Teaching and Learning

Course Design as a Gateway to Student Well-Being (Demian Hommel and Bradley Cohen, Faculty Focus, January 10, 2024): Reflecting on our approach to course design—particularly with attention to how we build community and cultivate belonging—couldn’t come at a more crucial time.

The Student-Professor Relationship Is in Peril (Megan Thiele Strong, January 9, 2024): Article suggests various steps to take to strengthen that relationship.

AI in the Classroom

A Year Later, Did Our ChatGPT Advice Get It Right? (Lauren Coffey, Inside Higher Ed, January 11, 2024): Exactly a year ago, we shared the advice of 11 academics on the then-new ChatGPT. We followed up to see what has changed and what to expect in 2024.

Congress vs. Higher Education

House Investigations of Harvard, Others Mark a ‘Watershed Moment’ (Katherine Knott, Inside Higher Ed, January 11, 2024): Deep-diving probes into antisemitism, plagiarism and university leaders signal a dangerous new era in congressional oversight, experts and scholars say. Some see echoes of McCarthyism.

Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: Lessons from the December 5 Congressional Hearings (Steve Volk, After Class, January 10, 2024): That Republicans saw campus conflicts over the Hamas attack on Israel and the Israeli response as a vector for their own assault on higher education by now should be clear to all.

The Claudine Gay Debacle Was Never About Merit (Tressie McMillan Cottom, New York Times, January 4, 2024): How those who brought down Gay will continue to wield their influence and if they will succeed depends on how willing we all are to keep buying age-old ideas about merit from power-hungry peddlers.

For Sputtering Diversity Efforts, Claudine Gay’s Resignation Risks Further Setbacks (Katherine Mangan, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 10, 2024: Consultants and diversity advocates say Black applicants will now have to be “twice as good.” 

The Plagiarism Wars

When Presidents Plagiarize (Josh Moody, Inside Higher Ed, January 12, 2023): Politically motivated plagiarism claims prompted Harvard’s Claudine Gay to resign. Her decision to step down largely follows the trend of other, similar cases.

On Plagiarism: Don’t Let the Billionaires Drive the Bus (Susan Schorn, Inside Higher Ed, January 9, 2024): When questions about textual ownership arise in a community, they’re typically settled by the community’s members, not angry hedge fund managers.

‘You Hand Them a Knife’: After Claudine Gay’s Ouster, Historians Worry About Weaponization of Plagiarism (Stephanie M. Lee, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 9, 2024): At their annual conference, the scholars pondered a new reality in which citations and footnotes become new fronts in the culture wars.

Campus Community

Reviving Critical Community on Campus (Paul Brest, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 9, 2024): How to make campus culture welcoming, but still argumentative.

Extra Credit Reading

It’s Time for Campuses to Truly Think Outside the Box (Steven Mintz, Inside Higher Ed, January 11, 2024): Unconventional ways for colleges to think about their organization, curriculum, and pedagogy and assessment practices.

The Misguided War on the SAT (David Leonhardt, New York Times, January 7, 2024): Colleges have fled standardized tests, on the theory that they hurt diversity. That’s not what the research shows. (For a critique of the Leonhardt article, you can follow @JakeVigdor on what I will still refer to as Twitter.)

Everyone Talks About ‘Critical Theory.’ What Is It? (Peter Gordon, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 5, 2024): On the history of a contested concept, beginning with Kant.


What Works in 2024? Building for the Future of Higher Education: The Center for Innovative Pedagogy at Kenyon College invites presentations on teaching and learning for a virtual conference the week of May 29-31, 2024.  

This conference is an opportunity for faculty and academic support professionals to share their experiences innovating for the classroom. Your proposal should include an explanation of how your session would apply to the teaching of undergraduates in small colleges and universities. These can be lessons learned in larger institutions that would also apply to smaller settings.

We will consider all proposals that would apply to undergraduate education at a small college or university, but we especially want to encourage proposals in three areas:

  • approaches designed to benefit emerging student populations
  • creative and responsible uses of new educational technologies
  • recently discovered challenges and attempts to address them

Propose a session at https://forms.gle/WM4k33Y8RkSwrur29. Deadline to submit is Friday, March 15.  Proposals submitted after this date may still be considered. Presenters will be notified of their acceptance status by March 29.

A GLCA-funded Opportunity to Add an International Connection to a Course

Do you want your students to make gains in intercultural understanding? You are invited to partner with a university in a different country for a high impact and low-cost way to bring global perspectives into a course. Global Course Connections (GCC) will help you find a course partner abroad, invite you to their summer workshop at the American University in Bulgaria (airfare, lodging, and most meals paid for), and provide a $500 stipend at course completion. Click here to learn more and follow the steps to participate.

Have a short article or some news related to teaching and learning at your institution that you’d like to share with colleagues? Send your contribution along to us. Also, please email Colleen Monahan Smith (smith@glca.org) if you have colleagues who would like to receive this weekly report.

Steven Volk (steven.volk@oberlin.edu), Editor

GLCA/GLAA Consortium for Teaching and Learning
   Lew Ludwig (ludwigl@denison.edu)
Colleen Monahan Smith (smith@glca.org)

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