Taking the Wrong Lessons From Student Absences

Faculty adopted strategies that were new to them during the pandemic, but now some may that they are not effective, or worse, detrimental to students and keep them away from class. In The Chronicle of Higher Education article, “Why Students Are Skipping Class So Often, and How to Bring them Back,” Carol E. Holstead provides advice based on a survey she did with students in two classes. It appears that Holstead teaches a large class: 175 students out of 245 students from two classes responded to

Quiet Quitting and ‘the Job’ in Higher Education

Recently, there have been a spate of articles discussing “quiet quitting,” which should raise questions about the nature and expectations of the job itself in higher education. Some have characterized quiet quitting as slacking off on the job or disengaging completely from the work, while others say it is about creating boundaries. When we bring this concept to higher education, some believe that quiet quitting has a negative impact on instructors and students. Rebecca Vidra wrote that “‘going

Why Reverting to Pre-Pandemic Course Policies Won’t Work

Burned out by the pandemic and faced with unprecedented levels of student disengagement, some instructors want to ditch pandemic-induced changes to teaching and go back to their old policies. Doing so will not improve student performance. Instead of going back to these strategies, instructors can adapt what they have learned during the pandemic. In a recent teaching newsletter for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Beth McMurtrie shared stories of two faculty who plan to end pandemic accommodat

Does Ungrading Work for Everyone?

Best practices are only best when they work for nearly everyone. While ungrading advocates encourage others to ditch traditional grading, we need to consider the impact of ungrading on groups who already encounter resistance from students around grades. What is ungrading? Robert Talbert defines it as “a way of assessing and reporting on student learning in which students complete assignments but aren’t graded at all on any of them.” On the other hand traditional grading is characterized as assi

Teaching Black Internationalism, Part 2, or, What Will Students Learn?

Creating student learning outcomes is one of the most difficult part of course design, but spending some time on this up front helps to guide the course and reduce the tendency to second-guess ourselves during the course. A word about course design. I think that we ascribe a romantic quality to teaching, focusing on the feeling we have when we impact students’ lives. We breeze into class and dazzle them with our copious knowledge. Little light bulbs go on over their heads and they declare us th

Teaching Black Internationalism, Part 1: Preliminary Considerations

That’s right! The Teaching series is back. I’ve been asked to teach a course, any course I want, for African and African American Studies. So like my Teaching K-pop series, I’m going to take you all along for the course design ride! I had to make two decisions right away: what to teach and how. I opted to teach a course on Black Internationalism, with a focus on popular music and visual culture. In the course, students will explore black culture through a transnational lens, examining how blac

What K-pop Can Teach Us About Engagement for Online Courses

One of the most common concerns about moving courses online is that engagement is lost. However, it could be useful to draw on the kind of engagement that is central to contemporary Korean popular music (K-pop) culture. Most articles you may read about the need to teach online courses (as opposed to the emergency remote teaching that most instructors engaged in in the spring) contains the often unchallenged assertion that online courses cannot replicate the engagement of the face-to-face course

Digital Humanities for the Rest of Us

I recently gave a presentation at the Council on Undergraduate Research 2016 Biennial Conference on undergraduate research and digital humanities. The session was well-attended. Some the individuals who attended were not only interested in undergraduate research as a co-curricular activity, but also the unicorn that is digital humanities. I know many scholars in the humanities do not feel that they can participate in digital humanities. However, I think there is at least one thing that all human

Am I Doing This Right?: Excavation Of Korean Popular Music As Digital Humanities Project

I just finished my first digital essay, Seo Taiji: President of Culture, for my digital humanities project on the cultural history of Hallyu-era Korean popular music, 1992-2009. But as I continue to build this Omeka site and design the project, I wonder: Is my project a digital humanities project? What am I doing? And am I doing it right? Such questions reflect recurrent anxiety about doing digital humanities with a popular culture project and how it might be perceived in the digital humanities and Korean popular culture studies realms.

Korean Popular Culture In Digital Humanities

This past spring, I attended my first THATCamp at the University of Virginia. I was nervous. Although I’ve been a humanities person practically all my life, I was unsure if the collaborative projects I manage on Hallyu (Korean wave) popular culture on the Internet qualified as a digital humanities enterprise. After attending THATCampVA, I realized that my projects embraced several central elements of digital humanities.