Some resources from the CTL’s March 20 “Ways to Fail” workshop:          

Lydia E. Eckstein, Amelia B. Finaret, and Lisa Whitenack, “Teaching the Inevitable: Embracing a Pedagogy of Failure,Teaching & Learning Inquiry, Vol. 11 (2023). You can also access a shortened version here.

And, to read more on failure: Flipping Failure (Ruthann C. Thomas, Teaching + Learning Lab at MIT): Multimedia website.

Teaching and Learning

Guiding Students Through Meaningful Feedback (Ashley Mowreader, Inside Higher Ed, March 21, 2024): Faculty members can improve student learning through effective and helpful communication about coursework and assessments. Three tips to keep in mind when giving feedback.

High Schools Say They’re Falling Short on College Prep (Liam Knox, Inside Higher Ed, March 21, 2024): Only 47 percent of public high schools say they’re doing a “very good” or “excellent” job preparing students for college, according to a new survey from the National Center for Education Statistics, a branch of the U.S. Education Department. 

Parlez-vous ‘Skills’? (Mary Anne Lewis Cusato and Barbara MacLeod, Inside Higher Ed, March 20, 2024): Authors describe how transferable skills assignments can boost morale and reiterate the value of the liberal arts across disciplines.

It’s Time to Start Teaching Your Students How to Be a Student (Emily J. Isaacs, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 19, 2024): Rather than adjust curricula, due dates, absentee policies, and learning outcomes — that is, be ever more flexible — we need to adopt a role many had hoped was reserved for K-12 teachers: coaching, coaxing, and holding students responsible for developing and practicing skills and habits that will enable them to learn.

The Value of Peer Leadership in College (Ashley Mowreader, Inside Higher Ed, March 18, 2024): Upper-level students who mentor and guide their classmates can positively impact their success, both inside and outside of the classroom.

Beyond Memorization: Strategies for Long-Term Retention (Safieh Moghaddam and Malama Tsimenis, Faculty Focus, March 18, 2024): How can we help our students transform newly acquired information into long-term knowledge they can recall and activate in the future?

Here Are 5 Things to Know About the Class of 2024 (Audrey Williams June, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 15, 2024): A data snapshot highlights trends in graduates’ wages and employment, among other factors.

Discomfort Is the Point (David Sterling Brown, Liberal Education-AAC&U, Winter 2024): Why ‘safe spaces’ do a disservice to students.

A Multi-Year Longitudinal Study Exploring the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Students’ Familiarity and Perceptions of Active Learning (Briana Craig and Jeremy L. Hsu, Active Learning in Higher Education, February 8, 2024): Authors analyze nine semesters of results from a survey students take before embarking on an introductory molecular genetics course to examine students’ understanding of active learning.

All Things AI

Text-to-Video AI Could Change How We Think (Steven K. Johnson, Inside Higher Ed, March 21, 2024): The author discusses the introduction of OpenAI’s Sora, a new generative platform that produces realistic videos from simple natural language prompts.

Your Students Are Already Using AI You’ve Never Heard Of (Marc Watkins, Substack, February 23, 2024): When Gary Smith and Jeffrey Funk reported (When It Comes to Critical Thinking, AI Flunks the Test, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 12, 2024) that large language models fail to live up to the hype, they, as many students, were using a free version, which is not nearly as capable as the paid version. (Thanks to Lew Ludwig for pointing this out.)

How Do We Maintain Academic Integrity in the ChatGPT Era? (Tricia Bertram Gallant, Liberal Education-AAC&U, Winter 2024): Hint: It’s really no different from what we should have been doing all along.

Free Speech and Academic Freedom

What the Champions of Neutrality Get Wrong (John K. Wilson, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 18, 2024): The Klaven Report’s new popularity rests on a misunderstanding. 

College Republicans and Democrats Agree: Defend Speech that Hurts Feelings (Margaret Talev and Noah Bressner, Axios, Marxh 14, 2024): More than two-thirds of college students believe universities should protect free speech — even if the speech extends to physical threats or inciting violence, according to a new Axios Vibes survey by The Harris Poll.

DEI Issues

Under Siege, DEI Officers Strategize to Fight Back (Katherine Mangan, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 20, 2024): During a recent convening, diversity officers shared ideas for surviving an increasingly vicious political campaign to eliminate their jobs.

