• General

    Assessment Ruins Everything

    OK, maybe that’s an overstatement: a more measured version might be ‘assessment, when we get the balance wrong, ruins everything’. I get very frustrated with my students – even if something is hugely valuable for learning to teach, if it’s not assessed, it is simply of no interest to them.…

  • General

    So… I guess I really *am* crazy ;-)

    In a discussion on Facebook, someone asked: In the pursuit of individual pleasure, happiness and life satisfaction what are you willing to trade off or sacrifice? I said I was willing to sacrifice some leisure time and work very hard. Someone else then asked: David – would you be prepared…

  • General

    Like It Or Not, Teaching Is *All About* Judgement

    Interesting discussion (10 posts) in response to my post about cheating below. A range of views expressed. Yes, teaching is about collaboration. The Discussion Board posting assessment is about that – and there has been some push back on that as well, with people talking about others ‘taking their knowledge…

  • General

    Procrustean

    Thanks to Rosie Scholl, who mentioned Procrustes on Facebook a couple of days ago. If you don’t know the story, he was a character in Greek legends who would let you stay at his house… but if any bits of you hung over the edge of the bed he’d whip…

  • General

    What Should A 21st Century Science Classroom Look Like?

    Tim Magner has one view: http://schoolsofthought.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/09/my-view-what-a-21st-century-science-classroom-should-look-like/ I’m not so sure. I like the fact that he notes that the new Standards (in the US) need more focus on creativity and innovation, but am uncomfortable with his excitement about Standards in themselves. These externally mandated frameworks tend to accord poorly with…

  • General

    Respect The Skills

    A student (whom I like and have enjoyed teaching) opined that s/he didn’t see how one of the required activities – presenting a lesson to peers – helped to prepare them as beginning teachers. I said a number of other things, but also said this: Last thing for now: to…

  • General

    This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

    In one of my courses there are 5 weekly quizzes in Weeks 2-6 of the semester. Together these quizzes account for 50% of the assessment in the course, so we need to take them seriously if a grade in this course is to mean anything. At the beginning of the…

  • General

    Sacrifices to the Bloodgod

    I seem to be seeing it more and more around the web – a certain hunger on the part of Americans, both left and right, for a revolution/civil war. It’s horrifying. As though the wars in which America has been pretty much continually involved since WW 2 – and the…

  • General

    High Anxiety

    Suzie is studying a paper on anxiety for a research methods course, and it’s (to steal Cassie’s fave word) fascinating! It’s partly about the difference between trait and state anxiety. A trait is long term, so people with trait anxiety tend to be more anxious than others all the time.…

  • Teaching

    Smash Those Boxes (And Maybe Pee On Them A Little)

    Reading, and absolutely loving, Harlan Coben’s novel ‘Six Years’. It’s a mystery story that feels genuinely new. But there was one passage, on page 44, that made me feel like shouting ‘hallelujah!’. See, the protagonist is a uni lecturer… and this is what he says: I focused on the student…

  • General

    An (Un)Intentional Rat

    A ‘rat bike’ is a motorbike that has been intentionally rendered scuzzy-looking. Google image search ‘rat bike’ to get an idea of the concept. Mine is not that kind of project, but it’s kind of turning into one all by itself. Here’s a Photo Stream of photos that explain this…

  • General

    Transforming The Meaning

    I’ve said it about two things: motorcycles and hot tubs. A motorcycle transforms the meaning of a commute, from drudgery in the service of something else to a recreational activity in its own right. And a hot tub transforms the meaning of a cold, grey, miserable day from a cause…