to all people" is not inclusion.

    3. Also, your issue isn't feeling exhausted due to "not being with smart people in a room".  Those same smart people are on Zoom.  Your issue is the overabundance of meetings and zoom fatigue.

      There's also some cherry picking here (in Kim's original piece). I love a good F2F meeting, but let's remember "conference room fatigue". Some gatherings of smart people consume more energy than they produce. (Like "zoom fatigue" sometimes it's the affordances of the room - bad lighting, uncomfortable chairs, etc - and sometimes it's because of behavior in the meeting.)

    4. You can have the illusion that watercooler talk "just happens," hence cultivating a community seems seamless in a F2F context, but you're really not examining the factors that lead you there, and how's privileged.

      Enormously important. Thought exercise: who is left out of your "seamless" interactions because of design factors like space and time? (And that's before we even get into the questions of for whom a community is cultivated.)

  6. Jul 2022
    1. One of the risks I heard mentioned is that of becoming/ being perceived as an ”arm of the university bureaucracy”, as CTLs become more involved in decision-making on educational issues.

      Interesting problem. Why is the CTL not seen as an "arm of shared governance" in these cases? Or at least a venue of it?

    2. Dilemma: should/ can the CTL be neutral territory (and can it be?)

      Fascinating to see what "neutral" means here. There's the "non-evaluative"/"non-supervisory" sense, where "neutrality" is essentially with respect to office politics, and the "not advancing an argument" sense, which in the strictest sense seems almost impossible to reconcile with any kind of developmental work.

  7. Jun 2022
    1. Thanks to everyone who wrote to say they enjoyed the blogs. I had thought social media killed blogging, but a few of you seem to be here in the afterlife. Isn't it strange how a blog without comments is so much more intimate than social media? I think the key is that blogs are like letters, and letters are the most intimate human experience that doesn't involve touching someone's butt. Come to think of it, they may be more intimate now than in their heyday because only a few of you will even bother to read.

      For the folks who still like to blog or read blogs.

  8. Apr 2022
    1. Social networks may thus be “sticky” because social integration provides both benefits that encourage staying and social deterrents to leaving, increasing the chances of persistence.

      Important point - persistence can be because of negative reasons.

    2. persistence is the product of not only individual processes but also relational ones
    3. Students in a gateway biology course were randomly assigned to complete a control or values affirmation exercise, a psychological intervention hypothesized to have positive social effects. By the end of the term, affirmed students had an estimated 29% more friends in the course on average than controls. Affirmation also prompted structural changes in students’ network positions such that affirmed students were more central in the overall course friendship network.
    1. relying upon adjunct labor is wrong, because it is cruel. The system capitalizes upon the desperation of a vulnerable population, profits from that population’s labor, and then willfully turns its back on the needs and suffering produced by the conditions of the population’s employment. The adjunct system not only uses people, it uses people up.
    2. Colleges should exist not to produce winning athletic teams; sustain multilayered administrative bureaucracies; deliver fine food, fancy gyms, and luxury housing; or even find jobs for students. They exist to educate a populace, secure the peace of our republic, seed innovation, and model virtue.
    1. Interested in launching a similar experiment in your organization?

      The model really assumes a work environment where a whole team can be compelled to participate. Can you make this kind of culture change with a coalition of the willing? For the participants, is a cohort enough? Or does a partial attempt just reinforce the divisions between groups in the organization?

  9. Mar 2022
    1. adopt the mindset of a curator – objective, opinionated, and reflective.

      This is a fascinating idea of what it means to curate. I'm not entirely clear what "objective" means but I like "opinionated and reflective". In all the "become a curator" advice I've heard, those 2 words feel like they've been missing.

  10. Feb 2022
    1. Among the many purported benefits of diversity initiatives is the promise that when minority members contribute novel perspectives, they create a learning opportunity for their peers. However, for minority contributions to affect the performance of others, majority members must attend to them.
    2. By investigating the patterns of who pays attention to whom, our study provides evidence of a racial attention deficit: Even when in their self-interest, Whites pay less attention to Black peers. Specifically, White Americans rate Black peers as less competent than White ones and are less likely to follow their example as a guide to making a better decision.
    1. When I hear people in a variety of contexts talking about “building community” for students or colleagues (or, customers), I worry about that, too.  Is the motivation an additive one?  “Let’s give them more people to connect with and rely on?”  Or is it intended to be a kind of capture?

      What an enormous challenge for those of us in faculty development and other "community-building" businesses. Are we actually serving when we help people acculturate? We might be. We also might be trying to capture peoples' time and attention and loyalty.

    1. It is essential that by far the greater part of what is said or done in the world should be so ephemeral as to take itself away quickly; it should keep good for twenty-four hours, or even twice as long, but it should not be good enough a week hence to prevent people from going on to something else.

      Melancholy Elephants.

    2. He assured me that he would never open another hypothetical book after he had taken his degree, but would follow out the bent of his own inclinations.

      An all too common response to schooling! Is that rebellion against the system part of "unreason" in some way? The development of one's own inclinations through restriction?

    3. every one is a genius, more or less

      Highly amusing take on "talent".

