One Best of All Possible Teaching and Learning Conferences

The 2017 HASTAC conference was nothing short of amazing, in my humble opinion. The acronym stands for Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory, which is based on the proposal that “today’s new, global forms of communication and online learning are so complex and potentially so revolutionary that they demand a new alliance of […]

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Building A Teaching Hub with UA+Box

Deborah Keene created a “teaching hub” for the Department of Geological Sciences, where faculty can share slides, syllabi, test questions and more. Now everyone can search and find what they need for their classes, and they get an inside look into how other faculty teach.

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“My Worst Hour Happy Hour”: The Highlight Reel

The Teaching Happy Hour is an opportunity for A&S faculty and instructors to gather in an informal setting and share their ideas and strategies for the classroom. This year, the theme was “My Worst Hour Happy Hour,” and to enter the happy hour room, faculty had to describe their worst hour teaching and what they did […]

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SOIs: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Thinking about SOIs inevitably brings to mind the title The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Some comments are quite constructive and useful, prompting a self-reflection on learning tasks and in some cases a complete redesign of a task. For me these comments are great, helping me grow as a teacher and making the course better. […]

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SOIs and Self-Reflective Student Evaluations

Over twenty ago, I was sweltering through another agonizing day of my “Classical Literature Through Film” course that met in a non-air conditioned, glazed brick room that vaguely smelled of old cigars. It was my first film course, yet I realized soon, and was reminded often, that this was a terrible class. The films were […]

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Student Opinions of Instruction Learning 2.0

The Teaching Hub advisory board got together this fall to discuss course evaluation strategies. Faculty may wish to better determine whether or not to make changes in their courses that would help students learn more effectively. The conversation began quite humorously when we shared our experiences of the discursive comments section in the Student Opinions of Instruction […]

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Establishing a Digital Presence with People.ua.edu

by Lesley Jo Weaver, Department of Anthropology As a group, academics have been relatively slow to recognize the importance of maintaining a professional online presence. Perhaps this is because many of us imagine that the “real” work we do is mental, internal, and focused on ideas rather than personae. Fortunately for us and everyone else, […]

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Would You Please Peer In?

I appreciate peer mentoring of my teaching. A member of my department sits in on my class at least once per term. We have a follow-up conversation about the session. And then, usually a week later, a memo appears in my mailbox that evaluates my teaching. I keep these on record alongside my other teaching materials in […]

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Students’ Opinions Instruction are In! Now What?

Sometimes there is a considerable difference between a professor’s evaluation of a course and those of the students. The divergence can work in either direction. Perhaps a “terrible” experience for the professor was “absolutely brilliant” for the students. Let’s be honest, however: the opposite situation is difficult news. What are the next steps when a professor […]

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Tips from the Fall 2015 Teaching Happy Hour

Since faculty rarely attend each other’s classes, we seldom have the chance to see what works well in each other’s teaching. On November 5, Associate Dean Lisa Dorr hosted a Teaching Happy Hour at the Mellow Mushroom for informal discussion about best practices. The price of admission was simple: write down one of your best teaching tips […]

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