Better Ed Tech Solutions

It’s course prep season here. It’s fun. Sort of. I’m looking forward to term starting. Kind of. I’m doing everything the same as last year. Not really. I’m frustrated that there’s no ed tech tools that do what I need them to. Totally. Screencast Presentations: After last academic year’s wee ‘oh shit I broke the VLE […]

Colourful Chemistry Or Not

I have been reading about how colour vision deficiency (colour blindness) can cause issues for people. I was very interested in this article (http://colororacle.org/resources/2007_JennyKelso_ColorDesign_lores.pdf) and several others about the difficulties in reading certain graphics and maps when red-blue colour scales are used. For example, temperature anomaly charts are often red-white-blue with red being hotter than […]

We need to discuss Failure Bragging

It’s nearly resit season, and even when it’s not, how many times do we hear a student leave an assessment bragging about how much they’ve failed it. Of course, we don’t actually consider it bragging, I’m not sure what we do consider it. Is it a veiled form of apology for considering one’s efforts to […]

Doing your own assessments

I have been producing sample work this past year for the distance learning courses at the request of the Shadow Teacher. For the first item, an essay plan, providing sample work has resulted in a significant improvement in the work submitted over last year. It is probably more essential in Transnational education to be extremely […]

Alternative Assessment

As per always,  LTHE chat gets me thinking and as per always, 140 characters is insufficient to explore those thoughts fully on twitter. The conversation thread was about inclusivity and the barriers to offering students alternative assessment formats as would be appropriate to specific needs. We’re used to handling obvious stuff such as extensions to […]

The Eternal Pain of Group Work

I set more group work now than I used to, in both 1st and 2nd year. It’s always interesting when it is group work season because the students are somewhat more fraught than normal and  staff (myself included) are enhancing their diplomatic skills. I always feel like running group work is like putting out fires: […]

Spherical Students

This is a follow-up post to Helicopter Lecturers. When talking about how we as lecturers spend our students’ time, or how they spend their time, it would help to consider the case of the ideal student. The ideal student is, naturally, spherical. Ideal students are identical, obey Newton’s laws of motion, and undergo elastic collisions […]

Helicopter Lecturers

I’m sure you’ve heard of helicopter parents. The possibly semi-mythological, ever-present parents who speak for their kids, show up everywhere and are generally an effective means of ensuring their offspring don’t say that much (nor appear to have opinions of their own).  But what of the helicopter lecturers? The academics who simply do not trust […]