    4. But here they depart from the principles on which they justify their study of hypothetics; for they base the importance which they assign to hypothetics upon the fact of their being a preparation for the extraordinary, while their study of Unreason rests upon its developing those faculties which are required for the daily conduct of affairs.

      Seems like a fundamental tension in education generally and the liberal arts and sciences in particular. The balance between wide-ranging creativity and mastery of content and skill isn't simple.

    5. If the youths chose it for themselves I should have wondered less; but they do not choose it; they have it thrust upon them, and for the most part are disinclined towards it.

      Interesting take on education and freedom. Implies that it's allright for some people not to worry about the unknowable parts of the future.

    6. The main feature in their system is the prominence which they give to a study which I can only translate by the word “hypothetics.” They argue thus—that to teach a boy merely the nature of the things which exist in the world around him, and about which he will have to be conversant during his whole life, would be giving him but a narrow and shallow conception of the universe, which it is urged might contain all manner of things which are not now to be found therein. To open his eyes to these possibilities, and so to prepare him for all sorts of emergencies, is the object of this system of hypothetics. To imagine a set of utterly strange and impossible contingencies, and require the youths to give intelligent answers to the questions that arise therefrom, is reckoned the fittest conceivable way of preparing them for the actual conduct of their affairs in after life.

      Education for a contingent future.

  11. Jan 2022
    1. Students also cited the frequent interruptions that accompanied each transition from group activities to instructor feedback (14 responses), a concern that their errors made during class would not be corrected (10 responses), and a general feeling of frustration and confusion (14 responses) when discussing their concerns about the actively taught classes.

      To what extent are these transitions, interruptions, and frustrations actually pedagogically valuable, and to what extent are they just cognitive overhead? Can they be reduced?

    2. In addition, students presented several scenarios in which they could imagine reporting that a teacher was highly effective even if they personally did not feel they learned very much—for instance, if they were not sufficiently prepared for a class or too tired to pay close attention.

      Interesting insight, given critiques that students aren't sufficiently metacognitive, informed, or empathetic when evaluating teaching.

    1. What if we designed faculty learning experiences that took less time, were more consistent, and were packed with meaning that compelled us to share and connect with our colleagues and students? What would that look like? I’d think I’d like to explore that question with all of you in 2022.

      Fascinating challenge... how do we design education to maximize "viral" reach?

    2. Why is the 60-minute workshop the gold-standard in faculty development/learning?

      Excellent question. How do we communicate "this is worthy of more time" as well as "this really shouldn't take that long"?

    3. Folks would sometimes show up with specific pedagogical or technical questions about the work of designing and teaching online courses, but mostly, they showed up to laugh, cry, and vent together.

      This seems like a deep and troublesome tension. "Support" meaning "show me how to make this task better" is different from "emotional support" or even the previous paragraph's "support meaning collaboration".

    4. Over the past several weeks, I’ve seen more faculty declining learning opportunities and expressing a need to protect their time than ever before in fifteen years of doing this work.

      Protect their time for what, I wonder?

    1. [responding here to loud applause] — this is an example of how NOT to think, though

      I was present for this speech and I can't highlight this annotation brightly enough. Wallace had to stop and point out to the audience that they were in the process of doing exactly what he is asking them to not do.

    1. Men need to turn up to the teacher courses I attend on empathy and restorative practice. Men are consistently in the minority at these events and whilst the men who do attend are inspiring, the empty seats are a reminder that change is not happening quickly enough.

      The issue of who does and doesn't show up to faculty development has enormous impacts. Connecting it to violence in society is a chilling insight.

  12. Sep 2021
    1. Home page for Kenyon's teaching and learning center.

    2. During our faculty retreat in the summer of 2010, Kenyon faculty said that they want to talk more about teaching and learning. They used phrases like "mission critical" to describe the formal commitment of time and resources to their ongoing development as teachers. The Center for Innovative Pedagogy is a response to that desire.

      Interesting to have the home page list the origin story.

    1. The important thing, C.Wright Mills argues, is that you keep a journal, a place for ‘fringe-thoughts’, where you “will try to get together what you are doing intellectually and what you are experiencing as a person” as part of learning “how to keep your inner world awake.” While we might think of such journaling as merely a step towards the ‘real’ intellectual work of writing papers or publishing blog posts, crucially Mills argues that “the maintenance of such a file is intellectual production.” That message should be just as inspiring as the idea that we can all blog because we have stories to tell.
    2. However, there’s no technological imperative that makes blogging more important than discussing books and our experiences in person with friends and colleagues.

      I'd like to unpack that idea of "technological imperative".

    3. Educators already learn and share in many ways and, on balance, may decide that blogging isn’t worth their time or energy given their range of options.

      This is a tricky needle to thread - how do we expand people's knowledge of their options, without appearing to mandate that they take certain options?

  13. Aug 2021
    1. To avoid that divide in community discussions, we recommend having participants collectively establish discussion norms each time.

      This is an interesting point I've been wrestling with.

    2. Anchoring our discussion in a particular argument or set of principles -- for example, safe/brave spaces or individualized instruction -- also helped focus our conversations without leading to despair or circular discussions.

      This is a really interesting insight. These conversations can really veer into "whatchgonnado" or "not my job".

