What is the Point of a Teacher?

If one thing unites Molly Worthen, Damon Linker, and my colleagues in SoTL, it is the view that teachers--whatever we are doing in the classroom--are a central component of what makes the collegiate experience worth more than four years of trips to the public library. But why? What is it that makes a teacher valuable in a way that books are not? In this post, I propose that how we answer this question--that is, how we conceptualize the value of the teacher--is likely to be the best predictor of whether and how we use the lecture within our pedagogical repertoire. 

Do Student Evaluations of Teaching Really Get an "F?"

It's been a bad year for student evaluations. In the space of two weeks in October, both NPR and the Harvard Business Review published pieces summarizing studies that were critical of their use. With provocative titles like "Student Course Evaluations Get an F" and "Better Teachers Receive Worse Student Evaluations," these pieces were (and continue to be) widely shared and much discussed among academics.

Creating and Using Facebook Groups for Courses

In 2011, I mentioned in a status update that I had created Facebook groups for each of my courses. Many of my friends expressed interest in what I was doing, and a few asked that I write a Facebook Note with more details. Never one to disappoint (or to pass up an opportunity to spend even MORE time on Facebook), I put together the following note, originally published on October 25, 2011, when I was an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Marymount Manhattan College