Dear Readers: As the school year draws to a close, I wanted to draw your attention to some changes here at the “News of the Week” and in the Consortium for Teaching and Learning. After many years co-directing the CTL, I am stepping down. It’s been my great pleasure and quite an honor to work with the CTL since its founding, co-directing first with the irreplaceable Greg Wegner, and, in the past year, with Charla White and Colleen Monahan Smith. I’m very happy to report that Lew Ludwig will be replacing me in that role. Lew directs Denison’s Center for Learning and Teaching, where he is Professor of Mathematics and Computational Science. He also serves as Chair of the Small College POD, and has been active in the GLCA and the CTL for many years. Lew will co-direct the CTL with Colleen Monahan Smith. For my part, I will continue to produce the “News of the Week,” perhaps now having the time to actually read to the end of all the articles I curate each week! — Steve Volk

Teaching and Learning

We Can Help Students Think (John Warner, Inside Higher Ed, May 24, 2023): What we allowed to pass for thinking probably wasn’t. It’s not too late to change.

The Uncertain Future of Class Discussions (Douglas L. Howard, Inside Higher Ed, May 24, 2023): As instructors, we are still examining how student engagement, which plummeted after the pandemic, remains in question even today.

Why Calls for a ‘Return to Rigor’ Are Wrong (Kevin Gannon, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 22, 2023): What’s the point of pursuing “solutions” that exacerbate student disengagement, the very problem they are supposed to solve?

Analyze This: Creating Student Value through Critical Thinking (Lindsay Tan, Faculty Focus, May 22, 2023): Helping students become skilled thinkers often involves stripping away less essential work and investing time and energy in making the practice of critical thinking more explicit for students.

How Learning Works (Marie Norman and Mike Bridges, Teaching in Higher Ed, May 18, 2023): 42-minute podcast from authors of How Learning Works (2nd ed).

Survey: Stress Undercutting Student Success (Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, May 17, 2023): In the newest Student Voice survey, students say stress negatively affects their academic success, and reducing stress is their No. 1 health goal. Students also see faculty members as bearing responsibility for reducing stress.

AI Chat Bots

Professors Plan Summer AI Upskilling, With or Without Support (Susan D’Agostino, Inside Higher Ed, May 26, 2023): Academics seeking respite from the fire hose of AI information and hot takes launch summer workshops. But many of the grass-roots efforts fall short of meeting demand.

Are Professors Ready for AI? (Beth McMurtrie, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 25, 2023): Discusses, and then speak with, Rahul Kumar, the author of a case study on the use of an AI grading tool in the International Journal for Educational Integrity. An assistant professor in the department of educational studies at Brock University in Canada, Kumar developed the story of a hypothetical adjunct instructor who — like most adjuncts — is crushed by his workload and fearful of how that is harming his professional future and his personal life.

Steps to Take While AI Chat Bots Mature (Ray Schroeder, Inside Higher Ed, May 24, 2023): Too many of us are making snap judgments about AI chat bots based on reading one or two reviews or by taking only five minutes to test out the current version.

ChatGPT is a Plagiarism Machine (Joseph M. Keegin, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 23, 2023): So why do administrators have their heads in the sand?

Looking for resources on how to teach about AI? Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education, Institute for Human-Centered AI, and Stanford Digital Education is engaged in an evolving project, called CRAFT.

Liberal Arts

How to Make a Campus a Living Laboratory to Study Learning (Goldie Blumenstyk, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 24, 2023): Following the publication of Academically Adrift, Richard Arum realized he needed a “firmer and more empirical basis” to measure the value of college, and especially a liberal-arts education. Blumenstyk reports on some of his progress to date.

The Long Read

Max Weber’s Ethical Pedagogy for a Nihilistic Age (Wendy Brown, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 24, 2023): In “Science as a Vocation,” far from excising values from scholarly consideration, Weber argues for closely analyzing them as ethical and political constellations with entailments for action, power, and violence. So important is this practice for him that when discussing ethical pedagogy, Weber turns not to the question of how to teach facts but of how to handle values in the classroom.

Webinars and Workshops

What Works in 2023 (May 31-June 2): Kenyon’s yearly conference, online and free to all, featuring a terrific lineup of sessions from our colleagues at ten schools, exploring themes including collaboration between faculty and staff to support student learning, new applications of educational technology, pedagogies of diversity, equity and inclusion, and new approaches to faculty development. Registration is free, but space is limited.

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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