    3. To connect with students more deeply, we designed a quantitative and qualitative study inquiring into undergraduates’ opinions about best practices for antiracist pedagogy at our university.

      Students as objects of study, not as participants. Is that really "feedback"?

    4. We hoped that posting anonymous discussion notes made the barrier to engagement even lower, as it allowed people to engage asynchronously and to catch up before the next discussion.

      Was this hope born out?

    5. All topics were framed as specific but open questions

      When meetings are framed around reading titles, they suggest a level of certainty. Framing around questions starts with what is unknown instead of known - more open to novices? (See next paragraph - "facilitators located expertise in readings and research ... not themselves")

    6. we first thought about starting a reading group, as many other institutions and departments have done. But we wanted to make the barrier to joining the conversation as low as possible

      This is an interesting point. Faculty members take reading assignments seriously; some folks will skip events rather than show up unprepared. Starting with a facilitator's presentation is an interesting way over that barrier.

  14. Jul 2021
    1. Tracy noted Leslie was not conducting her reflection in a vacuum; rather, Leslie wrote to Tracy.

      Interesting observation. Connects to the earlier comment about vulnerability and trust but I'm really interested in how reflections change when they are addressed to someone.

  15. Jun 2021
    1. Unless their self-assessments have power—either to shape future learning activities, or to change the gradebook—they will not be true self-assessments.

      I want to disagree with this and argue that we should be crafting lessons which allow students to understand the different forms of power which are in play in self-assessment and assessment by others. I appreciate, though, that grades may have too many advantages for that lesson to really take within the context of a course.

  16. May 2021
  17. Apr 2021
    1. Regardless of an explicit requirement, it is an implication of membership in the academic community that its members have a responsibility, and a right, to contribute to the intellectual corpus of their time.

      So who then is, or isn't, a "member" of the "academic community?" And is it incumbent that members "produce ideas" within their defined fields, or does their membership entitle (require?) them to speak more broadly than that?

    2. I had always understood that academic freedom was associated with job security; however, and forgive my naïveté, I was disappointed to learn that academic freedom was inexorably tied to tenure. Before that revelation, I had always thought of academic freedom as a principle complemented by tenure, not contingent upon it.

      This is the thorny heart of the problem - does the freedom only flow from the power to protect it?

  18. Mar 2021
    1. CLAMP does not recommend one option over the other, but we do recommend that you make a choice

      Look at this.

  19. Feb 2021
    1. Passwords are still the most widespread means for authenticating users, even though they have been shown to create huge security problems.

      Testing a proxiedlink

    1. External toolComment, reply, repeat: Engaging students with social annotation External tool

      Just testing making an annotation on a password-protected resource.

  20. Jan 2021
    1. And they have direct bearing on classroom practice — if I am to choose between the two, the choice is clear.

      Of course I agree... if students must be at war, or must be in a dance, I choose dance. And yet, when we see sea lions "dancing" on issues which are life-and-death to the other person in the argument, we see how mismatched metaphors create strife.

    1. None of the caterwaulers we hear crying about cancel culture have been canceled. We know that because we can still hear them.
    2. There is no such thing as “cancel culture” — there is only culture.
  21. Dec 2020
    1. CHOICE:Maximize choice, addressing how privilege, power, and historic relationships impact both perceptions about and ability to act upon choice.COLLABORATION: Honor transparency and self-determination, and seek to minimize the impact of the inherent power differential while maximizing collaboration and sharing responsibility for making meaningful decisions.

      Lot of rich stuff here - "maximize choice" implies that there is a defined bound; it's not mere anarchy. The "power differential" (between student and teacher) is "inherent"; this is not a call for pure equality of status.

    2. 5The Missouri Model for Trauma-Informed SchoolsA school that only addresses the impact of trauma on students will struggle with staff burnout, turnover, and compassion fatigue. The science around trauma is clear: the most powerful resource for young people is a supportive, unwavering relationship with an adult. Adults in schools must be capable of being unwavering supports for students. This means addressing the vicarious and secondary trauma experienced by staff-not as an afterthought, but as a focal point of the trauma-informed journey.

      Important point.

  22. Nov 2020
    1. An accountability model of discipline employs behavioral supports and restorative practices to enable individuals to develop the skills they need to be successful in an educational setting.

      This shift toward "accountability" sounds like an interesting approach. What would a "restorative" model look like in course policies, or for academic infractions?

    1. Frustrating that putting a PDF in a frame seems to break Hypothesis. Saving for this quote, which I think is a pretty strong point which a lot of us are zipping past:

      "A school that only addresses the impact of trauma on students will struggle with staff burnout, turnover, and compassion fatigue. The science around trauma is clear: the most powerful resource for young people is a supportive, unwavering relationship with an adult. Adults in schools must be capable of being unwavering supports for students. This means addressing the vicarious and secondary trauma experienced by staff-not as an afterthought, but as a focal point of the trauma-informed journey."

    1. How can we help our students feel safe?

      I feel like this question needs to be asked more. We talk about our classrooms as being places where it should be "safe" to take risks and to fail, but it's not enough for us to assert it, and I'd argue not enough for us to implement only the policies which would address our own concerns. We really have to ask how our students perceive their safety.

