Categories
digital rhetoric Higher Education Rhetoric/Composition

building writing programs: 15(ish) years in (and done)

By the end of this month, I will finish my two-year stint as WAC director at UB. As I am now in Media Study, I don’t anticipate running a “writing program” again. Before that, for seven years I was the WPA in the UB English department and spent three years running a graduate certificate professional […]

Categories
Current Affairs Higher Education

the bitter end of another pandemic semester

UB’s faculty senate sent out an email today recommending (imploring) faculty to find ways to “reduce student stress levels while preserving learning outcomes.” No one needs to be told it’s been some hard months tacked on to a hard 2020. And now it’s getting to be crunch time here and at many colleges as we […]

Categories
Higher Education Teaching

Can college students really not pay attention to the end of a 10-minute video?

On FB yesterday, some of my friends were sharing a piece of research the suggested the optimal length for instructional videos was around six minutes. The specifics of the research aren’t really important here. What is relevant is that academics are trying to come to terms with the realities of fall online instruction. Others are […]

Categories
Current Affairs Higher Education Teaching

on the decision to teach online in the fall

In the end, when it came down to it, the decision to teach online in the fall was not hard. Many of my colleagues teach courses that cannot be successful without some in-person element (e.g. science labs, theater and dance, filmmaking, many others). Other classes may need to be in-person because they are important for […]

Categories
Higher Education Teaching

planning an a/synchronous class for the fall

At Buffalo we received some guidance yesterday on our campus plan for the fall. It is similar to those proposed elsewhere. There is a commitment to being “place-based.” Courses that really require in-person activities in order to work, graduate courses that “support UB’s research mission,” and courses that support undergraduate recruitment and retention (e.g., first-year […]

Categories
Current Affairs Higher Education Teaching

getting on(line) with the tasks of teaching and learning

I know, as if the world needs another foray into this topic, but here goes. In the NY Times there’s an interesting piece that follows the deliberations at Kentucky about how/if to open the campus in the fall. We’re all in similar circumstances inasmuch as no one knows what the circumstances will be. We do […]

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Higher Education Teaching

when every university change their motto to Ubi Sunt

In The Atlantic Graeme Wood ponders the risks as university administrators weight whether or not to return to some version of normal in the Fall. Of course it is hard to make an informed decision without information and we just don’t have enough information about COVID-19 to really understand the risks. He concludes with the […]

Categories
electrate politics Higher Education

the emergence (emergency) of electrate collective experiments

I’ve spent more than 15 years writing about digital rhetoric and pedagogy on this blog, so this seems oddly like business as usual. One of my pastimes is watching English football, and I read some blogs and listen to podcasts. Of course, there’s nothing happening right now, but many of those folks are pressing on, […]

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Higher Education Rhetoric/Composition Teaching

Sharing support materials for teaching writing online

As WAC director, I’ve been putting materials together internally on our CMS to aid instructors and faculty in this transition. Along the way I’ve been adding stuff into the site that I’ve seen shared by others. With that thought in mind, I’ve set up a page on this website where I am posting the support […]

Categories
Higher Education

Advice to students who unexpectedly enrolled in an online university

First of all, I understand how much this probably sucks. I’ve been a professor for 20+ years, but right now my son is a college freshman and my daughter was looking forward to enjoying a victory lap in her final semester as a college senior before heading off to a Phd program. Of course, there […]