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Goal Setting and Institutional Change

I've been thinking about institutional change a lot lately. As I move into my new role as the Coordinator of General Education at Plymouth State University, I've been thinking about the ways in which policies, procedures, and seemingly small decisions support or inhibit reaching institutional goals. I teach a Gen Ed class called Creating Games. The…

The New Education

I recently read The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University and Prepare Students For a World in Flux by Cathy N. Davidson. Davidson has long been an academic hero of mine for, among her many accomplishments, co-founding of HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory), a community of folks interested in "changing…

Students’ Signature Work: Conference Debrief

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the Davis Educational Foundation sponsored a one day institute in Boston this weekend for institutions of higher education who want to learn more about "signature work." What is signature work? Here's what AAC&U says: In Signature Work, a student uses his or her cumulative learning to…
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Experience Design

In my last blog post, I wrote about Making Things and Drawing Boundaries, a great collection of essays written by practitioners of digital humanities. When I first encountered the book's table of contents, there was one essay that pushed me to purchase the book and read it as soon as I got it. The essay…

Making Things and Drawing Boundaries

If you read my About the Author page, you will see that I have a BA, an MS, and a PhD, all in Computer Science. What you won't see is that I hated many of the CS classes I was required to take. I often felt like the classes focused on the technology for the…

Assessment That Works

We at Plymouth State University have been talking about appropriate assessment of our General Education program for most of the 20 years that I have been here. When we instituted our "new" Gen Ed program in 2005, we developed a General Education Handbook which identified some administrative goals for the new program, including: "A General…

B is for Belonging

Last week, I wrote a post reviewing the book The ABCs of How We Learn. The book provides a ton of information about learning science, including practical advice about how to incorporate strategies based on this science in our classrooms. After I wrote that post, I had a meeting on campus with Amanda Grazioso (Director…

The ABCs of How We Learn

I've just finished reading the second book on my sabbatical list. The ABCs of How We Learn: 26 Scientifically Proven Approaches, How They Work, and When to Use Them was written by Daniel L. Schwartz, Jessica M. Tsang, and Kristen P. Blair, all from Stanford University, who "teach an applied course that emphasizes learning theories…

Creating OERs with Students

With the end of the Fall 2017 semester, I want to record my thoughts about creating the open educational resource (OER) Introduction to Media Studies with students in CM2770 (Intro to Media and Cultural Studies). At the start of the semester, I hadn't planned that my students would create an OER. As I wrote in October, the…
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Advising and General Education

The General Education Committee held a town hall on Friday, December 8, to discuss the President's idea of theming General Education. He has written in his blog that "while individual Gen Ed courses have many elements that relate to a student’s major area of concentration, students often do not see the connections, context or relatedness...."…