    2. A trauma-informed pedagogy enables us to recognize that amid a pandemic, our students may have a difficult time completing basic tasks they normally would, including keeping track of the slightest changes in our classes, making decisions about their learning, being motivated to study or to show up, prioritizing assignments, engaging with classmates or the subject, managing their time, or simply not quitting.

      Interesting list - from the procedural to the motivational.

  23. Oct 2020
    1. proctored, multiple-choice tests are necessary to prepare students to take other multiple-choice assessments they may encounter in the course of their education

      Important point. We design not only courses, but programs, and they relate to experiences after the program.

    2. And though flags from this software don’t automatically mean students will be penalized—instructors can review the software’s suspicions and decide for themselves how to proceed—it leaves open the possibility that instructors’ own biases will determine whether to bring academic dishonesty charges against students. Even just an accusation could negatively affect a student’s academic record, or at the very least how their instructor perceives them and their subsequent work.

      The companies are hiding behind this as a feature - that the algorithms are not supposed to be implemented without human review. I wonder how this "feature" will interact with implicit (and explicit) biases, or with the power dynamics between adjuncts, students, and departmental administration.

      The companies are caught between a rock and a hard place in the decision whether students should be informed that their attempt was flagged for review, or not. We see that, if the student is informed, it causes stress and pain and damage to the teacher-student relationship. But if they're not informed, all these issues of bias and power become invisible.

    3. When I asked Alessio whether her work addressed the possibility that proctoring itself could affect scores, she said it’d make for an interesting study.

      Given all the iGen research about the growing amount of anxiety among students, this seems very interesting indeed.

    4. To make matters worse, her proctor kept calling her “sweetheart.”

      I'd like to see more reporting on this - who exactly are these proctors we're outsourcing our teaching to? How are they screened? What's their code of conduct? How is a complaint registered?

    5. “They can see you, but you can’t see them, which I didn’t feel good about,”
    1. Rather than the night before a quiz or exam, it may be more important to sleep well for the duration of the time when the topics tested were taught. The implications of these findings are that, at least in the context of an academic assessment, the role of sleep is crucial during the time the content itself is learned, and simply getting good sleep the night before may not be as helpful.
    1. When giving negative feedback, teachers can use the positive sandwich approach—starting and ending with a positive comment

      Compare and contrast to what Claude Steele calls the "Tom Ostrom strategy" - framing feedback in terms of "I have high standards; here is my feedback; I believe you can reach my high standards by taking this feedback."

    2. Unfortunately, saying, "Build a relationship" is too vague and leaves too much up to the teacher's instincts.

      Not just in regards to students processing trauma, unfortunately...

    3. Interaction strategies are a type of accommodation that typically go unnamed and unwritten

      How many times do we use "accommodations" which dance around the relational issues, instead of dealing directly with them?

    4. The teacher is 50 percent of every interaction with a student

      I hope this is a useful way to put it - that a relationship always involves both parties.

    1. Doctoral programs are often highly unstructured learning and training environments, where individual autonomy and freedom are highly valued. Decisions as to what counts as a good idea, a worthwhile project, or adequate progress are often left to the discretion of professors, and criteria for success can be opaque for students. This is even more so for those who are not already “in the know.”
    1. Teaching Tolerance offers some clear practices that can help establish connectedness:

      Are these not "techniques", "exercises", "manoeuvers", from the "front of the room"? I suppose the answer is that technique and leadership are necessary but not sufficient for building community, and that unlike a "best practice" in a controllable process, they may or may not resonate (and thus work) for any given person or group.

    2. Too often, rubrics are tools for measurement more than guidance, and they are more prescriptive than aspirational.

      "Too often" is interesting here. It leaves the door open for rubrics which do provide guidance and aspirational goals. That's an intriguing challenge.

  24. Sep 2020
    1. What is particularly interesting to me is this criticism of technology, especially in the midst of an intense focus on learning new tools—Zoom, Panopto, Slack, Google Meetings, etc—in order to be in closer contact with my students.

      Who do technologies include, and who do they leave out? When we choose a technology, what biases (preferences) are we exposing?

    2. His frequent and asynchronous essays, letters, and replies meant there was always something to look forward to, without immediate pressure to respond.

      This is a really interesting way to think about class communication. I'm particularly intrigued by this idea of there not being immediate pressure to respond - that's not my normal interpretation of class emails and I don't think it's most faculty members'.

    1. Could a learning environment have seasons

      I'm really intrigued by this. Are there "seasons" in a course design? (We do talk about things being "hot" or "cooling down", of content "coming down in buckets"...) That's a season which teachers (and to an extent students) can control.

      What about the seasons of a learner's life - and not just in terms of chronological age, but of life stages?

      We know there are curricular "seasons" - again, in terms of heavy and light workload times, new student arrivals and graduations of students as they finish, faculty retirements - but do we address these as liminal times of our shared culture, or just as scheduling hassles?

  25. Aug 2020
    1. contributions made by students

      One of the things we're finding is that cross-talk (multiple in-room people talking at the same time) is almost unintelligible to remote participants. My suspicion is that the lack of spatial/social cues makes it almost impossible to discern between voices.

