Some resources from the March 20, 2024 workshop, WTF:  Way(s) to Fail, led by Lydia Eckstein, Amelia Finaret and Lisa Whitenack of Allegheny College.  

Teaching and Learning

‘That’s a Great Question!’: The Value of Positive Faculty Feedback (Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, March 27, 2024): One recent paper links welcoming faculty responses to student questions to better student outcomes in STEM courses, building on other work finding that students benefit when professors are approachable, accessible and supportive. [You might want to read in tandem with Steve Volk, Good Job! Responding to Student Answers in Order to Spur Learning (After Class, September 19, 2016).]

Peer-Coaching Helps Faculty Boost Student Success (Ashley Mowreader, Inside Higher Ed, March 26, 2024): Colleagues at Sacred Heart University provide feedback and guidance to one another with the goal of improving teaching and learning within the classroom.

The Best of Both Worlds: Exploring the Benefits and Challenges of Hybrid Education (Sarina Maneotis and Chi-Leigh Warren, Faculty Focus, March 25, 2024): Hybrid education can be a middle option that addresses the complaints of both in-person-only and online-only education.  

All Things AI

Assessment of Student Learning Is Broken (Zach Justus and Nik Janos, Inside Higher Ed, March 28, 2024): With the release of ChatGPT and other AI tools which can complete tasks entirely, or in combination with students’ own efforts, we are now analyzing some mix of student work, student/AI work, and AI work—but still taking it to show student learning in the same way it did before.

Student Chatbot Use ‘Could Be Increasing Loneliness’ (Tom Williams, Times Higher Education/Inside Higher Ed, March 28, 2024): Study finds students who rely on ChatGPT for academic tasks feel socially supported by artificial intelligence at the expense of their real-life relationships.

(Re)imagining AI for Educators (Melissa Brevetti, Faculty Focus, March 27, 2024): How to improve learner-centered classrooms with futuristic possibilities.

The End of Foreign-Language Education (Louise Matsakis, The Atlantic, March 26, 2024): Thanks to AI, people may no longer feel the need to learn a second language.

The Wrong Way to Study AI in College (Damon Beres, The Atlantic, March 22, 2024): Computer-science students are being shielded from the liberal arts. That may be a problem. [Read along with Ian Bogost, Universities Have a Computer-Science Problem, The Atlantic, March 19, 2024): The case for teaching coders to speak French.]

Mental Health Issues

Students Turn to Loved Ones, Social Media First for Mental Health Help (Ashley Mowreader, Inside Higher Ed, March 25, 2024): New research finds college students lean on their friends and family over counselors or therapists to support their mental health concerns. How can higher education better reach students with resources?

Free Speech and Academic Freedom

Turmoil in the Academic Melting Pot (Steven Mintz, Inside Higher Ed, March 29, 2024): Striking a balance between campus free speech, academic freedom, diversity, inclusion and the values underlying a liberal education.

Colleges Use His Antisemitism Definition to Censor. He Calls It a ‘Travesty’ (Maggie Hicks, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 27, 2024): An effort to better understand the frequency of violence toward Jews has become an excuse to shut down protests. An interview with Kenneth Stern about the potential consequences. [Read alongside The Man Who Helped Redefine Campus Antisemitism (Vimal Patel, New York Times, March 24, 2024): In government and as an outsider, Kenneth Marcus has tried to douse what he says is rising bias against Jews. Some see a crackdown on pro-Palestinian speech.]

The War at Stanford (Theo Baker, The Atlantic, March 26, 2024): A deeply unsettling account of the last four months at Stanford by a sophomore (prize-winning) journalist.

Cease-Fire Now (Michael S. Roth, Inside Higher Ed, March 25, 2024): The president of Wesleyan University addresses the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza and challenges the calls for colleges and universities to cultivate institutional neutrality and avoid contentious public issues.

Can Colleges Foster Civil Discourse? (Erin Gretzinger, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 22, 2024): Why some events about the war in Gaza have succeeded while others sparked controversy.

DEI Issues

The Chaos of Compliance (Erin Gretzinger and Maggie Hicks, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 22, 2024): How public colleges in two states are actually responding to DEI bans.

Future Imperfect…

A Law That Could Restrict Graduate Students From China, Iran Is Challenged in Court (Karin Fischer, Chronicle of Higher Education, March 27, 2024): A pair of doctoral students and a professor are suing to block a new Florida law that restricts public colleges in the state from hiring graduate assistants or visiting scholars from “countries of concern,” including China, Iran, and Russia.

Arizona GOP Bill Would Stifle Faculty Power in Governance (Ryan Quinn, Inside Higher Ed, March 25, 2024): The legislation, nearing passage, would bolster the power of presidents and regents while reducing faculty members to merely “consulting” on governing, academic and personnel decisions. [In a similar move, the University of Kentucky’s president is also proposing to dissolve the University Senate and replace it with an advisory group (Ryan Quinn, Inside Higher Ed, March 28, 2024).]

Open Season on Scholars of Race (Don Moynihan, Can We Still Govern?-Substack, March 21, 2024): They are facing both personal attacks and institutional censorship.

Extra Credit Reading

Ten Designs (Timothy Buke, Eight by Seven-Substack, March 22, 2024): Burke offers ten structured ways to create a shared curricular vision in higher education institutions.

A Bronx Teacher Asked. Tommy Orange Answered (Elisabeth Egan, New York Times, March 18, 2024): When the author received an impassioned email, he dropped everything to visit the students who inspired it.

On the Bookshelf

Kyle Chayka, Filterworld: How Algorithms Flattened Culture (Penguin Random House, 2024): The New Yorker staff writer argues that algorithmic selection of digital content for consumption tends to limit creative diversity and encourage groupthink. Review by Joshua Kim in Inside Higher Ed, March 28, 2024.

Along the same lines is Svend Brinkmann’s Think: In Defense of the Thoughtful Life (Wiley, 2023) which argues, “[T]he more technology simplifies things and improves efficiency, the more difficult it is to think, because thinking depends on the ability not to react in a knee-jerk manner, to postpone decisions, consult other people, listen to their experiences and arguments and consider the matter properly.” Reviewed by Scott McLemee in Inside Higher Ed (March 29, 2024).

Tom Nichols, The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters (Oxford, 2nd ed 2024). COVID as a crucible for accelerating the decline of faith in experts. You can read an excerpt in The Atlantic (When Experts Fail, March 22, 2024).

Katherine Rye Jewell, Live from the Underground: A History of College Radio (University of North Carolina Press). In this first history of US college radio, the author argues that these eclectic stations in major cities and college towns across the United States owed their collective cultural power to the politics of higher education as much as they did to upstart bohemian music scenes coast to coast. Reviewed by Jeffrey Melnick, College Radio as a Canary in the Coal Mine (Academe, May 2024).

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
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