Welcome to the thirteenth edition of the Teaching Carnival where we discuss all things academic, from teaching to college life, from HigherEd policy to graduate school research. Last time, I separated the Two Cultures in a way. This time I want to keep them mixed – both sides of campus often deal with the same issues anyway. There are tons of links, so let’s start right away…
SATs and getting into college
Chad Orzel of Uncertain Principles commented on the top SAT essays published by the NYTimes. He argued that writing a decent essay in 25 minutes with a prompt not known in advance is harder than we think. In the comments, Dave Munger disagreed, so Chad wondered how would bloggers do on such a test. Out of that exchange, the Blogger SAT Challenge arose. Dave and Chad set up an SAT-essay-like online test and chellenged the bloggers and commenters to write an essay that is better than the NYT examples. They got real-life SAT scorers to grade the essays and had a huge response. The essays will be graded both by professionals and by readers (in a Hot-or-Not method), and the results will be revealed tomorrow. Can’t wait to see them. Update: Here it is! And, as Dave and Chad note – the kids did better than bloggers!
Jennifer Ouellette comments on the SAT Challenge and moves on to strategies in becoming a science writer. Includes fashion advice.
Getting out of college…
Chad again, on sports and graduation rates.
…and into Graduate school
Chad again: should you apply?
Bill again: How to hold an effective (lab) meeting.
Quod She: To professionalize or not to professionalize – Is there really any question? JJC responds. Yellow Dog comments on the exchange.
Cheating and plagiarism
Joseph of Corpus Callosum found a study that breaks down the attitudes towards cheating by major. Can you guess which students think cheating is OK?
Turnitin news triggered quite an outpouring of blogging over the past couple of weeks. It’s hard to summarize each post individually – one needs to read them all to get the feeling for the overall range of responses, so please, do read them all: Steinn Sigurðsson of Dynamics of Cats, Senioritis on Schenectady Synecdoche, John Walter of Machina Memorialis, Concerned Professor, Michael Bruton of Kairsonews, Linda on Kairosnews, Lanette Cadle of Techsophist, Clancy of CultureCat (and again), Jerz on the Literacy Weblog, Mike Edwards on Vitia (and again) and Joanna Howard of Community College English.
The invisible sexism in (science) academia
The whole avalanche of heated blogposts started when Chad wrote about the Pipeline problem in physics. He got many angry (and not so angry responses) both in the comments and on other blogs, including not one but four posts by Susanne Franks of Thus Spake Zuska – here they are: One, Two, Three and Four and then another one on the same topic. Bill Hooker of Open Reading Frame chimes in with two excellent posts. Kate of A k8, a cat, a mission and Jessica of Bee Policy have more. The referee, Janet of Adventures In Ethics and Science puts everything together in two posts here and here. All of those posts also got many comments, well worth your time to read.
Don’t ever call my daughter a coed, says Jo(e). Or a friend?
Teaching and getting feedback
Abel of Terra Sigillata reports on a speech by Dr Bruce Alberts, recently departed president of the US National Academy of Sciences on the needed changes in science education at colege level. This one is a must read!
Mike Dunford of Questionable Authority got parachuted into an Intro Biology class and was dismayed by the results of his first quiz. He asked his readers for feedback: was he doing something wrong? And the commenters responded – oh, did they ever! Sandra Porter wrote an excellent post in response (another must-read of this carnival!). In the end, Mike comments on how much he has learned from the blogospheric response.
Dr. Virago of Quod She asked if it is OK to teach the reseach paper in a lit. class and received useful responses. New Kid On The Hallway chimes in on the topic.
Susan Marie Groppi is having difficulties with her students’ understanding of Darwin.
EL of My Amusement Park is wondering about High-culture vs. low-culture in the syllabus in Crisis of Conscience: Teaching Pop Culture.
Pilgrim/Heretic asks for advice on teaching history class.
Lab Cat is teaching writing in a science class.
