Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Using Technology to Aid At-Risk Students

In ʺUsing Technology to Support At-Risk Students' Learning,ʺ a review of more than 70 research studies, the Alliance for Excellent Education and the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education offer some ideas. The report's main takeaways for how technology can benefit at-risk students: focus on interactive learning and student creation, rather than rote memorization and testing, and provide a combination of teachers and technology, rather than using programs to replace in-person instruction. As Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, explains, ʺReplacing teachers with technology is not a successful formulaʺ--rather, districts must make a plan for how technology can assist educators before bringing it into the classroom.

Read the article Using Technology to Aid At-Risk Students

Teaching Roundtable Small Flips: Small Steps in Flipping of a Class

Flipped classrooms have received attention in educational articles, but flipping an entire course can seem daunting. This lunchtime discussion will cover strategies for small steps in trying out flipping, including a day’s worth of activities or parts of a course. The pros and cons of flipping will also be discussed as well as the relationship between flipped classroom and blended learning.


Read more articles...
Bloom's Taxonomy Flipped
Flipping the Classroom
Southern Blend
What is a Flipped Classroom? (You're probably already doing this!)
Four Things I Wish I'd Known about the Flipped Classroom
Microflipping: A Modest Twist about the Flipped Classroom
7 Things You Should Read about Flipped Classrooms
6 Myths of the Flipped Classroom

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Surprising Secret to Better Student Recall

Last spring, a new study showed that students who took notes in longhand did substantially better on conceptual questions than those who took notes on a laptop. The results were, perhaps, not that surprising—until you consider that the laptops in the study had Internet access disabled.

It wasn’t that the laptop note-takers were more distracted. That may indeed be a valid concern with personal technology in the classroom, but it was not what Pam Mueller of Princeton University and Daniel Oppenheimer of the University of California at Los Angeles set out to measure. Rather, their study suggests there are real differences between the utility of taking notes by hand and on a computer.

When students take notes on a laptop, the study concluded, the ease of data entry makes them more likely to transcribe everything the professor is saying. Students who take notes in longhand, in contrast, cannot write fast enough to get everything down and so must be selective. It is precisely that process—of summarizing, thinking about what’s most important, predicting what might be useful down the road—that helps those who take notes on paper. Students who use laptops end up with neater, more easily searchable notes, but they may be denying themselves the opportunity to do the upfront processing that is a crucial factor, it seems, in long-term retention of class material.

Read the article...

Faculty Forum "In Search of the Aryan Seed: Intimate Labor and Affective Economies"

Come listen to Mona Bhan (Sociology/Anthropology) discuss her research on the Brogpas, a minority ethnic community trying to situate itself in the complex mix of race, religion and nationalism of modern India.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Professional Development Roundtable Scholarly Publishing and DePauw's Open Access Policy

The DePauw faculty approved an open access policy last spring. What does that mean for you and how does it work? Join Rick Provine and Bruce Sanders from the Libraries for some information about open access, the process and our policy.


Top Colleges that Enroll Rich, Middle Class and Poor

New York Times analysis of the colleges that do the most to attract and support middle class and poor students.

Read the article...

The Case for Conversational Writing

As the author argues, ʺThis discussion is actually part of a larger debate about what constitutes good writing. I always tell my first-year composition students, when I’m trying to correct all the misconceptions about writing they’ve picked up in high school—you can’t use personal pronouns or start a sentence with a conjunction, etc.—that the only reasonable standard for good writing is what good writers actually do. How many of our best nonfiction writers, the ones who are widely read and have a genuine impact, write in an academic style? Virtually none.ʺ

Read the article...

Want to Take Group work to the Next Level? Give Team Tests.

Short Chronicle of Higher Education piece about the benefits of ʺteam-based learningʺ and team test-taking.

Read the article...

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Teaching Roundtable Collaborative Writing in the Classroom

This session will demonstrate and discuss how collaborative documents online can help students develop their writing skills, provide peer reviews, and incorporate instructor feedback. Bring your writing-class challenges for discussion.

Writing-intensive courses provide opportunities for students to practice writing as well as sharing it with others. Collaborative writing spaces are one avenue through which students can develop writing skills. This session will demonstrate and discuss how collaborative documents online can help students develop their individual skills through small group writing assignments. Moreover, online documents can facilitate feedback within a text from peers and the professor, including the new suggestion feature within Google Drive. Faculty members are encouraged to bring their writing-class challenges for discussion.

Staging Encounters: Assessing the Performance of Context in Students’ Multimodal Writing. Read the article here (access on campus only).

Perelman, Foucault, and Social Networking: How Facebook and Audience Perception Can Spark Critical Thinking in the Composition Classrooms. Read the article here.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

When Whites Just Don't Get It

New York Times op-ed piece about Ferguson and the ongoing affects of race in the US.

