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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 […]

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Higher Education Teaching

advice for the unplanned online class

UB, like many universities, is preparing to take all its classes online in short notice. Some schools have already made that choice as you know. Our Spring Break is next week so I imagine we’ll know a lot more before school starts up again on the 23rd. I’m sure everyone is getting tons of advice […]

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Higher Education Rhetoric/Composition Uncategorized

who wants to “own” writing?

There’s this old Steven Wright line that goes something like, “I used to say I wanted to own the world but then I wondered ‘where would I put it all?’” That seems apropos here. To clarify, in higher ed circles the idiom “to own writing” would appear to mean claiming sole disciplinary-intellectual authority and control […]

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Higher Education

hindsight is 2020: twenty years of ed tech banter

Audrey Waters writes today listing “the 100 worst ed-tech debacles of the decade” (h/t Seth Kahn). Coincidentally I learned today I had been nominated to be one of UB’s SUNY Online Teaching Ambassadors. This got me thinking about the 20+ years in which I’ve been teaching online and hybrid courses (which is basically the span […]

Categories
Higher Education

distributed vs. centralized incompetence

Here’s the basic thing. Humans are in/competent. I mean: it’s all relative, right? As I (cynically) tell my students, in terms of being “digitally literate:” you don’t have to outrun the bear; you just have to outrun your friends. Let me be more specific. At my uni (and I imagine most others), the IT folks […]

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digital rhetoric Higher Education Rhetoric/Composition

English Studies in the post-digital world

Though there are some ongoing conversations about the notion of a post-digital world (including Justin Hodgson’s Post Digital Rhetoric and the New Aesthetic and Mike Flatt’s discussion of post-digital poetics), I’m starting here with the mildly disturbing corporate speak of Accenture on how to be competitive in the post-digital world. Accenture identifies five elements of […]

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Higher Education

the “robot-ready” humanities

So I’m in the midst again of another well-intentioned effort to communicate the value of liberal arts (specifically English) majors and was introduced to this report, “Robot Ready: Human+Skills for the Future of Work,” by the Strada Institute for the Future of Work and ESMI, which is a firm involved in economic modeling. I want […]

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Higher Education Rhetoric/Composition

counting to zero: the hapless math of English Studies

In The Chronicle of Higher Education,¬†Jonathon Kramnick offers an analysis of the contemporary academic job market in English in comparison with its state 20 years ago (coincidentally when I was first on the job market). This can be put in the context of statistics on the awarding of phds from the NSF. This chart shows […]

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Higher Education

the broken fun of the humanities

The moral of this story is probably that some¬†Chronicle of Higher Ed clickbait articles are too absurd to pass by, in this case, Timothy Aubry’s “Should Studying Literature be Fun?” I find this to be such a bizarre question and ultimately I’m unsure what it has to do with the concerns of the article itself. […]

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digital rhetoric Higher Education Professional Writing

the future of the English major, or “Hey Mister, where do you want these deck chairs?”

The Association of Departments of English (ADE) released a report today on the changing English major. As those who tuned into the last episode (or the last 1000 episodes) of this program will remember, there has been a steady decline in English majors (going back to the early 90s when measured as a share of […]