Yancey, teaching for transfer, and a theory of writing

I saw Kathleen Yancey speak last week at RIT about her latest research on teaching for transfer. I find the focus on transfer is a little curious but important to discuss. Fundamentally, almost tautologically, the purpose of teaching and learning would be to acquire knowledge and skills that have value in contexts beyond the one in…

What If? Special Higher Education Issue

Jesse Stommel and Sean Michael Morris at Hybrid Pedagogy ask “Imagine that no educational technologies had yet been invented — no chalkboards, no clickers, no textbooks, no Learning Management Systems, no Coursera MOOCs. If we could start from scratch, what would we build?” As the image here suggests, this reminds me of the What If? Marvel comics. The ones…

“this will revolutionize education”

I picked up on this from Nick Carbone here. It’s a video by physics educator Derek Muller (who I think I’ve written about before here but I can’t seem to find it if I did).  Here’s actually two videos. The share a common there. The first deals with the long history of claims that various…

teaching research, deep attention, and reading

I’ve been working recently through some concepts on attention and reading: Katherine Hayles on deep attention and hyper-reading, Richard Miller on slow reading, surface reading, Moretti’s distant reading, and so on. It’s part of my larger project taking a “realist rhetorical” approach to media ecologies and, in particular, that part of the ecology that I…

rhetorical organization and Latourian modes of existence

Organization is a common topic of discussion in writing instruction. Often, students are asked to produce “well-organized” essays and organization is a familiar criteria for assessment. Organization generally refers to the rhetorical cannon of arrangement, but somehow it makes more sense to say to students that their essays should be well-organized instead of well-arranged. Organization also…

improving digital literacy: the Horizon Report’s “solvable” challenge

It’s been a few years since I wrote about the annual Horizon Report, put out by EduCause and the New Media Consortium, but the 2015 report recently came out. There’s a lot of interesting information in there, but I want to speak to one particular issue, digital literacy. Basically, the report identifies three categories–trends, challenges,…

motivation and attention as matters of concern

Motivation and attention are common subjects of discussion in our graduate teaching practicum. Students in composition don’t seem motivated to do the readings or really work on their assignments. They don’t pay attention in class. They are distracted by their devices. They don’t participate as much as we would like. None of these are new…

laptops, pedagogies, and assemblages of attention

This is a continuation of this conversation about laptops in classrooms. Clay Shirky, Nick Carr, Dave Parry, and Steve Krause all have recent posts on this issue (that list is almost strange enough to be a Latourian litany). As I said last time, this is the eternal September of the laptop policy. And as I…

the eternal September of the no laptop policy

It’s the time of year when academics like to talk about their syllabi and inevitably the no-laptop policy arises. It is evidence of a recurring theme: we do not know how to live, let alone learn, in a digital networked environment. It’s hard to blame the faculty, though it’s difficult to figure out who else…

why five years for a Phd is both too short and too long

It seems much of the attention on the MLA report has gone toward the proposal to shorten the time-to-degree. Inside HigherEd wrote about this and Steve Krause has a blog post on the issue. Here’s my question: what is the problem that we are trying to solve here? Here’s what the report says, ” easy instant…