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Download Conversation #10

Josh Aronson

A conversation with Dr. Josh Aronson of New York University on teaching, learning, and stereotype threat.

People perform better when they don't feel their intelligence is being evaluated. So in a very broad way, if you can create an environment that takes the heat off of intelligence — and I think different teachers do this in a variety of ways — so if they say, look, I'm here to evaluate not how smart you are, but what I have been able to teach you... Now the onus is on me. Now the bell curve isn't about you. I am being put on a bell curve as your teacher. So you can sort of shift the emphasis from evaluation of your intelligence to evaluation of my ability to teach you. I've had teachers come to me and tell me that when they [do this] the kids do much better, and they aren't vomiting on their exam pages anymore.

Links referenced in this episode:

  • "Stereotypes and the Fragility of Academic Competence, Motivation, and Self-Concept" by Joshua Aronson and Claude M. Steele. From Handbook of Competence and Motivation, 2005. [PDF courtesy of the author]

...continue reading "Conversation #10: Stereotype Threat"

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Course content remains in Blackboard for three semesters before it is removed. This means, for example, courses created for the fall 2008 semester will not be removed until after the start of the spring 2010 semester. You should create an archive of your course before it is scheduled to be removed from the Blackboard system.
Note: The archive will not contain any student grade information. The student grade information should be downloaded separately. Refer to Bb tip #3 for instructions on exporting information from the Grade Center.

Follow these steps to do it.
To archive a course, click on the [Archive] link in the [Control Panel] of the course. Click the [Archive] button and then click on the Submit button. You will receive an email when the archive process has been completed. When you receive the confirmation email, go click on the [Archive] link once again and you will see a link where the archived file can be downloaded to your local computer. This process will create a backup of the course in a compressed zip format. This file can then be imported into another course. Do not modify or edit the contents of the compressed file as this may corrupt the archive.

Want more information?
Step-by-step instructions are available [PDF].
Visit the Blackboard FAQs for additional blackboard information
or email or call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418

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Student access to courses is removed two weeks after the end of a semester. During this process all gradebook records are deleted. You should download your gradebook to your local computer after you submit your final grades.

Follow these steps to do it.
In order to export the gradebook for a course, you should goto the [Control Panel] for that course and click on the [Grade Center] link. Inside the Grade Center you should point to the [Manage] button on the menu bar and then click on the [Download] link. Under [Data] section, select the [Full Grade Center] option, under the [Options] section, select [Tab] as the delimiter type and [Yes] to include hidden information and then click on the [Submit] button at the bottom of the page. On the next page click on the [Download] button. You should get a dialog box with a request to save the file. Save the file to a location where you can find it later. The file you saved can be opened with Microsoft Excel.

Want more information?
Step-by-step instructions are available [PDF].
Visit the Blackboard FAQs for additional blackboard information
or email or call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418

When you login to Blackboard you will see your courses for the previous two semesters listed along with the courses you are currently teaching on the Xavier University tab. If you do not want to see older courses in this list, you can hide them from view.

Follow these steps to do it.
To hide courses from view, click on the small pencil icon on top right corner of the [My Courses] section. For the courses to be hidden from view, make sure the check marks in the [Display Course Name] and [Display Announcements] columns are removed. This will hide the courses from view on the Xavier University tab but not remove them from the system.

Want more information?
Step-by-step instructions are available [PDF].
Visit the Blackboard FAQs for additional blackboard information
or email or call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418

Blackboard has a list of browsers that are certified or compatible with the version of Blackboard we use here at XU. To avoid problems with Blackboard you should use one of the recommended browsers.

Follow these steps.
If you are having problems using Blackboard, try using one of the recommended browsers. If using a recommended browser does not resolve your problem, you may be experiencing problems with Java. Blackboard uses Java for interactive features inside web the pages. Using an up-to-date version of Java you should reduce problems in using Blackboard.

The Java website will do a quick check of the version you are running and test whether it is working properly.

If you are having problems running Blackboard and you’re running an older version of Java, you should consider updating your Java version. The Java website provides free downloads of its latest version.

