Guest Post: Gary Wilson on online exams and minimizing lecture

  We are pleased to include the following guest post from Dr. Gary Wilson of College of the Mainland in Texas City, Texas. In the following post, Dr. Wilson reflects on four decades of teaching and administration, highlighting his use of online quizzes and his attempts to minimize reliance on lecturing.    I taught my first college…

Interview with novelist Carol Goodman

Carol Goodman is the author of fourteen novels and the winner of many literary prizes. She teaches creative writing at The New School and SUNY New Paltz. Her work frequently engages the past, including her latest novel The Metropolitans. This winter, I sent her a handful of questions about how she understands and employs history…

Encouraging students to fail

My university’s Center for Teaching and Learning has created reading groups in each of the university’s eight schools. The reading group for the School of Arts and Humanities has decided to read Linda B. Nilson’s Specifications Grading: Restoring Rigor, Motivating Students, and Saving Faculty Time (2015). Nilson proposes a grading system called specs grading that…

The Soundtrack of the Survey, 1865-Present

This guest post comes from former contributor Patrick Iber. Patrick is assistant professor of history at the University of Texas at El Paso, where he teaches courses in U.S. foreign relations, transnational history, and Latin American culture and politics.  You can read his past posts here.    Like many other professors do, I’ve integrated good deal…

Neoliberalism and DH in the classroom

A recent Los Angeles Book Review piece argues that the digital humanities’ “most significant contribution to academic politics may lie in its (perhaps unintentional) facilitation of the neoliberal takeover of the university.” The article has series flaws, and insightful reactions have come from Matthew Kirshbaum, Alan Liu, and (I have to acknowledge UTD graduate) Michele Rosen. I am participating this…

Guest Post: An Argument for Continental History

Our post today comes from new contributor Dr. Kevin Gannon, who has his own excellent blog, The Tattooed Professor. This post was originally published November 14, 2015.    If you watch sports regularly, you’re probably familiar with the concept of “East Coast Bias.” Teams from places New York, Boston, and Washington, DC, can seem to dominate…

Evaluating Digital Humanities Projects

I am teaching introductory digital humanities courses this spring at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Both courses have three goals. Students will engage in scholarly conversation on the key issues in the field. Students will learn to critically evaluate works of digital scholarship. Students produce a piece of original digital scholarship. We recently pivoted…

Motivation and Community

A few months ago, someone invited me to a hidden Facebook group for college-level instructors to ask questions, share successes, and vent frustrations. I recently left this group after having enough of the unceasing student-bashing. The most common complaint among these instructors is similar to the one I hear most from friends and colleagues, “these…