The Increasingly Amorphous Meaning of DEI (Daarel Burnette II, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 19, 2024): The banning of an ill-defined term has caused hysteria and confusion.

The ‘Colorblindness’ Trap (Nikole Hannah-Jones, New York Times, March 13, 2024): How a civil rights ideal got hijacked.

Future Imperfect…

House Panel Advances Anti-‘Political Litmus Test’ Bills (Jessica Blake, Inside Higher Ed, March 22, 2024): GOP lawmakers say the legislation will prohibit public higher education officials and accreditation agencies from coercing students, faculty and staff to conform to “the correct beliefs of the day.” Democrats say the bills are a “ham-handed” attempt to favor speech that conservatives support while eliminating speech they oppose. 

The Newest DEI Ban Targets Alabama’s Colleges. Here’s How It Compares (Adrienne Lu, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 21, 2024): The law prohibits public colleges from requiring students, employees, or contractors to attend any DEI program, training, or class that advocates for any of the “divisive concepts” described in the law.

An Incarcerated Instructor Taught That Jim Crow Literacy Tests Were Racist. Then He Was Fired (Charlotte West, Open Campus, March 21, 2024): The inmate, Anthony McNeal was teaching a peer-led civics class the state is required to provide for people exiting prison at Centralia Correctional Center in southern Illinois.

A New Indiana Law Will Enforce ‘Intellectual Diversity’ for Professors. Here’s What It Might Mean (Megan Zahneis, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 20, 2024): Among other provisions, the law creates a mechanism by which students and employees can submit complaints against faculty and staff members they believe aren’t adequately promoting intellectual diversity, which it defines as “multiple, divergent, and varied scholarly perspectives on an extensive range of public-policy issues.”

Virginia Officials Scrutinize Two Universities’ DEI Course Syllabi (Ryan Quinn, Inside Higher Ed, March 18, 2024): A spokesman for Governor Glenn Youngkin invoked concerns about “core curriculum mandates that are a thinly veiled attempt to incorporate the progressive left’s groupthink.”

House Republicans Float Bill to Require Free Speech on Campus (Katherine Knott, Inside Higher Ed, March 18, 2024): The legislation attempts to address what Republicans say is a long-standing attack on free expression in higher education. Critics say it would make it hard to protect students from hate speech.

More on Standardized Testing

Reinstating Tests Is a Step Back for Access (Audrey Fisch, Inside Higher Ed, March 18, 2024): The reasons elite colleges give for reinstating their standardized test requirements don’t stand up to scrutiny, according to the author.

Extra Credit Reading

The Coddling of the American Undergraduate (Rita Koganzon, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 21, 2024): Colleges want to exercise total social control over students’ lives. That’s bad for everyone. 

American Liberalism Unmasked (Steven Mintz, Inside Higher Ed, March 21, 2024): A consideration of Steven Hahn’s Illiberal America: A History (Norton), which argues that we need to view the nation’s political history not simply as a partisan conflict or a class or regional struggle or a tussle between urban cosmopolitans and rural provincials or between populists and establishmentarians and technocrats, but as an ongoing struggle between liberal ideals and illiberal tendencies. 

How the Black Female Head of a Top D.C. School Was ‘Punished for Leading’ (Shirley Moody-Turner, Washington Post, March 19, 2024): Anna Julia Cooper, an Oberlin graduate, appointed in 1902 to head the most prestigious public high school for Black education, was ultimately fired from the position, a historic case of a Black woman “punished for leading.”

‘Hate Has No Place on Our Campuses’ (Marilyn Cooper, Liberal Education-AAC&U, Winter 2024): As antisemitism and other forms of bigotry surge, higher ed searches for a path forward. 

Antioch College Achieves Federal Work College Designation, Paving the Way for Ohio’s First Work College (Press Release, March 14, 2024): The Federal Work College designation, granted by the U.S. Department of Education, recognizes institutions that integrate work experience into their academic programs, fostering a unique and holistic approach to education.

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 ( if you have colleagues who would like to receive this weekly report.

Steven Volk (, Editor

GLCA/GLAA Consortium for Teaching and Learning
   Lew Ludwig (
Colleen Monahan Smith (

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