Author Archives: Bryan Alexander

A snapshot of faculty teaching in 2014

What do we know about how American college and university faculty are teaching undergraduates?  The new HERI study (pdf) offers some fascinating insights into instructors’ practices. Caveats: the report covers full-time faculty, not part-timers*.  It’s also based on self-reporting. In the digital … Continue reading

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Thoughts on Interstellar

I just watched Interstellar with my son, and wanted to share some reactions. Overall, I was very impressed, and moved on a personal level.  The story was emotionally powerful, epic in ambition.  As science fiction, the movie crammed in far … Continue reading

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Conversing with COIL

Penn State’s splendid Center for Online Innoation in Learning (COIL) hosted me for a campus visit this September. There they interviewed me about higher education’s near- and medium-term future. Larry Ragan and I touched on alternatives to higher education, collaboration … Continue reading

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Two Pennsylvania campuses sacrifice the queen

Two Pennsylvania State System of Higher Ed institutions ended several academic programs and fired their faculty.   This RIF-fing of eight professors looks like another example of what I’ve been calling the queen sacrifice: a campus cutting full-time instructional staff … Continue reading

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When a liberal arts college starts teaching online

How can a traditional liberal arts campus practice distance learning?  Vassar College launched a pilot program to take face-to-face learning from a residential setting into cyberspace, and its academic computing director, Steve Taylor, tells the story at the Academic Commons site The program … Continue reading

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American social media, mobile device use in elections rising: Pew study

Americans are using mobile devices and social media for election purposes more than ever before, according to a new Pew report.  This is a useful observation about how Americans use digital technology, with implications for teaching and learning. You should … Continue reading

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Academia tries out open in response to Ebola (UPDATED)

How has academia shared its resources openly in response to the Ebola crisis?*  Have we used technology to make a difference? Here are some examples: Oxford University Press opened up fifty scientific articles.  These are from scholarly journals like Clinical Infectious … Continue reading

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