Reverse Course Design

Don’t lose the forest for the trees! Use reverse course design to plan your next class.

 

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The Writing Process

Upper Iowa University’s Writing Center has assembled an excellent collection of resources for students at all stages of the writing process, in a best-of list with favorites from the Purdue OWL and other Writing Center/Library websites. Click here to read more. Topics include:

UNC Chapel Hill also has a great page of resources for writers that I highly recommend!

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Making Drafts Count

David Gooblar offers some unexpected advice for getting students to invest time and effort into writing rough drafts. In his article “Making Drafts Count,” he writes, “Don’t be hamstrung by an overly strict conception of what makes a draft. Rather than dry runs at the finished product, think of drafts as more like a series of projects that help students refine and improve their ideas along the way to the finish line. By making the invention process creative, we encourage students to take the components of that process seriously. And the more seriously that students treat their drafts, the more likely the process will be useful to them.”

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– See more at: https://chroniclevitae.com/news/1150-making-drafts-count?cid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en&elq=7d15bb6c467140d6a3c0e7a28f012bfe&elqCampaignId=1571&elqaid=6489&elqat=1&elqTrackId=a5005e043aee48dab06fd3c5713fb01f#sthash.Ax10eZZL.dpuf”

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Getting Started with DH: Baking Gingerbread

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What are the digital humanities, exactly? Read Jean Bauer’s excellent post “Baking Gingerbread, as a DH Project” for an accessible overview. Here’s a sneak peek:

“…my gingerbread was a Digital Humanities project.  I didn’t design a database for this one, or write a single line of code, but that has never defined DH for me anyway.  I did make ‘a thing.’  I made it using the resources I had available to me, lab procedure, tacit knowledge, and pre-built digital tools.  I decided on the project in consultation with those it would most impact.  But none of that makes it ‘DH’ either  — at least not for me.

“What, IMHO, makes my gingerbread Digital Humanities, is that I made it thinking about the systems and structures that I participated in.  This time I didn’t have a research question, I just had a goal.  But I didn’t leave my training in history or information architecture at the door.  I brought them with me.  That doesn’t change the gingerbread.  It should taste the same.  But for me, DH is in the process, not the outcome.

“And I am sick and tired of people with strong technical skills sitting on their mountains and declaring that non-programmers can’t ‘do DH’ or that a certain project ‘isn’t real DH’ because it doesn’t meet some imaginary standard of DIY grit and sophistication, or that somehow becoming a more diverse community will mean lowering our standards.

“Digital Humanities needs both sides.  It needs all sides.  DH should be a conversation, a process, and a community.”

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Minimal Marking: Giving Student Feedback that Matters

David Gooblar offers great advice on “Getting Them To Read Our Comments.” 

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So What? A Case for Public Intellectualism

In honor of Tim Clydesdale’s visit to campus today, I encourage you to read his 2009 article “Wake Up and Smell the New Epistemology.”  To students’ skeptical question of “So What?” he advises to respond by modeling our own intellectual journeys and respecting students’ own path of discovery.

“We need to teach as if our students were colleagues from another department. That means determining what our colleagues may already know, building from that shared knowledge, adapting pre-existing analytic skills, then connecting those fledgling skills and knowledge to a deeper understanding of the discipline we love. In other words, we need to approach our classrooms as public intellectuals eager to share our insights graciously with a wide audience of fellow citizens.”

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Deep Listening

Janine Utell reminds us that “deep listening is critical thinking. Being conscious of listening, processing, and synthesizing what others are saying gives you a chance to reflect, make connections, retain information, and refine judgments.” Read more in her recent Chronicle article “Slowing Down: 6 Strategies for Deep Listening.”

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Academic Conferences 101

Are you taking students to a first academic conference? Check out this Presentation Guide assembled for an upcoming conference in peer tutoring that gives the nuts and bolts of what to expect at a first conference presentation.

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The Secret of Rereading

Thanks to Hannah Schell for sharing this article on “The Secret of Good Humanities Teaching.” Focusing on the value of rereading, it suggests that (from a former student’s point of view) his best professors “took texts that seemed complicated, made them look simple, and then made them complex again.”

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“Greening” the text: make your writing more concise

Ben Yagoda offers advice on omitting the “superfluous, marginal, repetitive, tangential, and/or boring” from your writing, with inspiration from Strunk & White and John McPhee, in his article “In Search of Needless Words.” 

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