At work, my team and I are often engaged in the task of evaluating educational technologies – for their technical functionality, information security, digital accessibility, and (the focus of this post) pedagogical value. The results of these evaluations inform the advice and support we give to colleagues as well as various decisions we make internally,… Continue reading Is educational technology valuable for teaching & learning?
When I think about the key ingredients for holiday joy, a fairly common recipe comes to mind: sharing stories, laughter, food, and fun with family and friends. This holiday season, a few TV commercials have me reflecting on how technology is affecting some of our long-held traditions, and what that says about our current culture… Continue reading A Few Holiday Commercials That Got Me Thinking
A recent Academic Anonymous post in The Guardian about how student surveys are affecting a young professor’s confidence got me thinking. Yes, we want students to enjoy our courses. And yes, we want students to find our instructional innovations engaging. But we can’t forget that students’ perceptions of enjoyment or engagement are not measures of… Continue reading Relying on “Smile Scores” To Measure Student Learning Is Not a Good Idea
If the graph above reported on a stock portfolio, it would be a very happy trend. As you can see, however, it displays the word counts for my first six posts. Interesting pattern, eh? I’m not drawing any major conclusions from this dataset. I’m not even extrapolating to predict the length of my next (i.e.,… Continue reading A disquisition on disquisitions
In April of this year, SRI published a report evaluating the efficacy of adaptive learning technologies. This report represents the culmination of a program, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in which 14 higher education institutions set out to test nine different adaptive learning tools across 23 courses, involving more than 280 unique… Continue reading Five common pitfalls in educational research (and how to avoid them)
When I was in college, I studied cognitive science. Then, I went on to graduate school and studied cognitive psychology. My postdoctoral research fellowship focused on cognitive modeling, so naturally when I became Assistant Professor of Psychology, I affiliated with the cognitive group (now called “cog/cogneuro” to include cognitive neuroscience as well). In case you’re… Continue reading In Praise of Social Psychology
“When it comes to teaching, expertise is a double-edged sword.” I could be quoted as making that statement dozens of times over the course of my career in faculty professional development. Why? Because one of the biggest challenges we face as teachers is the expert’s blind spot. Put simply, the expert’s blind spot is the… Continue reading The double-edged sword of expertise
A couple years ago, I had the privilege of working with a team of math and science colleagues working to revise their undergraduate curriculum (affectionately known as “Core Ed” to reflect the new core education that they were creating for their math and science majors). To be specific, these were colleagues from math, biology, chemistry,… Continue reading From forward thinking to backward design
It’s graduation season, and this year I’ve had the opportunity to attend a few ceremonies. Whether or not you’ve been to one lately, I’m sure you are familiar with the genre of the commencement speech. The format often goes like this: Congratulate the graduates. (Be sure to include some kind of verbal “high five” and… Continue reading Congratulations, Class of 2016: Go do what we (hope we) taught you to do!