Want more information?
Visit the Blackboard FAQs for additional blackboard information
or email or call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418

Download Conversation #9

Mano Singham

A conversation with Dr. Mano Singham of Case Western Reserve University on teaching, learning, and the authoritarian syllabus.

That element of choice and trust between the teacher and the student I think are important aspects of creating a good learning environment, and I think the authoritarian syllabus tends to work against it. Authoritarian syllabuses can achieve certain things. You can get people to do things. But you can't get them to want to learn. That was my epiphany, if you like.

Links referenced in this episode:

  • Death to the Syllabus! by Mano Singham in Liberal Education, Fall 2007
  • "Moving away from the authoritarian classroom" by Mano Singham. Change, May/June 2005, pp. 51–57. [PDF courtesy of the author]
  • "How my course syllabus is created" by Mano Singham. [PDF courtesy of the author]
  • Mano Singham's Web Journal: Thoughts on science, history and philosophy of science, religion, politics, the media, education, learning, books, and films.

We're proud to announce this podcast is a finalist for a POD Network innovation award. We hope to see you at the conference.

Download Conversation #8

Arthur Zajonc

A conversation with Dr. Arthur Zajonc of Amherst College on teaching, learning, and contemplative inquiry.

While we may begin with the "pause that refreshes," if we leave it only at that then it's seen only as a break from learning. I'm really keen on it being seen also as a means of learning. That is to say, we school our attention — that's long been a part of the contemplative traditions, the deepening and stabilizing of attention — then, if we can bring that deepened and stabilized attention to the work at hand, it's going to be far more productive. And in addition, if one can take up a practice such as this contemplative inquiry practice, we add to that an enhanced learning capacity. So not only attention is schooled but also a new modality of inquiry is also offered to the student.

Links referenced in this episode:

A tip of the hat to the good folks at TalkShoe who helped us with some technical problems.

...continue reading "Conversation #8: Contemplative Inquiry"

Download Conversation #7

Eszter Hargittai

A conversation with Dr. Eszter Hargittai of Northwestern University on teaching, learning, and digital inequalities.

The idea behind introducing the term digital inequality... is that it's really a spectrum of differences even after people go online. So even once people get connected, it's wrong to think of them as all equally accessing all that the internet has to offer, because people will do so in very different ways and in different contexts and with different implications for what benefits they can reap from their access and use.

Links referenced in this episode:

...continue reading "Conversation #7: Digital Inequalities"

Download Conversation #6

Ray Barnhardt

Native ways of knowing have been documented now over the last dozen years or so in ways that teachers can recognize and acknowledge in their teaching and utilize as strengths in the classroom.... So when you're teaching science, you use the traditional knowledge, that people have developed over millennia to survive in a very harsh environment, to demonstrate that science is something that's practiced every day in the community. And you can find situations in the community where you can demonstrate the subject matter that would otherwise be taught from a textbook, and that's called for in the state science standards, but starting with something that's there in the community that students can relate to. And that has been one of the few if not the only approach that has made a significant difference for native students, to capitalize on their strengths, rather than punish them for their differences.

A conversation with Dr. Ray Barnhardt of University of Alaska Fairbanks on teaching and learning across cultures.

Links referenced in this episode:

...continue reading "Conversation #6: Across Cultures"

Download Conversation #5

Tracy Zinn

I tell my students that one of my goals for every class that I have is that I want them to be uncomfortable at times. I say that if they're comfortable with everything we've discussed and it doesn't sound new to them or unusual then they're not learning in the class, and that in order to grow and develop we have to have some growing pains, and so we have to have some discussions that push our boundaries a little bit, that make us a little bit uncomfortable... Thinking sometimes hurts.

A conversation with Dr. Tracy Zinn of James Madison University about teaching, learning and classroom discussion.

Links referenced in this episode:

  • Innumeracy by John Allen Paulos
  • QQTP: Connor-Greene, P. A. (2005). Fostering meaningful classroom discussion: Student-generated questions, quotations, and talking points. Teaching of Psychology, 32(3), 173-175. [order]
  • Types of Questions Based on Bloom's Taxonomy (from Honolulu Community College's Faculty Guidebook)

...continue reading "Conversation #5: Classroom Discussion"