Around the Web: Best Of

Around the Web is going on summer break. As I reflect back on a year’s worth of stories, arguments, and ideas in education, there are a few that have really stayed with me. In no particular order, here they are: “In Which Tenured Radical Ponders The Twists of Fate That Can Mean Everything To An…

Around the Web: Time on Task

In the Washington Post last week, Daniel de Vise discussed new findings that the amount of time college students spend studying, reading or otherwise preparing for class is about 60% of what it used to be. Possible culprits include softer academic standards, increases in study efficiency thanks to technology, and more demands on students’ time…

Saving Time for Students and Teachers

Victor Shnayder, a loyal Bok Blog reader (and former Departmental Teaching Fellow in SEAS) recently told me about several time-saving, online tools for teachers and students that I thought I’d share here. They are: 1) http://papergrader.org - Makes digital grading simpler. Students upload their papers to this site. Teachers add marginal and/or end comments and/or in-line edits.…

bokcenter.harvard.edu revamped!

We’ve made some major changes to the structure of the Bok Center’s main website bokcenter.harvard.edu. Highlights of the revisions include:  A new navigational structure that better maps our new and existing program offerings for faculty and grad students Color-highlighting of the navigation pane so you know where you are on the site, and new menu pages so…

Around the Web: New Frontiers

Several recent news stories focused attention on the closely interrelated issues, in higher education, of technological innovation, rising costs, academic elitism, and personal, individualized small-class instruction. Apple entered the digital textbook market (prompting some skepticism); President Obama addressed the cost of higher education in his State of the Union Address; MIT announced that it would…

Around the Web: New Year, New Semester

Happy New Year! With the start of a new semester comes the opportunity to tweak your teaching persona and to try a couple of new approaches. Faculty Focus reports the results of a survey in which students were asked to describe their ideal professor and their typical professor, and suggests one way to bridge the gap:…

Around the Web: Our Minds, Our Learning

What’s in a brain? In the Chronicle of Higher Education, James Lang offers the first installment of a two-part post on memory: how it really works (hint: it’s not the long-outmoded tripartite model—long-term, short-term, and sensory—on which many faculty members still base their pedagogy), and how it might inform the way we teach. Some elementary schools are…

Creative Assignment Chaos?

Among the many things I learned at the Bok Center’s Fall Teaching Conference was this: TFs are anxious about creative assignments. During a panel sponsored by the Program in General Education, creative assignments came up again and again. How should they be evaluated? What should prompts look like? What campus resources can TFs rely on?…

Around the Web: Blogging to Learn

Blogging might just be the next academic frontier, if you believe the New York Times. But does the medium lend itself to student learning? John Orlando at Faculty Focus thinks it does. Arguing that blogging harkens back to commonplacing, he advocates for blogs as a space where students’ original ideas can smolder until the moment…

Around the Web: The Two Faces of Cheating

What does it mean when the teachers do the cheating on their students’ behalf? There has been a raft of scandals this year, in Atlanta, L.A., and New York, in which public-school teachers altered test answers to raise their schools’ scores. Things look similarly upside-down in the conflict of interest between TurnItIn and WriteCheck. Owned by the same company,…