Five tips for… exam season!

Final exams and paper grading are upon us. At this busy time, we know that you want distractions — but maybe not really long distractions. So here are our best tips for powering through the end of the semester as painlessly as possible!  Continue reading

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Help with Writing: Word Advanced, part 3

And we’re back to Word! This time, we tackle the Layout panel. The functions here are most useful for teaching, but some techniques transfer over to longer documents, such as books or theses. In this post, I’ll cover columns, breaks, and line numbers. There are other tools in the Layout panel, like word wrapping, margins, and alignment, but for the most part you won’t need to use these tools in a classical studies environment. If you think we should cover them, let us know on social media or in the comments! Continue reading

Help with teaching, part 4: the syllabus (content)

In my last few posts, I’ve focused on the theories behind the syllabus. In this post, I focus on how to choose the content (or coverage) of your class. These decisions are very personal, both because you have your own interests (and your class should reflect them!) and because the amount that you can cover in a class meeting or a term is dependent on a number of factors, such as how long your terms are, how long and how many class meetings you have, the level of the course (intro, advanced, etc.), and how fast you talk, among other things. So what I say here should really be taken as guideline, not gospel. But with that understood, there are a few things you can consider when making your own personal syllabus choices.

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Help with teaching, part 3: the syllabus (assessment)

The first time I ever taught, I got some advice: “Make it easy on yourself and give them a midterm and a final. Use multiple choice as much as you can.” I didn’t listen at the time, because the type of class described was so foreign to my (paper-laden) undergraduate experience; in the years since, I haven’t listened because I decided that that advice doesn’t reflect the way I want to teach. But if that has been your learning or teaching experience, how do you learn to do something different?

In my last post, I walked you through how to plan your learning outcomes. In this post, we’re focusing on assessment — the types of assignment that you give and how you might want to weight them. If you think “assessment? You mean there’s more than testing?”, then this post is for you!

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Help with teaching, part 2: the syllabus (learning outcomes)

In my last post, I introduced our new professionalization series on teaching. There, I was talking mainly in general terms about things you can do to get your class underway. In this post, we’re diving right in: the syllabus is usually your first task when creating a new class, and it has several different functions. Although the vocabulary used to describe the various functions of the syllabus differs, most scholars of teaching and practicing teachers would agree that an ideal syllabus does a few things:  Continue reading