What I learned about the Expert Blindspot

One common challenge of expert instructors is understanding the learning needs of novice students, known as the expert blindspot. Between semesters, a group of Denison faculty participated in the Rubik’s Cube Challenge: An Expert Blindspot Learning Adventure with colleagues from Furman University.
Not only did Dr. Jane Saffitz, Anthropology and Sociology, learn how to solve the cube, but the experience provided insight into her students’ learning.

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Navigating Difficult Moments in Teaching Diversity and Social Justice

Looking to add to your summer reading list? The American Psychological Association has created a new text: Navigating Difficult Moments in Teaching Diversity and Social Justice. The book comprises 18 stand-alone chapters which help “educators tackle common and challenging dilemmas that arise in today’s classroom—such as diversity, privilege, and intersectionality.” Please let us know if interested in exploring in a group.

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Tidying your tech for semester’s end

It’s that time of year! With the end of the semester quickly approaching, here are some Tips for Wrapping Up Your Semester from ETS. This video was made last spring, but it is a good one to bookmark and watch at the end of each semester. Keep in mind that Notebowl feature updates occur during the semester breaks, so always backup your grade books. The next Notebowl update will take place in late June 2021.

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Remote Exam Tip

With finals just around the corner, some faculty might be conducting these exams remotely again this semester. If you are one of them, read over the ETS blog post from the fall semester titled “Tech Recommendations for Remote Exams.” It provides three clear options for how to conduct exams in a remote setting. If you are using Notebowl for your exams, it is a good idea to watch this video that covers how to best setup tests and quizzes in Notebowl.

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Super Super Super Stressed Out Agh

Recently, I was taken aback by a text from my son: “Super super super stressed out agh.” He is in his sophomore year, with a heavy schedule, but this was out of the ordinary for the “iceman” (a nickname I gave him for always being cool under pressure, and a Bjorn Borg reference). Clearly my son is not alone.

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A Return to Better

As we look to the fall and the promise of vaccinations, herd immunity, and decreased disease prevalence, it is tempting to leave behind the challenging lessons of the last 16 months. However, we have learned too much to just “snapback to normal” as Josuoa Kim argues in his IHE piece, Avoiding the “snapback.”

As Arundhati Roy notes:

Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew.

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Make Google Drive Work for You

Have you ever wondered why some of your colleagues seem to be obsessed with Google Drive when you just cannot get it to work how you want? In this ETS blog post, Kelli Van Wasshenova lists the top 5 reasons she is a fan of Google Drive, and explains why you might want to try using a “hidden gem” called Google Drive for desktop (formerly File Stream), which allows you to access Google Drive files right on your computer.

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Getting Ready for Course Evaluations

When colleague’s want me to observe their class for formative feedback, I always ask them to share two or three things they are working on in which feedback would be helpful. For example, working to involve more students, trying to summarize class in the last five minutes, organizing my board work, etc. This helps me to focus the observation and provide more useful feedback.

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