Read the article...

Is Your Student Prepared for Life?

New York Times op-ed piece on the need to provide career training to undergraduates, starting in the first year of college.

Read the article...

Don't Email Me

A Salem College faculty member last semester took an uncompromising approach to curbing syllabus and inbox bloat: Why not ban most student emails?
“For years, student emails have been an assault on professors, sometimes with inappropriate informality, sometimes just simply not understanding that professors should not have to respond immediately,” Spring-Serenity Duvall, assistant professor of communications at Salem College, wrote in a blog post last week. “In a fit of self-preservation, I decided: no more. This is where I make my stand!”
Duvall’s frustration is shared by many in academe -- or anyone with an email account -- from faculty members beset by questions they have answered both in class and in writing to students inundated by university email blasts. This spring, when Duvall taught at the University of South Carolina at Aiken, she adopted a new email policy to cut down on emails from students telling her they would be late, or would miss class, or would have leave early, or any of the countless others that could be handled face-to-face. Instead of wasting class time on walking her students through an increasingly complicated flowchart diagram of when they could and could not email her, Duvall stopped the problem at its core: No emails -- unless you’re scheduling an in-person meeting.

Read the article...

Young Minds in Critical Condition

Liberal learning depends on absorption in compelling work. It is a way to open ourselves to the various forms of life in which we might actively participate. When we learn to read or look or listen intensively, we are, at least temporarily, overcoming our own blindness by trying to understand an experience from another’s point of view. We are not just developing techniques of problem solving; we are learning to activate potential, and often to instigate new possibilities.

Yes, hard-nosed critical thinking is a useful tool, but it also may become a defense against the risky insight that absorption can offer. As students and as teachers we sometimes crave that protection; without it we risk changing who we are. We risk seeing a different way of living not as something alien, but as a possibility we might be able to explore, and even embrace.

Read the article...

Monday, September 1, 2014

National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT) Fall Webinar Series

The National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT) is pleased to announce that it will offer four free webinars on course redesign in the coming months. During fall 2014, we will incorporate our popular Getting Started on Course Redesign seminar into this webinar series, and we will also offer a number of discipline-based topics.

 Getting Started Webinar on September 16, 2014 at 1 pm EST

 Getting Started on Course Redesign is a webinar for those of you who are thinking about beginning a large-scale course redesign project. This two-hour-long webinar will provide participants the opportunity to learn about how redesign efforts have begun at both four- and two-year institutions. NCAT Redesign Scholar Michelle Miller from Northern Arizona University will describe how their redesign of Introductory Psychology got started and how they resolved problems that arose. NCAT vice president Carolyn Jarmon will give examples of what has been experienced by two-year institutions in a variety of academic disciplines as they began their redesigns. The agenda includes plenty of time for discussion to help you think about how to get started.

 Discipline-based Webinars: October, November and December of 2014 

 Each hour-long webinar will feature an NCAT Redesign Scholar, the project leader of a highly successful course redesign, describing the redesign project with a particular focus on its distinguishing characteristics. After a presentation, the lead faculty member will be available to answer questions and provide additional specifics about the redesign. The following topics and speakers are planned:
  • October 14, 2014 at 1 pm EST: Redesigning The Economic System at Buffalo State College presented by Bill Ganley, featuring the effective use of undergraduate learning assistants in an introductory economics course. 
  • November 11, 2014 at 1 pm EST: Redesigning Developmental Math at Manchester Community College (CT) presented by Marcia Jehnings, featuring the use of modularization in the Emporium Model, a proven approach to learning developmental mathematics.
  • December 9, 2014 at 1 pm EST: Redesigning Fundamentals of Biology at Salisbury University presented by Ron Gutberlet, featuring engagement of students individually and in groups.
You must register for each webinar, but there is no registration fee. Go to to register for one or more of these webinars. 

 Videos of Prior Webinars

 Videos of the following prior webinars may be accessed at
  • Redesigning General Psychology at Frostburg State University
  • Redesigning Computing and Information Literacy at Arizona State University
  • Redesigning developmental math at Cleveland State Community College, Chattanooga State Community College and Northwest-Shoals Community College
  • Redesigning American History and European History at SUNY Potsdam
  • Redesigning Principles of Chemistry at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore
  • Redesigning statistics at Niagara County Community College
  • Redesigning Developmental Reading at Northeast State Technical Community College
  • Getting Started on Course Redesign: examples of how redesign efforts began at both four- and two-year institutions.
  • Redesigning General Psychology at the University of New Mexico
  • Redesigning College Algebra at the University of Central Florida
If you have questions about this webinar series, please contact Carolyn Jarmon, NCAT vice president, at We look forward to seeing you online!