14 décembre 2014

Weekend Reading: Allllllmost Done Edition

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/profhacker-45.pngBy . As I understand it, virtually every faculty member in the US is currently grading their fingers off right now, or procrastinating by prepping for midwinter conferences. (Except for those on sabbatical during the fall . . . they might well be quietly weeping at what remains to be done in the time remaining of their leave!) So I won’t prattle on in this space, but will simply wish everyone very well indeed, and the strength to get through whatever challenges you’re facing right now. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 17:05 - - Permalien [#]


Using IFTTT To Track Twitter Participation

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/profhacker-45.pngBy . Much digital ink has been spilled on ProfHacker about using Twitter in academia, and Mark Sample has offered practical tips for using Twitter in the classroom. Taking a page from his playbook, in my history classes, I have students do part of their class participation through Twitter. Using a course hashtag, they're supposed to send five tweets a week, commenting on course material, asking and answering questions, and sharing relevant resources for around the web. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 17:03 - - Permalien [#]

Vape-ing Till Ready

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . So on a rainy Monday in D.C. last month, at the Pavilion Café in the sculpture garden on the National Mall, I was lunching with Joan Hall, editor of the Dictionary of American Regional English, and Ben Zimmer, executive producer of Vocabulary.com, columnist for The Wall Street Journal, and chair of the New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society. That’s the committee that oversees the society’s annual choice of Word of the Year. And we agreed 2014 hasn’t been the greatest year for a WOTY (as we familiarly call it). More...

Posté par pcassuto à 16:57 - - Permalien [#]

George Curme, 21st-Century Grammarian

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . A century ago this year, just before the First World War began, the grammarian George O. Curme published a short but remarkable paper entitled “Origin and Force of the Split Infinitive” (Modern Language Notes 29 (2), 41–45). It has deep roots in the 19th-century tradition of critical analysis of English grammar. And it is sobering to compare his paper’s meaty content with the thin gruel that passes for discussion of English grammar today. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 16:56 - - Permalien [#]

Why I Don’t Use Track Changes on Students’ Papers

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . They arrive now, in a flood, the end-of term papers. For the most part, they are beyond revision at this point, and the task ahead consists mostly of assessment. Still, I find myself clinging to my Luddite position of accepting papers only in hard copy, regardless of the risk of germ transmission by paper, regardless of deforestation, regardless of the printing costs or the various excuses the demand engenders. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 16:54 - - Permalien [#]


Ain’t It Awful?

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . Recently I was at a dinner party where people were using the words awful  and awesome, possibly as antonyms. Awful  was, I thought, used to describe something very bad, awesome something very good. The words awesome and awful have been doing do-si-do with one another for a while. So are they the same word? And if so, what word is that, exactly?
The Oxford English Dictionary records awful as medieval. Since the ninth century, it’sbeen the high-toned term of choice meaning “awe-inspiring,” in the sense of “causing dread; terrible, dreadful, appalling.” But awful is also “worthy of, or commanding, profound respect or fear,” and has been in that sense for almost as long.
Awful seems to sustain a body blow at the beginning of the 19th century, when it takes on the meaning “frightful, very ugly, monstrous; and hence as a mere intensive deriving its sense from the context = Exceedingly bad, great, long, etc.” A mere intensive? Say it isn’t so. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 16:42 - - Permalien [#]

New Grub Street

http://chronicle.com/img/photos/biz/linguafranca-45.pngBy . It seemed like a good idea at the time. The new paradigm for creative folk, that is. Dispense with jobs, with their soul-deadening cubicles and time clocks (metaphorical or literal) and bosses looking over your shoulders—but also, admittedly, with their clockwork paychecks and medical benefits—and become your own brand. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 16:41 - - Permalien [#]

Responding to Offensive Posts on Yik Yak, Professors Stage Social-Media Takeover

By . At the end of a semester plagued by offensive social-media posts, professors at Colgate University on Friday started a campaign to bring some positivity to digital communications on the campus. Using the smartphone application Yik Yak, which allows people to submit anonymous comments visible to other nearby users, professors posted positive messages to students, wishing them luck on their exams, praising their work, and infusing an uplifting tone into the digital discourse. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 16:39 - - Permalien [#]

Sexual Harassment in the Age of MOOCs

By . Following an internal investigation into allegations of sexual harassment, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Tuesday severed ties with Walter Lewin, a retired physics professor known for his lively lectures and live demonstrations.The story of the professor who makes sexual advances on his students is as old as academe itself, but this one was unusual because of its ultramodern setting: the free online courses known as MOOCs. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 16:38 - - Permalien [#]

Rethinking Low Completion Rates in MOOCs

By . Completion rates in free online courses are low—to critics, laughably so. But exactly how low are they? The answer might be a matter of interpretation.Let’s say 79,500 people sign up for a handful of massive open online courses offered by Harvard University. About 44,500 of those people say they are there to complete the course and earn a certificate. About 23,000 say they are there either to browse the course materials or to complete a few assignments. The remaining 12,000 say they haven’t decided what their goals are. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 16:36 - - Permalien [#]