Digital learning leaders stress importance of building faculty support for online initiatives

Digital learning leaders diagnose the challenges of seeking faculty support -- and possible solutions to obtaining it.

Administrators and sports experts weigh in on how many online courses college athletes should take

Iowa imposed limit on distance education by its athletes, only to back away. Does online ed help athletes learn, or just make it easier for them to miss classes?

New Blackboard tool helps grades participation in online discussions

As reported by Inside Higher Ed, Blackboard plans to introduce a new feature in its learning management system later this year to help instructors grade students’ participation in online class discussions. The feature, called the “discussion forum recommended grade,” will use computer algorithms to analyze students’ posts in class discussion forums.

Peer advice for instructors teaching online for first time

Seventeen instructors offer guidance for colleagues teaching an online course for the first time (and for those seeking a few new ideas).

California Community Colleges to create statewide​, online-only college

According to a report in Inside Higher Ed, 2.5 million Californians have attended college but don’t have a degree -- a problem the state’s two-year system is trying to help solve with a new statewide, online-only college.

Embracing unconstrained time in online courses

Christopher Haynes argues that instructors teaching online courses should embrace unanticipated and unconstrained time -- something he’s learned a lot about from his toddler.

Berklee Pledges to Change Culture on Harassment

Berklee College of Music has terminated 11 faculty members in the past 13 years for sexual misconduct, President Roger Brown said Monday at a packed forum, The Boston Globe reported. Brown’s disclosure followed a prior Globe report describing a culture of harassment on campus, and a campus march against harassment earlier in the day. Brown had planned to deliver an annual address but scrapped those plans to address concerns about sexual misconduct in a speech at Berklee’s main concert hall. He apologized for past wrongs and pledged more transparency surrounding campus dealings with harassment and assault claims, according to the Globe. “It’s unacceptable,” Brown said of reports of students being groped or harassed by professors who were able to leave quietly and teach elsewhere. “It breaks my heart. It goes against everything that makes me want to be here in the first place.” Promising to “root out” abusive behavior, Brown pledged zero tolerance and announced the creation of a working group on the issue and the expansion of diversity office hours to enable reports of harassment.

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The significant learning benefits of getting rid of grades (essay)

Teaching Today

Formal education has led to a lack of learning in a number of ways, argues Susan D. Blum, and the one change that can make a big difference is getting rid of grades.

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What's to be done about the numerous reports of faculty misconduct dating back years and even decades?

What’s to be done about the numerous reports of faculty misconduct dating back years and even decades?

Scrutiny of Punishment for Professor Over Harassment

Princeton University found Sergio Verdú, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Electrical Engineering, responsible for sexual harassment against a graduate student and punished him by forcing him to attend an eight-hour anti-harassment training session, the Huffington Post reported. The 23-year-old graduate student came from South Korea in 2015 to work with  Verdú, who became her thesis advisor in 2016, according to the Huffington Post. A year later, she said,  Verdú began behaving inappropriately toward her, touching her thigh and stomach at his home after he’d first invited her there to watch what turned out to be a sexually explicit Korean film.  Verdú allegedly asked her not to talk about the meeting within earshot of anyone in the department and asked her if she had a boyfriend. 

The student filed a harassment complaint, but she says that  Verdú’s punishment was the single training session. The dean of faculty at Princeton reportedly admitted in a recording obtained by Huffington Post that there was “a broader set of allegations” made against  Verdú by other women but that no one was willing to come forward on record.  Verdú said that Princeton advised him “not to reply but I categorically deny that there were any advances or any sexual harassment.” Princeton declined to comment on the specific case but said that “when a member of the university community is found responsible for violating our sexual misconduct policy, a range of penalties may be imposed.”

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