Jo(e) is excited because her students are excited about Jane Goodall.
Geeky Mom: Teaching Is Hard!
Ryan Claycomb of Raining Cats and Dogma gets feedback with his undergrads’ First Papers and then has to deal with grading just before the Five-Week Slump. Oh, and the physical arrangement of the classroom is important.
Refrigeration!? Anne thinks it is fascinating.
When the quest for fairness becomes a tyranny of unfairness.
Parts-n-Pieces on Learned Helplessness: New Media Writing and Underprepared Writers (part 2)
White Bear: How do you know you’re done reading? (including reading a blog post before commenting)
Respodning to error – grammar checker?
Carrie Shanafelt of The Long Eighteenth: How to reach the unreachable. Or should they be called coolers?
Flavia of Ferule & Fescue: Does my advice matter?
No Fancy Name on getting started. I was a kid like that. Blogging cured my problem.
Dr.Crazy: Independent Thinking in the Freshmen Writing Classroom and More on Students and Analysis.
Rob MacDougall: The Secret Syllabus.
Blogging, Technology and Education
Chris of Mixing Memory is asking how can his blogging be more useful to educators.
Jenna of Cyebrspace Rendezvous wrote Reasons to Blog #249: Practice makes homework easier
Josh Wilson comments on the evolution of peer-review. So does Anthony of Archaeoblog.
StyleyGeek tested an assessment simulation and found it lacking.
Lanette Cadle is using blogs in her class.
Timna: this online thing, perhaps it is working too well? and how do you grade it?
Jill/txt on citing Wikipedia. How about citing properly?
Geeky Mom on the use of technology in the classroom.
Gina Trapani on taking good notes. Heck, just taking notes at all.
Liz Evans: Using Student Podcasts in Literature Classes.
I am organizing a Science Blogging Conference, which will have a strong educational flavor.
What is Higher Ed all about?
Teaching – process of outcome? Jenny D and EdWonk comment.
From Dean Dad, always an interesting perspective: Hooray! It’s Defective!
Michael Berube is having great fun with the reception of his book here, here and here (warning: snark and satire abound).
Fun in the classroom (and just outside)
David Silver in sf went on an eye-opening Field trip. So did Emily Louise Smith.
Cliches in the classroom.
In-between serious posts about lab meetings, neuroscience and photography, Jenna collects classroom quote here, also here and here.
This is how quotes originate in the first place.
How to stay in grad school (Via)
Revere reports that the beginning of the college year is also high season for the condom industry (this is a different meaning of the word “fun” in the subsection title of this carnival). Perhaps because of the new meaning to the phrase Raging hard-on. And this is not fun, but it fits topically in this section: Effeminate women.
Profgrrrl: fun and games with students: electronic version
Jo(e): The Devil Wears Satin.
And that is it for this edition! We’ll meet again on October 15th at m2h blogging.
In the end, I have to bitch again… It took me about an hour to put together Tar Heel Tavern last night. It took me about twenty hours (and the weather outside was so beautiful today, while my wife and kids wanted to spend time with me as well as use the computer!) to put together Teaching Carnival. Sifting through about 100 delicious tags and Technorati tags takes so long. Each of the tagged posts first has to be checked for date (because search engines do not care), and if it already appeared in a previous edition of the carnival. Is it a blog post at all, is it appropriate for the carnival? Then I had to read them all to see in which subsection they belong. Then I had to look around the blogs, including some usual suspects of this carnival, to find tagged posts that were not caught by search engines, as well as posts that were (apparently) not tagged but deserve to be included. Out of 540 carnivals, this is the only one that uses tags. Submission by tagging is a cute idea but it does not work. Why do academics have to be the ones to do stuff in a complicated way when e-mail and blogcarnival submission form are so simple, easy and reliable ways of collecting entries? Nobody should spend this much time and effort in hosting a carnival. BTW, thank you to people who sent me their entries by e-mail – about 10 entries out of a hundred.
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