Dr. Bonnie Shaver-Troup, an educational therapist, began the Lexend Project in 2000 and teamed up with the typeface designer Thomas Jockin and Google to produce the free Lexend fonts. These fonts were designed initially to support struggling readers and those with dyslexia. However, along the way research has found that these fonts reduce visual stress for everyone and therefore, improve reading performance.
As we near the end of the semester, many of us have projects that students present. These can be high stressors for students and a huge time sink for your course schedule. In this short two-page article, Dr. Traci Levy of Adelphi University describes a presentation format she calls the Presentation Cafe. On Presentation Cafe days, she divides the class into presentation slots, scheduling three or four groups to present simultaneously depending on class size.
Last century, when I first taught calculus, there was a heavy emphasis on memorizing and then applying rules: the power rule, the product rule, the quotient rule, the chain rule, to name a few. For students to perform well, they needed to memorize these rules and quickly apply them in a high-stakes timed test with a heavy dose of algebra.
As the authors note right off the bat in this recommended article, “Writing Your First Grant,” grant writing can be intimidating. The good news is you’re not all on your own. Denison’s Office of Foundation & Corporate Relations (FCR) is here to help.
New professors might be used to working with a “sponsored program office” or a “research office.”
Do your students need support collecting, organizing, and correctly citing their research? If so, take a look at Zotero. Zotero is a free, open-source tool that is easy to use. For more information and a video walkthrough, take a look at this EdTech Blog post, “Zotero to the Rescue.”
Like many of us, I relaxed my due dates as we struggled with the pandemic. Now that we have just passed the second anniversary of the national lockdown, I’m beginning to reflect on my choices. On the one hand, I can point to certain students who benefited from this more empathetic approach (not a word that is often used to describe me), but doesn’t the “real world” operate on deadlines?
If nothing else, I am a grading machine. Students turn in written work every week except for testing weeks in each of my classes – ten weeks of written work (homework), four tests, and a final exam. Yes. I am a grading machine. Or, as our retired colleague, Don Bonar, often said, “They pay me to grade; I teach for free.
I taught my first college-level math class in the early 1990s – the era with only three major television networks and “Must See TV” (already, I may have lost some of you). To connect with my mostly white, suburban, Mid-West students, I would reference one of my favorite shows, Seinfeld. Catchphrases like “Get out,” “Giddyup!” and “Hello, Newman” would often elicit laughs from my students, as well as references to Festivus, Bosco, and Yo-yo Ma.
In this series, I share teaching mistakes I have made in the hopes that others can learn from my missteps or try to avoid them. For this installment, I will share a practice that was not my proudest moment.
Early in my career, Denison had a policy that students could add/drop a class within the first three weeks of the semester.
Like many of us, I give in-class tests. Early in my career, I adopted a structure where a test was worth one hundred points. The test consisted of five-point and ten-point questions to keep the math simple. The twelve or fourteen five-point questions were generally more straightforward, while the three or four ten-pointers helped “sort the As from the Bs.”