17 février 2014

4+1 Interview: Eric Mazur

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/castingoutnines-45.pngBy Robert Talbert. I am very excited to present this next installment in the 4+1 Interview series, this time featuring Prof. Eric Mazur of Harvard University. Prof. Mazur has been an innovator and driving force for positive change in STEM education for over 25 years, most notably as the inventor of peer instruction, which I’ve written about extensively here on the blog. His talk “Confessions of a Converted Lecturer” singlehandedly and radically changed my ideas about teaching when I first saw it six years ago. So it was great to sit down with Eric on Skype last week and talk about some questions I had for him about teaching and technology. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:15 - - Permalien [#]


The Need for a Global Association of Universities

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/worldwise-nameplate.gifThe following is by Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, president of the International Association of Universities, and Eva Egron-Polak, secretary-general of the association.
Nigel Thrift, vice chancellor of the University of Warwick, recently wrote that universities worldwide need to become better organized to represent higher education’s interests, and better self-regulated to avoid being managed by bodies outside the sector. Coming together to position universities as “some of the most important actors striding onto the world stage” is more straightforward and less fraught with complications than the second idea—a “more integrated global governance of universities.” Yet both present tremendous challenges, and the first must be accomplished before the second can be gained. Our organization, the International Association of Universities, is a global membership organization of some 650 higher-education institutions and organizations. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:14 - - Permalien [#]

A Conservative Defense of Tenure

By Peter Augustine Lawler. A standard feature of conservative and libertarian attacks on higher education is a polemic against tenure. My own view is that tenure is a fundamentally conservative institution—one that deserves to be defended. Although tenure is not in immediate danger at some of our best colleges, it’s naïve to believe that it has much of a future. Its disappearance is part of our current movement from defined benefits to defined contributions. Risk is being transferred from the employer to the employee. Employer and employee loyalty, in turn, are withering away. Fewer and fewer people can expect to have a career at a single institution, whether Apple or Stanford. More employees are becoming independent contractors, selling their skills for a price to whoever needs them at the moment. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:11 - - Permalien [#]

Open Thread: snOwMG Edition

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/profhacker-45.pngBy George Williams. Here in the United States, as winter storm Pax wreaks havoc, I find myself temporarily stuck in Baltimore (where it is supposed to start snowing in a few hours) and unable to get home to Spartanburg (where it has been snowing for hours). The reason I’m here is to lead a workshop on “Designing Accessible Digital Projects” at the 2014 meeting of WebWise, which — as Sharon Leon wrote 2 years ago — “is a conference sponsored by the Institute for Museum and Library Services for their grantees and other library, archives, and museum professionals.” More...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:11 - - Permalien [#]

Politeness in Refereeing Favor Requests

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/lingua-franca-nameplate.pngBy Geoffrey Pullum. Early one weekday morning you are at work in your study when the front doorbell interrupts you. On the doorstep you find a total stranger who hands you two dog leashes, a small container of kibble, and some keys. He states brusquely that you’ll need these later. You stare blankly as he walks away. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:08 - - Permalien [#]


English for Everyone

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/lingua-franca-nameplate.pngBy Rose Jacobs. When I was working as a reporter in London, I witnessed one of those “two countries separated by a common language” moments one soggy spring morning in 2012. A Boeing executive visiting from Seattle had made time ahead of a press conference to chat with the journalists in attendance, and we were all eager to forge the sort of personal connection that can lead to future scoops. The executive gamely opened the small talk with a comment about the weather. “Oh yes,” laughed one of my colleagues. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:07 - - Permalien [#]

The Lesser Kudos

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/lingua-franca-nameplate.pngBy William Germano. Kudos: the Greek word κδος means, according to the OED, “praise or renown,”  implying  that the person who possesses that quality has done something to merit it. On the rare occasion when I have to say it out loud, I find myself taking pains to pronounce the second syllable so that it rhymes not with nose but with MS-DOS. That reference gives you an idea how long it’s been since I’ve said it aloud. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:06 - - Permalien [#]

Dry Spell

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/icons/lingua-franca-nameplate.pngBy Allan Metcalf. The other afternoon I was surprised by a phone call from a concerned citizen who identified himself as Eugene Segar of Detroit, 83 years old. He wanted to talk about reforming English spelling to make it more accessible to students and second-language learners. His message wasn’t what surprised me. The ineluctable complexity of English spelling has been evoking calls for reform for centuries. No, it was rather the realization that in two and a half years of Lingua Franca posts, more than 600 of them, I don’t remember anybody who has touched on the subject. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:05 - - Permalien [#]

Why It Makes Sense for Students to Grade One Another’s Papers

By Barry Peddycord III. By the time this post appears, the first peer-graded assignment in Cathy Davidson’s Coursera MOOC, “History and Future of (Mostly) Higher Education,” will have come and gone, and students will be well into the second. Unlike programming projects, algebra exercises, and multiple-choice questions that can all be reliably graded by a computer, Coursera offloads the task of evaluating essays to students. After the deadline for an assignment has passed, students have a week to evaluate five of their classmates’ essays using a rubric developed by the teaching staff. A student who fails to evaluate his or her classmates does not get a grade for the assignment, and in our course will not be able to achieve the statement of accomplishment “with distinction.” Whether students see that as a chore, duty, or opportunity, the necessary assessment is eventually done—for better or for worse. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:03 - - Permalien [#]

Study Examines Characteristics of Student-Loan Borrowers Who Default

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/Ticker%20revised%20round%2045.gifBy Nick DeSantis. A study released on Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research examines the loan-repayment and default outcomes, 10 years after graduation, of students who earned baccalaureate degrees in 1993. The study looks at differences across individual and family-background characteristics, as well as by factors such as college major, type of institution, debt levels, and post-graduation earnings. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:56 - - Permalien [#]