      Also, once a conversation gets active in the classroom, it can be difficult for a remote participant to break in. Faculty will need to be attentive to that (as they are any time a few people start to monopolize conversation).

    2. it’s not clear yet how well those extra mics will work for students who may be speaking through masks

      We're finding that mics in the $75-$150 range work pretty well in classrooms up to ~1200 sq. ft, even with masks. Students in the back corners do get missed, though this is in part dependent on specifically where the mic sits in the room. (The more centrally placed it is, the better.) Testers with soft or high-pitched voices also seem to be picked up worse; students will need to speak up and faculty will need to repeat comments/questions.

      Obviously every room is different and different brands of mics will work differently. YMMV, but we're optimistic about this experience.

  26. Jul 2020
    1. It is not unusual for one individual to possess several dozen different usernames and passwords.

      Having multiple names is an interesting manifestation of having multiple identities. Do you tend to use your "real" name, a consistent username across services, or different usernames based on the kind of service? What happens when those contexts collapse (like when you give a work acquaintance your personal email address).

    2. A digital identity is made up of the sum total of digital traces relating to an individual or a community

      I tend to think of my digital identities (plural) as something closer to personae - the personalities I wish to expose or highlight or preserve on particular platforms or with particular groups. Interesting challenge to think about the integrative, single identity.

    1. the indexable nature of human beings themselves via the traces they consciously or unconsciously leave on the network, that is to say the question of their digital identity.

      "Consciously or unconsciously" is interesting. The imposition of identity by others, as well as our own volition in crafting it.

  27. Jun 2020
    1. weak ties can turn a mild grievance into something that feels like political action

      Interesting to connect this back to Network week... the strength of weak ties (and network bridges) as a risk.

  28. May 2020
    1. other institutions that serve markedly different demographics or who take different approaches to teaching and learning may need to revise ACE or start fresh with a framework of their own

      It's pretty interesting as an intellectual exercise to consider the educational environments where ACE wouldn't hold up - especially for Adaptability and Equity. I was going to say that with a heavy dose of snark, but sometimes fidelity is more important than adaptability, for example.

    2. What is missing from most of the remote teaching contingency planning is a framework for helping the people inside institutions understand and make decisions about pedagogy from inside the pandemic’s evolving reality. Pedagogy is not an ancillary or optional part of conversations about remote teaching. Pedagogy is the category that describes how we teach. For that reason, whether we foreground it or not, pedagogy is a key part of how our learners understand and assess their experience at our institutions during this crisis.

      Important points - technology is not pedagogy; pedagogy is related to identity and mission.

  29. Feb 2020
    1. So this is one case where we could test and sort individuals to predict success in different learning tasks, something I talked about in this short article about helping students develop strategies for memorization. Perhaps researchers could tackle some other ways to harness the multiple capacities idea to steer students into the subjects and learning strategies that will work best for them.

      I'm struggling a little with the elements of "sorting" and "steering" here. On one hand, it's important to read this in the context of delivering thoughtful instruction matched to the individual's needs and existing abilities. Further I might argue that part of the job of good academic advising entails delivering a mix of easier and harder experiences so the student is neither coasting nor stressed all day. And yet we know that there are deep risks in this kind of "tracking" for students to get pigeonholed and left behind.

  30. Sep 2019
    1. One notable barrier that has prevented faculty from adopting OER is concerns about the quality of the materials. The present study extends upon a growing body of research indicating that OER are not perceived to be lower in quality than traditional textbooks.

      I have trouble believing many faculty members will be swayed by undergraduate students' perceptions of quality. There's a difference to be explored in "quality of disciplinary content in the abstract" vs. "quality as a study aid for this particular course."

      This is of course a broader concern for advocacy for OERs, not a critique of this particular study.

    2. One reason why the students assigned open textbooks may use those textbooks more is that they perceive a greater need for/relevance of their textbook relative to those assigned traditional textbooks

      The absence of the teacher here seems like an issue. To what extent may the students have come up with that perception on their own, or might they perceive it because the teacher told them about the work involved in vetting this particular textbook? What, if anything, did the traditional textbook teachers say?

      (Further down the paragraph it's made clear that the OERs were adapted to be more relevant, which I agree is part of the attraction of OERs and including that is fair. But I'd still like to know what the teachers said in class about it, if anything.)

    3. students taking classes in the classroom report significantly higher rates of underutilized textbooks than those taking classes online

      Seems to hint to me that on-campus students may be receiving (or perceiving) a superior level of instructor support (thereby making the textbook less relevant). Interesting responsibility for F2F faculty and interesting possible criticism of the level of instructor support provided to online students.

    4. and students assigned an open textbook reported a significantly higher percentage of underutilized textbooks (M = 52.20, SE = 1.38) than those assigned a traditional textbook (M = 48.44, SE = 1.21)

      Students who have been primed with the knowledge that this course uses a lower-cost OER text are more critical of textbook price vs use in other courses?

  31. Aug 2019
    1. And they have largely moved beyond the mental model of universal design (UD) in the physical environment, which is static, bounded, and predictable—instead designing interactions according to UDL, which sees interactions as dynamic, open, and emergent.

