ruminators' ilk

faculty development, educational technologies, intellectual curieux, info provocations


Faculty Development News This Week:

Course Evaluations

--Templates for Course Evaluations

Interested in designing your own course evaluation to use in your classes?

The Office of Educational Assessment (OEA), Washington University, offers templates for a variety of course evaluations. OEA is nationally recognized for its services in course evaluation, testing, and test scoring services and provides a variety of evaluation and assessment services to the Washington University community and outside agencies.

Course Evaluation Forms

--"Friendly Course Evaluations"

This article suggests having each student write a letter to a friend about your course as a course evaluation method. According to the author, this open-ended method provides useful information on what students have learned and what they thought of the course.

Friendly Course Evaluations


--"Cognitive Apprenticeship as Pedagogical Strategy"

"Cognitive apprenticeship is a method for teaching cognitive skills that eschews the use of abstract terms in favor of making concepts visible— showing rather than telling. This teaching method can be applied to the uses of classroom discussion in a variety of settings."

Read the article:

Cognitive Apprenticeship

--"How Students Learn"

How to nurture and maximize classroom learning.

How Students Learn

--"Introducing Active Learning with Movie Clips"

This is a QuickTimePlayer presentation.

Introducing Active Learning

--"Information Literacy as a Liberal Art"

This article provides a pedagogical approach that "equips people not only with a bunch of technical skills but with a broad, integrated and critical perspective on the contemporary world of knowledge and information."

Information Literacy

--"Critical Thinking Strategies"

How to moderate critical thinking in the classroom or in panel discussions.

Critical Thinking Strategies

This is a 38-page PDF file.

--"The Right to Know"

Academic freedom in class discussion.

The Right to Know

--Developing Discourse Communities around the Scholarship of Teaching"

"The scholarship of teaching can flourish only with the development of communities of scholars who share, critique, and build upon each other's work."

Developinging Discourse Communities

--"Keeping Teachers' Voices in Balance"

How to choreograph a student-centered class discussion.

Keeping Teachers' Voices in Balance


--Managing Student Behavior

For a thought-provoking view of student responsibility in the classroom, read one professor's letter to his students:


--Humor in the College Classroom

This article is from the journal Community College Week:


--Classroom Management

This is a power point presentation on "tips for a great community college class."

Classroom Management

--Creating Inclusive College Classrooms

What is an inclusive classroom?

"Inclusive classrooms are classrooms in which instructors and students work together to create and sustain an environment in which everyone feels safe, supported, and encouraged to express her or his views and concerns. In these classrooms, the content is explicitly viewed from the multiple perspectives and varied experiences of a range of groups. Content is presented in a manner that reduces all students' experiences of marginalization and, wherever possible, helps students understand that individuals' experiences, values, and perspectives influence how they construct knowledge in any field or discipline."

Read more:

Inclusive Classrooms

Teaching Methods

--Using Case Studies in Teaching

Case-based teaching allows students to develop skills in analytical thinking and reflective judgment by reading and discussing complex, real-life scenarios. The articles in this Web site explain how to use cases in teaching and provide case studies for the natural sciences, social sciences, and other disciplines.

Case Study in Teaching

--Creating Effective Learning Climates

The articles in this Web site address issues to assist instructors improve the learning climate for all students.

Creating Effective Learning Climates

--How to Have Positive Race, Class, and Gender Dynamics in the Classroom

Some suggestions for handling, race, class, ethnicity and gender issues in the classroom.

Classroom Dynamics

--Cognitive Apprenticeship

This article is available on the National Teaching and Learning Forum (NTLF) Web site. The NTLF has a wealth of information on all aspects of teaching and learning. Although this site is subscription-based, there is some free material available.

Cognitive Apprenticeship

--"Educating in Fractal Patterns"

This article suggests that college instructors should think of education in terms of fractal patterns. Thought-provoking.

Educating in Fractal Patterns

The Blog Grab Bag

--The Center for Working Class Studies.

This is "the first center of its kind in the United States devoted to the study of working-class life and culture. The CWCS creates social spaces for civic and academic conversations on working-class life and culture and its intersections with race, gender, and sexuality and serves as a clearinghouse for information on working-class culture, issues, and pedagogy. More than an intellectual project, the CWCS is also engaged with the broader society, providing assistance in creating a culture of organizing and education within working-class institutions and society"

The Center for Working Class Studies

--Capital and Class

Capital and Class is a mailing list on research teaching issues related to Marxist political economy.

Capital and Class

--National Jobs for All Coalition

"The National Jobs for All Coalition is committed to building a new movement ffull employmentent at livable wages. This goal unites a diverse group of otherwise divided, single-issue constituencies. The Coalition includes individuals and organizations with a wide range of interests--workers', women's, children's and seniors' rights, civil rights, and economic justice."

