Category: Pedagogy

Learning to Take Notes about Material Presented in Videos: An Activity Using Smarthistory

Note taking. We all have our own individual ways that we like to take notes. Whatever our system might be, our notes need to help us retrieve information, to organize it, to make it accessible. I often find that my students struggle with note-taking. Not all of them, but many of them. They just haven’t found their system yet. Or… Read more →

Teaching in the Face of Trauma

(Trigger warnings: mass shooting, death, fires, depression) I am not one for sharing very personal things, especially in public. This might be one of the only posts that I ever write that is so personal, but I felt compelled to write it. This past semester (fall 2018) was officially the most difficult of my career, and it was personally one… Read more →

Skills vs. Content: How best to teach a “Humanities” Class

In my current position, I teach a large-lecture humanities class every semester. I’ve blogged about it before, so it is no surprise (if you’ve been following the blog) to hear that I have continuously tinkered with this class. Recently, I received a grant (exciting!) to overhaul the class (exciting?). I’ve decided that I am going to redo the entire class… Read more →

Ditch the Textbook: Now what? An Experiment with StoryMap JS

In a recent post I mentioned that I was planning to ditch my textbook for my large-lecture humanities class. Instead, I am going to make podcasts and videos, and assign primary sources for students to use before or during class. It dawned on me recently that another great option would be to use StoryMap JS to introduce some material as… Read more →

To Smarthistory in the Large-Lecture Humanities Class

I’ve posted about how I see my work with Smarthistory as an act of doing public art history, and how the process of working collaboratively for smarthistory has encouraged me to rethink how I teach and how I research (and publish). Well, I am always looking for ways to transform my large-lecture humanities class of more than 200 students. The… Read more →

Transforming Reacting to the Past Games for Large-Lecture Courses

I’ve been hearing about Reacting to the Past (RTTP) games for a few years now. I’m curious to learn more. Normally, I would have attended a conference to play one of these games, like Art and Modernism in Paris in 1889, but I now normally teach large classes of more than 200 students. With so many students, I’m never sure… Read more →

The Balancing Act of the Large Lecture Class

For any of us who have taught large lecture classes (let’s say 100+ students), we are all too familiar with the huge demands on our time and energy. I regularly teach of class of 200+ students, which for me breaks down (on average) to: 6-7 hours of office hours/appointments with students/week 6-10 hours of class prep/week (usually more, but I’m… Read more →

Student-Centered or Teacher-Centered Syllabus?

I have a confession to make: I love making syllabi. There is something exciting about planning a course from the ground up, with all its assignments, readings, and lectures to plan. What do you include or omit? What types of assignment fit well with the class? Why will Project A work better than Project B? The aspect of going on… Read more →

How do we create a field of Public Art History?

After my last post on Public Art History (PAH), I’ve continued to think about what a field of PAH might look like. With the continuing decline in academic positions, especially in the humanities, could a field of Public Art History help to develop more career options outside of academia? With a field of Public Art History, could we shift the… Read more →

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