      Really interesting point here about the limit of the "curb cut" metaphor.

    2. They typically chop off the end of the word "accessibility," focusing their efforts on expanding access, regardless of the ability profiles of their learners

      Great pull quote.

  32. Jul 2019
    1. independent scholars

      which should perhaps increasingly be read as "adjunct/contingent scholars between contracts"

    1. The internet is fundamentally participatory.

      I feel like the shift to content platforms challenges this in a significant way. We have lots of terms for different kinds of participation - visitor/resident, participant/lurker, etc. - but producer/consumer strikes me as potentially a change in kind, not in shading. Even when the consumer is allowed to add a comment, the value of their participation is substantially different (I would argue lesser) than if they were treated as a collaborator or community member.

  33. May 2019
    1. Calling them “emotional labor,” as Julie Beck points out, has the curiously sexist implication that all work performed by women is somehow about feelings.

      "them" referring to domestic work - chores.

    2. The original meaning was the labor involved in regulating, evoking and suppressing certain feelings while you’re at work — as Hochschild puts it, it’s “trying to feel the right feeling for the job.” It described work for which you are paid (although not always adequately compensated) and didn’t only apply to labor performed by women.

      Original definition.

    1. Bloggers can bundle, but making Tweets look like Tweets is actually pretty difficult for normal people and even for geeks like me.

      This has been handled pretty well on a couple of platforms (Wordpress, the late lamented Storify, etc). Does anyone know whether it was fixed more on the Twitter API side or more on the bundling tool side? It's interesting to think that forms of information are more or less bundle-able (reactive or inert, in the atomic metaphor) and that this can be controlled as much by the publisher as by the remixer.

    2. Now, how does that mother build an online scrapbook of all the items that were poured into the system?

      The assumptions here are interesting. Does mom have the right to every picture taken at her party? Do the guests have the right to take pictures and post them on the web?

    1. phonetic signs, introduced to transcribe the name of individuals, marked the turning point when writing started emulating spoken language

      Interesting connection to identity and self-representation there.

    2. Writing was used exclusively for accounting until the third millennium BC, when the Sumerian concern for the afterlife paved the way to literature by using writing for funerary inscriptions

      I'm interested in this apparent instrumental - abstracted - literary/metaphysical progression. It seems to be recapitulated with great frequency (and not a one-way progression.)

  34. Apr 2019
    1. We expect authentic writing from our students, yet we do not write authentic assignments for them.

      I'd like to understand this better. How much choice is required for an assignment to be "meaningful" or "authentic". I can't recall a single writing assignment when I didn't have some freedom to choose a topic (within the bounds of the class) - though there were certainly lots of formal constraints in the way I wrote.

    2. The fact that many of them are working long hours at outside jobs only exacerbates the problem.

      This is poor writing. The sentence doesn't relate to the bullet point. The fact that today's students are more likely to be worrying about food and housing insecurity doesn't mean they don't "value the opportunity of learning in our classes." It only means that there are other legitimate demands on their time and our notions of what the college experience should be have failed to adapt.

    3. It has to be punished.

      Does it? Why?

      In The Illustrated Guide to Law Nathan Burney argues that there are 3 purposes when society punishes - rehabilitation, deterrence, and retribution/removal. Which of these goals do our academic honesty processes address, and how well?

    4. hence, it appears that the Internet is encouraging bad morals

      This is an interesting take. The Internet - a thing - is given volition. It "encourages", it tempts. Hardly the first time we've seen this with technology, but it's part of that misallocation of causes.

    5. Actually, a whole gotcha industry has sprung up.

      The "gotcha" industry has this whole Inspector Javert aspect to it - plagiarism is a thing that students do intentionally to hurt teachers (not something which might come out of ignorance or have motivations completely unrelated to the teacher) and teachers become the agents of a justice system mostly interested in rooting out offenders.

    1. I want to tell this kid that they’re awesome for being weird. I decide to keep my mouth shut because this kid doesn’t care what an old man thinks, and neither do I, it turns out.

      I write and delete before publishing so many social media comments because of this feeling.

    1. Two concepts that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately are guilt and responsibility. When it comes to racism in America, I think that guilt and responsibility tend to be seen as more or less the same thing. But I’m beginning to understand how there’s a real difference. As white people, are we guilty for the sins of our forefathers? No, I don’t think so. But are we responsible for them? Yes, I believe we are.
    1. Two commonly used change strategies are clearly not effective: developing and testing “best practice” curricular materials and then making these materials available to other faculty and “top‐down” policy‐making meant to influence instructional practices.

      Would this be predicted by the Cynefin framework? Teaching problems are rarely obvious enough for "best" practices; "better" practices may be the best we can hope for.

    1. Collecting followers and likes authenticates and quantifies our existence without the need for deconstruction. We will not move any closer to the horizon of self if our sense of identity is based on validation through acknowledgement rather than engaging in dialogue and deconstruction.

      I'd love to explore this more. I think my reaction is that all "likes" are not equal (and therefore the search for them as goods in their own right is fruitless). But acknowledgement by other members (or potential members) of a genuine community is sustaining to dialogue. So the "right" likes and followers do help us make communal progress toward self, even as the "wrong" acknowledgements can frustrate it.

