Posts By: David Ebenbach

What We’re Reading: Opening Paths to Belonging

illustration by Clare Reid There’s more than one way for students to develop a sense of belonging; that’s the message from “Multiple Paths to Belonging That We Should Study Together,” a 2019 article by Jennifer L. Hirsch and Margaret S. Clark. But, given that this article was published before the pandemic, reading it now also… Read more »

Thank Goodness: The Benefits of Gratitude in the Classroom

With most of a challenging semester behind us and Thanksgiving on the horizon, it’s a good time to think about gratitude. More specifically, it’s an opportunity to consider the potential power of fostering gratitude in our students. This doesn’t require training. According to research, faculty and students—who have lately been through a lot—have a lot… Read more »

How’s Your Class Going? Ask Your Students

photo by Dan Gold We’re getting close to the midpoint of an unprecedented semester, and many teachers are wondering how it’s all going. We’re trying new technologies, experimenting with new assignments, activities, and grading systems. We’re contending with a wider range of student experiences than we’re used to. Meanwhile, we have much less access than… Read more »

Difficult Discussions in Virtual Courses: Challenges and Opportunities

Because we’re all affected by world events, difficult classroom conversations can come up at any time, whether the topic of the course is directly focused on hot-button issues or not. But in a semester shaped by an ongoing pandemic, racist violence, and an enormously consequential election, the likelihood of tough discussions—in fact, the need to… Read more »

What Can You Do About Screen Fatigue?

Faced with the responsibility of teaching and learning at a distance, we are leaning on digital tools like never before. While trying these new approaches to reach our educational goals can create an exciting space for innovation, our dependence on virtual interaction also comes at a cost. All that time on screens can be, for… Read more »

What We’re Reading: Inviting All Students to the Creative Table

illustration by Clare Reid We’re in a historical moment where creativity is sorely needed from as many people as possible so that we can effectively confront the challenges of our time. And yet, for the most part, we have become accustomed to the idea that creativity is a characteristic of the individual; some individuals have… Read more »

What We’re Reading: The Role of Higher Education in Institutional Racism

illustration by Clare Reid So many of us are doing rigorous individual work to become more effective antiracists in our relationships and in our courses. As we do so, we also need to examine the crucial role that institutions play in the perpetuation of racism. That includes institutions of higher education; we know that very… Read more »

What We’re Reading: Transparency Isn’t Spoon Feeding

illustration by Clare Reid I often talk to faculty about the importance of explaining what they’re looking for in the tests, papers, and projects they assign to students—and sometimes I get pushback. “Doesn’t that just give them the answers?” they ask. In other words, “Doesn’t that just amount to spoon feeding?” Well, as Balloo and… Read more »