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Mid-Semester Evaluations

Somewhere I read that mid-semester evaluations were good opportunities to check how a course was going so that you can make any adjustments needed and potentially save a course that might have been going poorly. You can also use them to continue doing what works and to even foster habits of reflection and adjustment among…

Photo on 11-11-14 at 2.40 PM #3

Numbers and Words

It’s that time of year again.  This semester I’m teaching my “Social Science Approaches to the American Past” and as I type today, my students are meeting in their small groups to prepare for their presentations next week on runaway slave advertisements.   I’m with Kelly on the value of group work from time to time. …

Carter G. Woodson

#BlackLivesMatter and African American History

I began my African American history survey class with a discussion of the history of the study of African American history. I have taken this approach in past iterations of the course because I felt it was important for students to understand the context in which the study of African American history emerged. I wanted…

Nora Slonimsky head-shot

Patriots, Plagiarists and Playing Favorites

Continuing with the theme of holiday posts, this weekend is the Superbowl, which if television ratings are any indication, is one of America’s most beloved celebrations. When the New England Patriots won the AFC title game, their franchise name — after all, what early Americanist doesn’t appreciate a tricorne hat reference — and their lack…

Glen

Teaching Outside the Wheelhouse

Classes start this week, probably a week or two later than most. Like Nora, I am thinking about teaching resolutions for the semester. Along with the first half of the US survey, I will be teaching a Western Civilization course covering the Ancient World through the Renaissance. A lot of us teach fields outside United…

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In Defense of the Group Project

I am a strong believer in group projects, even if almost everyone else in higher education thinks they are a waste of time. Earlier this month, I had a conversation with a senior faculty member about one of my syllabi for this semester. She was surprised that I included a group project that was worth…

tara strauch

Newspapers in the Survey

In previous semesters I have assigned primary sources as homework with varying degrees of success.  I could rarely count on students having read the material well enough to jump feet first into discussions and their various levels of reading comprehension meant that quizzing them on the content of primary sources resulted in a lot of…