      (See next paragraph for a good caveat about identity work - or the lack thereof - in static homogenous groups.)

    2. As with justice and the law what becomes crucial within this conception of self and identity is the willingness to deconstruct or interpet. Damaging essentialization based on shoring-up (sure-ing up?) well worn binaries such as real/virtual, authentic/fake falls away as the ‘work’ of identity becomes interpretation, questioning and negotiation.

      Thinking of identity as contextual, interpretive, work-in-process, instead of as a static output, seems really positive and potentially integrative.

  35. Feb 2019
    1. It’s about the student and his or her feelings and thoughts, though often articulated clumsily and from an as yet unthought through position.

      The advice to separate self from role is good... but let's think about this as a reaction to the student above who says they feel like the instructor doesn't allow equal opportunities to contribute in the class. Sometimes, despite all best efforts, the faculty member may be wrong, and deep listening and learning has to allow for that possibility. Don't take it personally, but model the kind of leadership which recognizes the need for personal change.

    2. For example, when discussing how women’s remarks are often ignored in business settings, the class or the instructor may be ignoring the remarks of women in the class. Seeing this and talking about it in the moment can enhance people’s understanding of the issue.

      True, but how does this interact with the power differential in the classroom? Can students really be expected to productively call out faculty members' biased behavior? It seems like an option not discussed in this paper is finding external facilitators to help navigate some of these issues.

    3. In extreme cases, urge them to see a counselor

      I quibble with the use of the word "extreme" here. The examples in this article seem more like issues of strong beliefs or unthinking comments, but hot moments also include deeply personal disclosures. Reserving counseling for "extreme" cases is stigmatizing, especially as we see more students in higher ed who have experience of mental health treatment. Many students involved in "hot moments" might benefit from being referred to the resources available in student life offices and/or counseling and faculty should be aware enough of these resources to suggest them with comfort.

    4. perhaps particularly the student(s) who has generated the hot moment.

      This too is a challenging statement, especially in this moment of "call-out" and "cancel" culture. I'm not even entirely sure what's meant by "generated" - the person who gives offense, or the person who takes it? I think this is fundamentally about preserving the class as a learning community, with the knowledge that means action on an individual level.

    5. to manage ourselves

      Good point - it's tempting to think that hot moments are in the student domain, but that's not entirely true. Faculty have reactions too.

    6. For some instructors, hot moments are the very stuff of classroom life. They thrive on such moments, encourage them, and use them for pointed learning. Others abhor hot moments and do everything possible to prevent or stifle them. For them, conflict prevents learning.

      One presumes the same is true of students. But how does a student know which style a faculty member prefers, and vice versa?

    1. Would you rather trust a human legal system or the details of some computer code you don't have the expertise to audit?

      A corollary question might be, if the legal system and code of laws have gotten so highly specialized that they require specialists to navigate them, are you trusting a "human" system or a technology? (With the answer including the fact that humans being involved at all is different from a machine-implemented algorithm, even if human decisions are constrained by the legal "algorithms.")

    1. These outcomes and estimated effect sizes bring us back to a key applied question: Which method—longhand (on paper or eWriter) or laptop—should students use to take notes? At this point, we would argue that the available evidence does not provide a definitive answer to this question.
  36. Jan 2019
    1. Our students have an unprecedented breadth of information resources at their fingertips, yet there is a significant danger that they will miss the opportunity to engage with those voices that hold the greatest prospects for growth. Collecting confirmations of one’s existing views is a poor substitute for meaningful learning.
    2. Recent discussions of “trigger warnings” in higher education, notifications that teachers are supposed to provide if class material might provoke a strong emotional response

      This definition is wrong. "Trigger warnings" are notifications that content may provoke post-traumatic responses. (What constitutes "trauma", of course, is up for debate.) The colloquial sense that "anything difficult is triggering" should be eschewed in professional writing.

      That does not invalidate the rest of the sentence.

    3. For example, an individual who believes that knowledge in a certain domain consists of a set of discrete, relatively static facts will likely achieve a sense of certainty on a research question much more quickly than someone who views knowledge as provisional, relative, and evolving.

      But when curricula reinforce the confusion of speed and intelligence, that time may be precious.

    4. Nyhan and Reifler also found that presenting challenging information in a chart or graph tends to reduce disconfirmation bias. The researchers concluded that the decreased ambiguity of graphical information (as opposed to text) makes it harder for test subjects to question or argue against the content of the chart.

      Amazingly important double-edged finding for discussions of data visualization!

    5. A study by Nyhan and Reifler showed that having test subjects engage in a self-affirmation exercise significantly reduced their level of defensive processing when faced with counter-attitudinal information on policy issues.

      Relation to stereotype threat?

    6. Likewise, merely telling students that motivated reasoning has an impact on their information processing is apt to yield mixed results because students who view themselves as intelligent, fair-minded people will likely meet this revelation with a level of disconfirmation bias.

      Students and faculty both. Many disciplines are reluctant to introduce critical perspectives on disciplinary publishing too early, feeling that students need grounding in accepted information flows before branching out into active debates.

