Teaching Carnival 3.6: End of Term
The roustabouts are hoisting the tents. There’s a whiff of funnel cake in the air. Step right up! as the latest issue of the Teaching Carnival rolls into town. But first: a definition and a common-sense reminder or two. Finally, a nod to our most recent hosts, Chuck Tryon and David Parry, and also to fellow 3.6 carny Jeremy Boggs of Clioweb.
Now, new and notable posts in higher ed:
For most of us, the term has ended and caps have flown at graduation, but there’s still a good bit of solidarity being shown around #grading on Twitter. It will be interesting to watch how these hashtags wax and wane through the academic year and a sorry #jobmarket. #Tenure, anyone?
Speaking of which, the Chronicle reports that St. John’s University has converted 20 contingent instructor positions in its writing program to tenure-track assistant professorships. This comes despite an economic picture that has Dean Dad reflecting on an Inside Higher Ed prediction: Next Budget Victim? Joy.
Back in the classroom, Mark Sample gets proactive, with some concrete ways that technology can help us cope with growing class sizes. Michael Wesch’s class class runs class, while William Pannapacker (the Chronicle’s “Thomas H. Benton”) takes some pedagogical pointers from reality TV. Any way you slice it, the stakes for us and for our students are seeming higher — as Alex Reid thinks through the future of work and the future of higher education and Cameron Blevins surveys the divide between traditional and digitally-oriented departments, from the perspective of a grad school applicant. (Blevins concludes that the long-term advantage lies with schools that “demonstrate their support for digital scholarship on an ideological level.”)
The Zotero mothership has landed, adding (to its powerful new syncing and public-profile features) a game-changing ability to share resources in groups. Expect to see collaboration happening around Zotero in synchronous and asynchronous ways — with exercises that ask students to work together across departmental and institutional lines, and instructors building research databases with their classes, semester by semester. It’s a good thing that thoughtful people like Jo Guldi and Lisa Spiro are meditating on the age of digital citation and collaborative authorship in the humanities.
Along similar lines, Noah Wardrip-Fruin shares four surprises at the end of his year-long experiment in blog-based peer review. Meanwhile, a “three-member panel of 10-year-old Michael Nogroski’s fellow classmates at Nathaniel Macon Elementary School unanimously agreed Tuesday that his 327-word essay “Otters” did not meet the requirements for peer approval.” Likewise, Alex Halavais muses on open access, peer review, and what his colleagues know. Are yours your best reviewers?
And because some level of peer-to-peer will remain face-to-face, Educause Quarterly produced a special issue on the design of learning spaces.
Blackboard announced the acquisition of its competitor, Angel Learning, raising some concerns about dwindling options for so-called learning management systems. (Who needs ‘em, anyway? say Matt Gold and Jim Groom, in an ongoing conversation, covered by TeachCarn 3.5.)
Collin Brooke contemplates tools (including greater ambitions for tag clouds) as small pieces too loosely joined. Bill Wolff focuses on teaching students to create meaningful tags. David Bill looks at what’s happening in higher ed and begins to think through learning, grades 6-12. And Mills Kelly rethinks the capstone course.
As semesters draw to a close, we either contemplate summer work (maybe even in distance ed) or we get more serious about educating ourselves. The University of Mary Washington held its annual Faculty Academy (web casts and audio to come; meanwhile Jeff McClurken describes Day One). Lauren Pressley reflected on 14 sessions of a Wake Forest course for teaching librarians about teaching. Gardner Campbell offered a pedagogy workshop on the concept of audience in a Web 2.0 world. (Catch the four-part series of posts and videos at the link above). Bill Turkel and Edward Jones-Imhotep ran a physical computing workshop in Toronto, around the theme of consumer electronic waste: Hacking as a Way of Knowing. Workshop participant Geoffrey Rockwell shares some images and thinks about why fabrication is taking off in the humanities. And in that vein, Dave Lester kicks off a summer reading group around Turkel’s Winter Reading for Humanist Makers.
The end of term is also a time for celebration, even in more melancholy senses of the word. Kathleen Fitzpatrick mourns her Pomona College colleague, David Foster Wallace. And May brought news of the loss of Wyoming professor and poet Craig Arnold, whose Volcano Pilgrim blog recorded his final research expedition, to Japan.
Arnold reads here from his poem, “Asunder,” on University of Wyoming Television. Both men were recognized for their commitment to classroom instruction.