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November 23, 2010 - 8:44pm
“Why them and not us?”Managing the different impacts of microbenefits is a surprisingly large part of my job. I’m still getting used to it, and still shaking off disbelief at some of the issues people will choose to fight about. This week brought that home to me yet again.
November 23, 2010 - 7:31pm
Are classes the same thing as courses and sections?Simple questions about student data can quickly disintegrate into details too nuanced for most faculty to stomach. I restrain myself from asking too many questions in response: should data be categorized by term, or by year? Should non-degree students and auditors be included? Universities are swimming in data, even if they are siloed in ways that seem to make little sense.
November 22, 2010 - 9:31pm
Anecdotally, it looks like the new Higher Education Act is doing a number on college bookstores, and on bookstores in college towns.
November 22, 2010 - 9:30pm
Can you remember what life was like before the Internet? I can ... but barely. I remember sending my first e-mail, and putting the entire message in the subject line, not knowing how it worked; the person to whom I was responding kindly phoned me up to explain it to me. I remember using Gopher, burrowing down through files and folders to see what was there. I recall a friend telling me about a new development that he thought would change everything, and it did; he was describing the World Wide Web and the browser that opened the door to just about everything.
November 22, 2010 - 9:15pm
Tractors are tools. Growing up in Iowa, I was always impressed by the variety of tractors that were used for farming. My parents owned an ancient Case IH tractor. It didn't have a cab, power steering, or 4 wheel drive. It was a relic. An antique that worked long past its "expiration date." My grandfather's equipment was much more advanced. His tractors had air conditioning, a radio, and power steering.
November 22, 2010 - 8:36pm
Sometimes teaching is a lot like baking. It helps to have a goal, and to have the basics down, but then it also helps to be flexible. Sometimes you just don’t have the necessary ingredients (the motivated students? The right mix of readings?), but you still have to teach the class. Baking’s often a lot like that for me.
November 22, 2010 - 4:45pm
I got a bit of a shock last week; it reminded me just how strongly the disciplinary culture rules at Greenback U.I happened to be walking from one academic building to another. A tenured faculty member I know who's been teaching here for about eight years was headed in the same direction for a different meeting at the same time. The building to which we were both walking is a major one on campus, part of one of our better-known schools, facing out on an academic quad. But she didn't know which building it was.
November 22, 2010 - 4:15pm
On November 7, 2010, 3.3 million Brazilian secondary school graduates, hoping for a place in a university, took the National Assessment of Secondary Education (ENEM), a two-day examination marathon covering the humanities, natural sciences, language and mathematics. The next day, it appeared that in some places the answer sheets had not been printed correctly, leading to errors in test correction. A few days later, a federal judge suspended the exam, and ordered the Ministry of Education to do it over.
November 22, 2010 - 11:00am
Nice try, Mr. Grande, the plaintiff's lawyer, but I don't suspect there will be any cigars. Many articles on the issue have pointed out the same opinion. This post is a minor amplification why.
November 21, 2010 - 9:00pm
Where does professors’ authority in the classroom come from?

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