Filed under Faculty

Crimes Against Dissertation Humanity

Since I left academia in 2013, I’ve had a part-time job as something called a “dissertation coach.” I work one-on-one with a stable of about a dozen private clients, and help them manage both their workload and the emotional vicissitudes of graduate school. And no matter their field—I’ve worked with scientists, engineers, sociologists, psychologists, historians, … Continue reading

Engaging Students Requires a Renewed Focus on Teaching

Promoting successful student learners requires faculty members to reflect on their own roles as teachers. But while tenured and tenure-track professors routinely share their research interests with one another, frank discussions about teaching remain rare. Relevant and vibrant pedagogical discussions are well established in some fields, such as digital pedagogy and rhetoric and composition, since … Continue reading

Apple Watch: Coming to a Classroom Near You?

Wearable technology has entered the mainstream. The Apple Watch, announced on Tuesday, ushers in the possibility that, one day soon, campuses across the country will contend with students who are literally attached to their gadgets. “These wearable technologies will become like appendages,” said B.J. Fogg, a consulting professor at Stanford University and director of the … Continue reading

Why I’m Asking You Not to Use Laptops

At a teaching workshop last week, a new faculty member asked me how I felt about students using laptops in the classroom. I replied, “I ask students not to use laptops in my classroom—unless a student tells me they need or strongly prefer a laptop to take notes (for any reason), in which case we … Continue reading

Anatomy of a Serial-Plagiarism Charge

Mustapha Marrouchi’s extensive body of work includes books, peer-reviewed articles, and online essays; literary criticism and sociocultural analysis; commentary and memoir. It’s a diverse portfolio, but if you track it closely enough, a through line emerges: Passages from other authors regularly appear, nearly verbatim, without attribution. With a sample size so large, and the echoes … Continue reading

States Given a Reprieve on Ratings of Teachers

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced on Thursday that states could delay the use of test results in teacher-performance ratings by another year, an acknowledgment, in effect, of the enormous pressures mounting on the nation’s teachers because of new academic standards and more rigorous standardized testing. Using language that evoked some of his fiercest critics, … Continue reading

Too Many Poor Leaders

Just how much control do faculty members at community colleges have over their work circumstances or the decisions made in their name? I began this series of columns last month with a broad look at the challenges facing today’s two-year colleges. This month I want to focus on the issue of faculty control (or lack … Continue reading

I Used to Be a Good Teacher

Note: Alice Umber is the pseudonym of an adjunct professor of human development at a university in California. I spent five years on the tenure track. Now I’m an adjunct, and the move has affected my teaching in ways I didn’t anticipate. I’m not the teacher I once was, largely thanks to the lack of … Continue reading

Higher-Education Research Rarely Gets Replicated

Report: “Facts Are More Important Than Novelty: Replication in the Education Sciences” Authors: Matthew C. Makel, gifted education reseach specialist at the Duke University Talent Identification Program, and Jonathan A. Plucker, a professor of educational leadership at the University of Connecticut Summary: The authors of the study, published in Educational Researcher, the journal of the … Continue reading