Teaching + Learning News 2.03

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 13.38.342014-10-28
Semi-regular reports on higher-education teaching and learning from the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Arts. By Michael Ullyot, Associate Dean (Teaching + Learning): saving your inbox from overload since 2014. Follow me on Twitter, if you do that sort of thing. Feedback and submissions are always welcome. Leave a comment below, or drop me a line.
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The Book is maker of the Reader

“The Child is father of the Man,” William Wordsworth once wrote, counter-intuitively. What you experience in youth shapes your grown-up sensibility. My first post in this series on bookshelves was in that vein.

In the same way, the Book is maker of the Reader. Books change our minds, shift our perceptions, enlarge our imaginations. They enable readers to experience unfamiliar things, to see the world as if they had different circumstances. They enable us to empathize with other people more readily. Martha Nussbaum has said as much about the humanities in general.

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Call for ASHA Instructors


Call for Instructors
, 2015-2016 & 2016-2017, Arts & Science Honours Academy (AHSA)

The Arts & Science Honours Academy (ASHA) is an interdisciplinary program for high-achieving undergraduates (30 per year) in both the Faculties of Arts and Science. In 1959, C.P. Snow lamented that too few intellectuals could describe both the plot of a Shakespeare play and the second law of thermodynamics; ASHA aims to produce more of them.

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Of Arranging Books there is no End

books[First in a series of posts about books, shelves, and -- wait for it -- bookshelves. Walter Benjamin’s essay “Unpacking my Library” is a model of the form, and Anne Fadiman’s Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader is more recent.]

I got a stack of books for my ninth birthday. They were the types of books that kids read in the 1980s: Gordon Korman’s Macdonald Hall series; Roald Dahl’s Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar; Beverly Cleary’s Dear Mr. Henshaw. Three decades later, I remember that stack being about four feet high, but it was probably shorter. I took them to my room and arranged them, three separate times, on shelves: first by author, then by size, then by the order I would read them. I experimented with different shelving regimens everywhere in my room: alphabetically by author; by genre (science books here, Archie digests there); by size; and by series.

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Digital Distractions in the Classroom

On Wednesday 29 October, from 11-12 p.m. in SS1339, the Faculty of Arts Teaching + Learning Committee will host a workshop on Digital Distractions in the Classroom, presented by Julie Sedivy from LLC (Linguistics, Languages and Cultures), who was recently the focus of a story in Swerve magazine on this subject. She’s published a book on the psychology of advertisements and she blogs for Psychology Today.

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Using Swivl for Lecture Capture

[This is the first in a planned series of posts about planning + teaching my Intro-to-Shakespeare course next term, English 205 here at the University of Calgary.]

51mA7ucmyiLA few weeks ago, I mused on Twitter about looking for a lecture-capture system — that is, a way to film my classes and post them online for students to review, or even (let’s be honest) to watch instead of coming to an 8 a.m. class.

Thanks to a suggestion from my friend Paul Schacht, I’ve settled on Swivl, a little robotic stand that swivels and turns to follow you, recording audio and video to your iPad, iPhone, or Android device. You can see the official promo-video on their web site, which won me over more than the time-lapse capabilities you can see here and here. (Maybe next time?) My colleague in the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, D’Arcy Norman, tested it out and posted his own video.

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Peer Mentoring Workshop

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PLEASE NOTE: THIS WORKSHOP HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED TO NOVEMBER. DETAILS WILL APPEAR HERE ASAP.

On Friday, Oct 3 from 10-11 a.m., in SS217, the Teaching + Learning Committee and the University of Calgary Peer Mentoring Network are cohosting a workshop on Peer Mentoring. It will be facilitated by Lisa Stowe (Communication and Culture). Click here to register in advance, if you don’t mind.

Instructors who are unaware of the peer mentoring program often ask, “what’s a peer mentor and how can one help me in my course?”

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Research in 21st Century Libraries

I’m spending the day at this conference, chairing a panel on collaborative networks, video games for police training, and visualizations of a science fiction collection here at the University of Calgary. Earlier today, I captured this gallery of notes on considerations and themes when prototyping or launching digital research centres and visualization studios.