    7. additional motivation for test subjects to process information accurately made the impact of early preferences less prominent, though the influence did not disappear entirely

      Interesting implications for assignment design.

    8. For a review of such research, see Daniel T. Willingham, “Critical Thinking: Why Is It So Hard to Teach?” American Educator 31, 2 (2007): 13, http://www.aft.org/sites/default/files/periodicals/Crit_Thinking.pdf.
    9. Is it safe to assume that we give each bit of information a “fair hearing,” always adjusting our beliefs to conform to compelling evidence? Or do our backgrounds and preferences inhibit our ability to be objective when evaluating information that challenges our beliefs?

      What interests me here is how we might rethink the concept of "political" information. Most if not all information can be situated in a polis. How can we show the risk of motivated reasoning in "scientific" disciplines without falling into both-sidesism?

    10. By examining information as a product of people’s contingent choices, rather than as an impartial recording of unchanging truths, the critically information-literate student develops an outlook toward information characterized by a robust sense of agency and a heightened concern for justice.

      It seems like there's still a transfer problem here, though. There seems to be an assertion that criticality will be inherently cross-domain, but I'm not clear why that should be true. Why would the critical outlook not remain domain-specific. (To say "if it does, then it isn't critical", seems like a tautology.)

    1. Active-learning techniques — like sharing the responsibility for leading discussions or framing classroom expectations with our students — show them they indeed belong in this "scholarly space" and give them the confidence to engage with the course and one another.

      The ProfHacker article by Maha Bali and Steve Greenlaw explores this more concretely. Active learning for inclusion needs to be scaffolded in such a way that it does not reinforce the privilege of dominant cultures and personalities.

    2. That’s true not just within the classroom environment, but in the web of interactions students experience

      Subtle call for more cross-campus collaborations between faculty and administration. A productive form of shared governance.

    3. More specifically

      Inclusive pedagogy as an element of things faculty are probably already doing.

    4. Am I having my students read a bunch of monographs, all authored by white males, for example?

      We need better ways to incentivize the finding and sharing of these more diverse arrays of knowledge forms and knowledge producers, particularly I think at introductory levels. When faculty balk at the labor of finding appropriate and diverse readings, we need resources to show that some of the work has already been done.

    1. Or you can ask them to take 1-5 minutes in class before you start discussion.

      We can also think of this pre-writing or even free writing as a mindfulness exercise which helps students reflect and potentially manage stress (beyond the stress of having to speak in public).

    2. It is important for the instructor to determine what the problem is for each particular class.

      This feels like one of the big issues in "inclusive pedagogy" - the desire for one-size-fits-all solutions necessarily opposes the goal of treating each person as an equal individual. (That said, "one size fits most" solutions are important steps forward.)

    1. They

      This kind of generalization always worries me. "They" as a whole or as a statistically identifiable majority? Or "they" as a memory, where intense experiences stand out with no regard to their probability?

    2. and purposefully

      Fascinating how the author understands that the process is designed by professionals to beat the customer out of their money, and yet internalizes it as a personal failure.

    3. a tendency, developed over the last five years, that I’ve come to call “errand paralysis.”

      I'm solidly Gen X, but I certainly recognize this tendency in myself. What forces are at play which lead people to treat this as a generational trait? Who benefits?

    4. the stuff that wouldn’t make my job easier or my work better

      High priority = job and work.

  37. Dec 2018
    1. For me, personally, empathy does not come from responding to a situation en masse, and trusting strangers, but from getting close to people different from myself online, getting to know them enough that I can (however partially) see a different worldview, and then also trust what they say in a 140-character tweet and can engage with them deeply, through layers of context.
    1. It is based on reciprocity and a level of trust that each party is actively seeking value-added information for the other.

      Seems like this is a critical assumption to examine for current media literacy/misinformation discussions. As networks become very large and very flat, does this assumption of reciprocity and good faith hold? (I'm thinking, here, of people whose expertise I trust in one domain but perhaps not in another, or the fact that sometimes I'm talking to one part of my network and not really "actively seeking information" for other parts.)

    1. Years of traditional education teaches students that what really matters is their grades, not their learning. Students know that while teachers might give lipspeak to “learning,” in the end, the grade is what everyone — teachers, parents, administrators, other students, and society at large — cares about.
    1. Working hard requires opportunity and encouragement in addition to intrinsic desire — indeed, opportunity and encouragement can often spark that intrinsic desire.

      This is crucial. Too often we talk about "intrinsic motivation" (and "grit" and "resilience"...) is if they were solely the province of the student, as if we don't bear any responsibility for the environment in which these qualities are expressed (or are not).

    2. But the reason I wanted to go back in that moment was the same reason students want to stick with familiar grading systems: I know how it works, I know how to communicate about it, I know how to get the best results from it, and it sticks within the letter-grading system I’ve used for 20 years as a teacher and longer as a student. I can recite all the dangers and disadvantages of letter grading, but because it’s the system I’ve known for pretty much my entire life, there’s still a certain comfort to it, and whenever things get weird or challenging or unpredictable, I get an atavistic desire to go back to what is familiar.

      This is beautiful - acknowledging discomfort on the part of both teacher and student.