Faculty Blog

How to Get Away with Murder, or How to Kill Student Participation

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies There is a television show on ABC where a professor takes five students under the wing. The teacher is charismatic, unconventional and named Professor Keating. The plot quickly differs from that of the earlier Professor John Keating in Dead Poets Society, except for one thing: both of them get away with murder.

Investing in Your Online Courses

Chase Wrenn, a professor in the philosophy department, teaches an online Intro to Deductive Logic course centered on building skills in formal reasoning. He offers the following advice on managing self-paced, asynchronous online courses. What tips do you have for providing effective feedback online? Be prompt and detailed. As an online instructor, there is a lot of asynchronous communication

Don’t Miss These Great Courses!

In case you missed them, the Hoole pedagogy series and Studying Religion in Culture recently featured courses by Jessica Kidd and Russell McCutcheon. Kidd’s senior-level creative writing course “Writer in a Wide World” explored what motivates writers to expand and alter their writing practices. Students visited the Sarah Moody art gallery and scientific collections, and they looked to science, popular culture, and

Quick Tips for Online Teaching

Allison Hetzel, a professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, shares how she manages her online courses and offers tips for connecting with distance learners. How do you reduce anonymity and build community in your online courses? I work to connect with my class as often as possible. I make sure that I am part of the class

“Caution: Technical Terminology Ahead”

In “Caution: Technical Terminology Ahead,” a blog on Practicum: Critical Theory, Religion, and Pedagogy, Russell McCutcheon describes how he and other religious studies professors must disambiguate the technical terms of their field before diving into new material: The academic study of religion is no less specialized than any other domain within the university; but other

Modern Binaries

In his post “This Modern Life,” from Practicum: Critical Theory, Religion, and Pedagogy, Russell McCutcheon recalls teaching a lesson on binaries and how his students came to recognize their own cultural, historical, and linguistic categories: Of course, such an analysis isn’t possible without using binaries of our own — we’re all swimming in the soup

Can Multiple Choice Tests Promote Learning?

In “Multiple Choices,” a post on the blog Practicum: Critical Theory, Religion, and Pedagogy, Russell McCutcheon ponders how multiple choice tests facilitate learning in large introductory courses: But what about the multiple choice tests? Well, like that definition assignment . . . it’s more about how they study for it and how they come to

Teaching with Guided Readings

by Andrea Barton, Department of English Introduction From my perspective, a guided reading exercise is any reading assignment that is teacher-annotated. In other words, this is a reading assignment that contains either brief or developed comments, questions, brief explanations, or other such teacher-input that students should encounter while they read. This input functions much like

Hey! You! Get Onto My Cloud.

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies Much has changed since 1967 — getting on or off someone’s cloud, for example. A lot of companies want you to be on their cloud. Since the beginning of the fall 2015 term, several folks have approached me with questions about which cloud to get onto. Some faculty want it