National Jobs for All Coalition

--Think Tank: The Economic Policy Institute

The Economic Policy Institute is a "nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that seeks to broaden the public debate about strategies to achieve a prosperous and fair economy. EPI was established in 1986 to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers. Their mission is to provide high-quality research and education in order to promote a prosperous, fair, and sustainable economy." Free mailing list available.

The Economic Policy Institute

--Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender History

The Web site People with a History provides an online guide to
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history.

People with a History

--Web Is Dead

A play in two acts.

Web is Dead

--Mental Multivitamin

This is a daily blog for "readers, thinkers, autodidacts."

Mental Multivitamin

--Radical Innovation and Social Software

This is a blog devoted to community intelligence and social software.

What is social software?

"Social software allows us to create new social groupings and then new sorts of social conventions arise. ... And this new software will support David Weinberger's notion of enabling groups to form and self-organize rather than have structure or organization imposed.... Social software reflects the "juice" that arises from people's personal interactions. It's not about control, it's about co-evolution: people in personal contact, interacting towards their own ends, influencing each other. But there isn't a single clearly defined project, per se."

Intrigued? Then visit:

Radical Innovation and Social Software Blog

--Cyber Times Navigator

"Navigator is the home page used by the newsroom of The New York Times for forays into the Web." Designed for reporters and editors, this selective list provides briefly annotated links and is updated frequently. Covers areas such as search
engines, sites with materials for journalists, reference sources, telephone directories, online publications,politics, New York, commerce, entertainment, and sports.

This site does require free registration.


--PLoS: Public Library of Science

PLoS "is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource." PLoS offers its searchable and browsable PLoS Biology journal as an "open access" publication such that "everything is immediately available without cost to anyone, anywhere -- to read, download, redistribute, include in databases, and
otherwise use."


--Recall: Search The [Internet] Archive

Find old Web sites, view earlier versions of sites, and dig up information about the people and places of the Web of "long ago. "Recall is a search engine at the Internet Archive that indexes the text of over 11 billion pages. The archive
has pages dating back to 1996 through the present day. The About page provides extensive search tips.


--The Workplace Bullying and Trauma Institute (WBTI)

Do you have a bully in your life? Read about this Web site:

"The dual mission of this organization is to raise societal awareness of ... health-endangering work place psychological violence" and to create and communicate long-term, research-based solutions for individuals, employers and public policy makers. The site offers a definition of the phenomenon of workplace bullying, a report on abusive workplaces, bullying studies tutorials for targets and their families, legal remedies, a list of employment attorneys, proposed anti-bullying laws and ordinances, and links."

Bullying Institute

--OneLook: Reverse Dictionary

OneLook offers a new reverse-dictionary service at
Reverse Dictionary. Recall's reverse dictionary allows you to enter a word or group of words describing a concept and get results consisting of related words.


IDEAS is "the largest bibliographic database dedicated to economics and available on the Internet. Over 200,000 items of research can be browsed or searched, and over 110,000 can be downloaded in full text." Useful for public policy and finance issues as well as pure economics.


--Libraries Change Lives Award

This United Kingdom site celebrates the value of libraries to people and their communities. Take a look at previous award winners and ask yourself why our own library here at Inver Hills isn't celebrating its effects on people's lives this way every year, with college-wide recognition?

Libraries Change Lives

--The Memory Hole

This is a list of videos from the Congressional Research Service. As you may know,
Congressional Research Service videos and reports are not generally available online unless members of congress have linked them on their websites, but they're available free if you request them from your representative.

Memory Hole has preserved 300 CRS reports at The Memory Hole. The widely ranging topics of videos and reports include bioterrorism, immigration, social security reform, AIDS in Africa, the CAFE Standards, child support enforcement, identity theft, etc.

This is a wonderful resource.

--New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy

This third edition is freely available from Bartleby and is searchable and browsable. Entries have internal links to related concepts, so it's easy to explore a topic more fully.

Dictionary of Cultural Literacy

--Open Archives Forum

The Open Archives Forum offers a free online tutorial for beginners who want to do work by way of open archive methodology "The essence of the open archives approach is to enable access to Web-accessible material through interoperable repositories for metadata sharing, publishing and archiving." This tutorial is an introduction to the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting.

OAF Tutorial

--Virtual Eco-Sphere

This site invites you to "build an ecosphere without getting your hands dirty." Choose your soils, plants, and animals, and then watch the simulation to see what happens.

Virtual Ecosphere

Until next week!

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