Preventing Plagiarism Workshop

4315172642_eb4aff69e0_qOn Wednesday 11 March, from 2-3 p.m. in SS1339, the Faculty of Arts Teaching + Learning Committee will host a workshop on Preventing Plagiarism, presented by Annette Timm (History) and Virginia Tumasz (Associate Dean, Undergraduate Programs & Student Affairs).
Click here to register in advance, if you don’t mind.

The consequences of academic misconduct, including plagiarism, are clear and explicit in the university calendar. One role of the Faculty’s associate deans is to hear each case and, if it’s valid, to issue both course and disciplinary sanctions. But equal emphasis can and should be placed on prevention as on treatment – namely, on educating students on the meaning and implications of plagiarism, and the research habits that can prevent it.

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Teaching + Learning News 2.02

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 13.38.342014-09-25
Semi-regular reports on higher-education teaching and learning, as seen from the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Arts. By Michael Ullyot, Associate Dean (Teaching + Learning): saving your inbox from overload since 2014. Follow me on Twitter, if you do that sort of thing.
Feedback and submissions are always welcome. Leave a comment below, or drop me a line.

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D2L Training for the Faculty of Arts

5765245364_b8d3ff7057_bThe following is a reminder from Heather Weiland (from University of Calgary I.T.) of the final week of Desire2Learn training sessions designed specifically for the Faculty of Arts.

Remember, Blackboard will be unavailable at the end of this month (May 2014).

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D2L in the Faculty of Arts: 4 Supports

[A message for teaching faculty in the Faculty of Arts. If you're a Teaching Assistant, click here.]

As we approach the Fall term, the Faculty of Arts wants to help you use Desire2Learn: the system that has — as you know — replaced Blackboard. It gives you the ability to manage courses, email students, collect and grade assignments, run online discussions, track student grades, and more.

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D2L Resources for Teaching Assistants

[A message for teaching assistants in the Faculty of Arts. If you're a faculty member, click here.]

As we approach the Fall term, the Faculty of Arts wants to help you use Desire2Learn: the system that recently replaced Blackboard. It gives instructors the ability to manage courses, email students, collect and grade assignments, run online discussions, track student grades, and more. It’s likely that some component of your TAships will require you to work in this system.

So here are some details on two resources that will help: training, and online resources.

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Who are the Arts D2L Coaches?

Nathan Babcock
Nathan Babcock
Andrew Wu
Andrew Wu
Pending negotiations.
Pending negotiations.

New Slate of D2L Workshops for Arts Faculty

Eight new Arts-faculty-only workshops on D2L are now available, this week and next. [UPDATE on 2014-09-11: Workshops are now open to Teaching Assistants, too.] The first is rather short notice, but if you’re new to the system this week then some help can’t come too soon. All are in MB 203B (MacKimmie Block).

Click on a date to register. Each workshop has 20 spaces, so some may already be full.

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Introduction to Digital Humanities

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On 22 September 2014 I’ll lead an Introduction to the Digital Humanities seminar to graduate students in English 696 at the University of Calgary.

We’ll cover issues of professionalization and DH research methods, including:

  • Defining DH. Is it really the future of literary studies?
  • The Problem of Big Data / The Solution (?) of Distant Reading
  • Tools for Thought. Are we testing what we know, or our boundaries of knowledge?
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#FAOW: Arts Orientation 2014-15

This week the Faculty of Arts held orientation events for its class of 2014-15 incoming students, including a Wednesday-morning presentation and Q-and-A session. Here’s a gallery of images from that morning.

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#FAOW: Arts Orientation Photo Gallery

An Ode to Profhacker

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 15.04.46Next week’s the start of a new academic term here at the University of Calgary, when students start to fill the campus’s empty halls and study spaces. The air has a mix of excitement and anxiety — common when people transition into a new environment, whether those people are first-year Arts students or their faculty grappling with our new learning management system.

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Teaching + Learning News 2.01

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 13.38.34

  • 2014-08-25
  • Quasi-regular reports on higher-education teaching and learning, as seen from the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Arts. By Michael Ullyot, Associate Dean (Teaching + Learning): saving your inbox from overload since 2014. Follow me on Twitter, if you do that sort of thing.
  • Feedback and submissions are always welcome. Leave a comment below, or drop me a line.
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