Choice of the Journo: A Branching-path Phone-friendly Role-playing Simulation for Journalism 101

How can a nostalgic, branching-path story-game encourage my 100-level journalism students take risks and learn from their mistakes? Using the ChoiceScript programming language, which features a robust stats system that can remember and respond to player choices, I coded up a “writing your first news story for the student paper” scenario, which unfolds as a…

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This is what the techbros are excited about? Really?

Some 2300 years ago in ancient Greece, Plato wrote a dialogue featuring his mentor Socrates, who argued that the ability to churn out the longest written compositions on trivial topics or the shortest compositions on important topics is a shallow skill that has nothing to do with human understanding, much like demonstrating that you can…

Double Entry Journals: Your Scholarly Research Notes for College-level Critical Thinking

What is a double-entry research journal?

Reading with a highlighter in your hand encourages you to agree with or ignore what you read. That’s a very limited way to engage with a text.

By contrast, double-entry notes are a way of making complex connections between different things that you read.

My students often tell me that when they take good double-entry notes, they get a much better paper when the time comes for them to start actually churning out the paragraphs.

Quantity leads to quality – Austin Kleon

Anecdote: [A] ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot — albeit a perfect one — to get an “A”. Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes — the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

I Don’t Know Why Everyone’s in Denial About College Students Who Can’t Do the Reading

In my lit classes, I’m definitely teaching more short stories and fewer novels that I used to. I’ve expanded the time I spend on note-taking, synthesizing quotes from different sources, and why at the college level it’s not a good paragraph if it simply introduces “One quote that supports my position,” repeats three or four…

Picking a rubric in Canvas should not be so frustrating that it makes me want to blog about it… and yet here we are.

In general, I find Canvas a fairly decent system, but after a particularly frustrating hour wrestling with rubrics, I decided to spend two more hours blogging about my frustrations.  I would expect a drop-down list to be populated with all the rubrics I’ve already created for my current class, and it would be a nice…

It’s such a privilege to introduce these young people to Shakespeare’s body of work.

After starting my 200-level “Shakespeare in Context” students on a few sonnets, I assigned Twelfth Night (most had never read a Shakespeare comedy before) and Othello (they loved Iago), and then asked them to sample four different plays — The Taming of the Shrew, The Merchant of Venice, Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta, and Jonson’s…

Dennis G. Jerz | Associate Professor of English -- New Media Journalism, Seton Hill University | Logo

In September, 2003, I was blogging about the emerging fad of internet plagiarism, ethnically diverse anthropomorphic recyclables, EverQuest, and VeggieTales

In September, 2003, I was blogging about What the NY Times called the “campus fad” of Internet plagiarism. “What Does a Professor Do All Day?” (Clearly we are wasting our time whenever we are not standing in front of a classroom.) “Graphic Artist Carefully Assigns Ethnicities To Anthropomorphic Recyclables“ Leni Riefenstahl Dies (although she distanced…