Monthly Archives: March 2013

Who\’s assessing the assessors\’ Assessors?

Outcomes assessment is an epistemological quagmire, a problem unnoticed by many of the practice\’s strongest advocates. Here\’s why. Faculty members assign grades to students at the end of every course. Either (1) we know that on the whole those grades accurately measure the degree to which a student has mastered the course material and achieved […] … learn more→

Why don’t men return to college?

You know how the hook of a song can get stuck in your head, or how you sorta, kinda recognize an actor in something and you can’t stop trying to remember where you’ve seen him before? (Actual conversation at home: “Hey, it’s that guy from…uh…” “Oh, yeah! That one with the girl from the show?” […] … learn more→

Machine “Readers”?

Those of us who teach composition know the difficulty of convincing students to think of audience as they write: Just who are they addressing? What do they expect in response? Why are they saying something? Writing is about convincing, entertaining, conveying, demanding, contacting…. However you describe it, writing is as much a two-way street as […] … learn more→

Why MOOCs may drive up higher ed costs

Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are wonderful things. We should applaud MOOCS, participate in MOOCs, teach MOOCs, and encourage our institutions to participate in the MOOC movement. MOOCs will help us improve our own courses. MOOCs will catalyze new platforms, techniques and methods to improve teaching and learning. MOOCs will focus attention of the classroom, […] … learn more→

Pop goes the law

The Law School Admission Council recently reported that applications were heading toward a 30-year low, reflecting, as a New York Times article put it, \”increased concern over soaring tuition, crushing student debt, and diminishing prospects of lucrative employment upon graduation.\” Since 2004 the number of law-school applicants has dropped from almost 100,000 to 54,000. Good […] … learn more→

Bill Gates has a solution for Higher Education: Yoda

Bill Gates has diagnosed what ails higher education, and the cure is all about technology, and also Yoda. Speaking at the SXSW technology conference, as reported by CNN Money, “Gates’ main theme was personalized learning, which can be enhanced by new technology.” And Yoda. Again according to CNN Money, Gates maintains that, “Yoda was a […] … learn more→

And the winner Is . . . Competition through cooperation in Higher Education

American colleges and universities have reached a tipping point in their evolution. The old business, financial and program models are insufficient. Consumers now balk at the advertised sticker prices charged. Local government, trapped by a spiral of declining revenues in a long and deep recession, challenges the nonprofit status of these institutions. Endowments – at […] … learn more→

Back to basics: should universities teach grammar?

Imagine a student turning up at university and not knowing basic multiplication. He or she could be hard-working, bright, enthusiastic but completely unable to answer a basic question like: what’s six times seven? If the scenario sounds extreme, consider it a reasonable analogy for what has happened to the teaching of English grammar and syntax […] … learn more→