Teaching Carnival #9: Are we done with the term yet?

Welcome to Teaching Carnival #9. I realize that you, gentle reader, may be affiliated with a school whose term has already ended. You may be easing into those first intoxicating weeks of the summer break, where your "to do" list seems more theoretical and less urgent.

Academic calendars are somewhat arbitrary, so I know it's not your fault, but I'll thank you not to gloat. Some of us are in the End Times right now, hoping that our post-apocalyptic world resembles a summer break.

It may be too soon to call it.

In any event, this Teaching Carnival is dedicated to the teachers and learners who are racing toward the end and trying to make the last minute count.

"Shouldn't classes be ending soon?"

The Little Professor lays down the law for end-of-semester teaching. Revisionspiral thinks the semester is just too long. Computer-generated registration foul-ups, described by New Kid on the Hallway, might just make the semester feel longer.

Easily Distracted thinks about designing a final exam.

"Are we done with grading yet?"

Raining Cats and Dogma muses on using writing conferences and live grading to make paper-grading more like a dialogue. JogAmericaBlog reminds us of a different dialogue: the talk with the student about a lower-than-hoped-for grade.

A Delicate Boy is assaulted by bad grammar. But Steven D. Krause notes the point where instructor pushback goes too far. Machina Memorialis and freshcomp concur that writing tickets are wrongheaded.

A Ianqui in the Village needs more information to assign students appropriate grades. Cheeky Prof might settle for students without such solid faith in inductive reasoning.

What Now? notices that grading takes too long!

Midgebop offers the postmortem on a contract grading experiment.

"How is it that the thing I always have enough time to do is procrastinate?"

The Salt-Box remembers -- too late -- that undergrads have a hard time with flexible deadlines. Astroprof accepts late papers from students.

Meanwhile, New Kid on the Hallway fritters away the free time that comes from student presentations -- and likes it!

But blogging isn't procrastination! If it were, how could jill/txt use it to teach network literacy? (Some ideas for assignments here.) Revisionspiral also uses blogs as a teaching tool and shares some strategies.

"Back at the beginning of the term, it seems like you guys cared more. Could you at least fake it?"

The Little Professor offers a gentle hint to her students while me-ander bemoans students and their cell phones. Not of General Interest relates the tale of a rude student whi proved immune to magic.

Elsewhere, La Lecturess encounters students unmoved by a really sexy poem.

Quod She to students: your indifference means you're misreading the text.

"Bring on the evaluations already!

I'll Think About That Tomorrow finds something to like about evaluations. Easily Distracted considers what students ought to evaluate at a school without required teaching evaluations. Ancarett's Abode offers a student survey.

Academic Coach looks at good, bad, and nasty evaluations, and reminds us that bad evals can be good.

Alex Halavais looks at how students evaluate blogging for class.

Oodles of academic bloggers evaluate trends in student evaluations via RateMyProfessor.com.

"OK, I admit there are some things I'm really going to miss when this term ends.

Jo(e)'s students celebrate Earth Day and make us jealous of Jo(e), while lil'rumpus glories at students rising to meet challenges. La Lecturess finds a student paper so good it makes her smarter.

"Are we done asking our students (or colleagues) to engage with touchy subjects yet?"

Is evolution still a touchy subject? Touchy enough that Science and Politics imagines how it would be to teach biology without evolution, and that Respectful Insolence has to explain to those not affiliated with medical schools how medical education and intelligent design creationism can coexist in the same head -- not that Orac thinks they should. Bee Policy, meanwhile, considers the influence of unbounded education on a student's critical faculties.

A Delicate Boy talks about rape with his Rhetorics of Gender Activism course. In other quarters, Center of Gravitas tries to figure out a colleague's misogyny.

Is love touchy? Hugo Schwyzer brings it into a feminist classroom to find out.

Wormtalk and Slugspeak has thoughts about whether critical thinking is cant.

Sorrow at Sills Bend asks what's really of concern to the folks who make literary studies a political football. Speaking of political footballs, mamamusings bites her tongue as conference-goers vent their spleens about what's wrong with the U.S. post-secondary education.

ChemJerk wonders why Kaavya Viswanathan's old teachers aren't quite ready to talk about what their students are learning about academic integrity.

HUNBlog asserts that you can't have science literacy without constructivism. Meanwhile, Beepolicy muses on what it means to be informed in science. Whatever scientific literacy is, Live Granades knows a science fair that could have used more of it.

"Do I have to be done before I'm allowed to start looking back?"

Sharing thoughts on what worked, campus.blog gets meta on the five paragraph essay.

See Jane Compute considers the results of experiments with new ways of teaching, including teaching without tests.

New Kid considers what it takes to create a classroom; Borderland decolonizes the classroom.

"Remind me what I'm doing here ...

Pretty Hard, Dammit and Raining Cats and Dogma take stock of the first year now that it is over. And gladly wolde (s)he lerne looks back on the advisor who said "Maybe you're not cut out for college."

Discovering Biology in a Digital World rethinks student internships, as well as good places to find scientific talent. Wormtalk and Slugspeak tracks the evolution of syllabi.

Slaves of Academe reports on a brunch at which four young professors conspire to save the world.

Living the Scientific Life calls for truth in advertising about a career as a scientist. Kinesthesis Breakthrough might settle for some consistency.


I'm sure I've probably missed some good posts (in which case, give a holler), but it's now very late and my semester isn't over yet.

Have I done enough to pass? Can I take an incomplete? Maybe there's some extra credit I could do ...

UPDATE: Slipped under my office door with a note to the effect of "Professor, I just can't get those Technorati tags to work ...", some more from Coturnix:

The Magic School Bus considers how good science education can be a force against the politicization of science. After all, we need more science-literate citizens. A touch of academic freedom would be nice, too.

Since learning biology can be a good way to learn about the science method, as is discussed further at Science and Politics, The Magic School Bus looks at the structure of a cell, protein synthesis, and cell-cell interactions.

OK, that's it. No more late submissions or this term is never going to end!


More like this

Welcome to the thirteenth edition of the Teaching Carnival where we discuss all things academic, from teaching to college life, from HigherEd policy to graduate school research. Last time, I separated the Two Cultures in a way. This time I want to keep them mixed - both sides of campus often deal…
Larry Moran thinks I have the wrong idea about teaching evaluations and "thin slicing": Unfortunately, Dave Munger seems to draw the wrong conclusions from this study as he explains in an earlier posting [The six-second teacher evaluation]. In that article from last May he says ... So we do appear…
Family lore has it that my uncle was influential in instituting what is now a fixture in college education: student evaluation of college instructors. He was class president at the University of Washington in the 1960s, when tensions between students and the school administrators were high, and he…
So, I was in the student computer lab helping a student with a numerical calculation. I couldn't help notice the student next to me was registering for classes. Here is here strategy: Look at required courses. Check available classes. Check ratemyprofessor.com. Re-check available classes. Repeat…

Thanks! (and as someone else whose summer has not officially started yet, I feel your pain! good luck in the final days!)