When A Professor’s Son Discovers RateMyProfessor.com

I had an interesting experience today. My son, who is in high school, told me that he had looked me up on RateMyProfessor.com. I’m sure a worried look crossed my face, but I tried my best to retain my composure. Not a lot of students have commented about me and my classes there. But as [Read More...]

Proceed With Extreme Caution

This cartoon from Evolving Perspectives is inspired by the trigger warnings that some universities have been including in connection with classic literature and art. But it also highlights the reason for exposing students to literature in the first place. Sometimes we quiz and test in the interest of getting them to actually do the reading. And unfortunately that [Read More...]

Universal Grade Change Form

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Parque Jurasico V

I learned today of the above video, set on Butler University’s campus. It was created as part of a Spanish language course, in which students were required to make videos which incorporated multiple instances of a particular grammatical form. Can you tell which one? The video has subtitles, for those who need them. I share [Read More...]

How To E-Mail Your (Not You’re) Professor

This tutorial comes to you courtesy of PhD Comics. If you are not sure why it is funny, don't ask…it's in the syllabus.   [Read more...]

Interstellar PhD

Not a good planet for humanity’s overall survival. But perhaps a good place for a university? Or better yet, what if you get to enroll in a university on this planet, but do your research on Earth or in space, so that you can earn a PhD in an hour or less, local relative time? [Read more...]

Thus Saith The Dictionary

This comic from Robot Hugs explores some of the many reasons why students should not start an essay with “Webster’s Dictionary defines X as…” I had been thinking about blogging on this topic even before the cartoon was drawn to my attention, and so I decided to share it and offer some thoughts on the subject. The [Read More...]

How Grown-Ups Communicate

I’m glad I saw this PHD Comic. This is a real issue. And while professors sometimes lag behind technologically, that isn’t what is going on here. Texting is simply not conducive to effective communication in the professional world. Students may think it is “old school” but when they themselves are in an old school, they need [Read More...]

CIC Information Fluency Workshop

I am currently in Baltimore with some colleagues, at a workshop focused on information fluency in the disciplines of religion, philosophy, and the history of ideas. It started yesterday, and has already offered a lot of fascinating perspectives from faculty and librarians, including practical examples and specific online tools that can be used for teaching [Read More...]

Weird References in Student Papers

I have seen students do some odd things in their bibliographies with such frequency that I am sure it cannot be a coincidence. But I am not sure where they are getting these practices from. The strangest part is the tendency, when citing online sources, to repeat the title of the article, web page, or [Read More...]

Quote for the Start of Semester

The quote from Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, comes from an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, “Wikipedia Founder Discourages Academic Use of His Creation.” The same can be said of the dictionary – I find it hard to believe that I get students starting essays with “Webster’s Dictionary defines…” – or worse still, [Read More...]


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