Teaching and learning

Adventures in Ethics and Science

Category archives for Teaching and learning

Since finals are nearly upon us here (and since I’m not quite ready to face the next stack of papers that needs grading), I got to wondering how other academics feel about when the final exam ought to be written and why. So, a quick poll:

The Free-Ride offspring are pretty sure what I do for a living is grade papers. But seeing as how they’re both students, I thought I’d ask what the view of things is like on the other side of the red pen. Dr. Free-Ride: When you come in and find me working on the weekend, what…

Yeah, still grading here. Yesterday I returned mass quantities of graded papers (with a free paperclip for every student!) and have another assignment to grade today … just in time for two more assignments which come due tomorrow. And then, the final exam! Ever the optimist, this morning in the shower I wondered how things…

Yesterday in my “Ethics in Science” class, we were discussing mentoring. Near the end of the class meeting, I noted that scientists in training have a resource nowadays that just wasn’t available during my misspent scientific youth (back in the last millennium): the blogosphere. What does the blogosphere have to do with mentoring?

As we creep toward the end of the spring semester, I noticed a story at Inside Higher Ed about a commencement address gone wrong:

I think I’ve mentioned once or twice that the California State University system (of which my fair campus is a part) has been experiencing a bit of a budget crisis. Well, while there may be glimmers of hope for a recovery in the rest of the economy, we seem to be on the cusp of…

A reader sends the following query: I’ve only recently begun teaching in a big state university, maybe tier C in the field I’m in. I’m in a quandary as to how to manage pressure to pass students who are under performing. The first semester, I had to lower the passing to a basically ridiculous level…

Preventing Plagiarism.

Especially in student papers, plagiarism is an issue that it seems just won’t go away. However, instructors cannot just give up and permit plagiarism without giving up most of their pedagogical goals and ideals. As tempting a behavior as this may be (at least to some students, if not to all), it is our duty…

There’s a recent paper on blogs as a channel of scientific communication that has been making the rounds. Other bloggers have discussed the paper and its methodology in some detail (including but not limited to Bora and DrugMonkey and Dr. Isis), so I’m not going to do that. Rather, I want to pull back and…

Why is it that it’s not until you’re right in the middle of a class discussion, one where lots of people are actively engaged, asking good questions and raising important issues, and where you know that you are working against the clock to get all the contributions in, that you discover …