Developing digital learning experiences

Over the past decade, digital textbooks have become the norm in many college classrooms. That may sound like progress, but there’s an issue: moving content onto a digital platform only solves the problem of the medium of delivery. It doesn’t inherently change the teaching or learning experience. Making something digital does not aloneserve the needs of today’s students and, in fact, challenges arise because there is no simple one-to-one correlation between the print and digital experience. In order to build content for digital delivery we need to be intentional about what we are building, why we are building it and how we are building it. Great digital learning experiences are intentional.

Why weave writing into your teaching?

This is the fourth and final article in a series on finding hidden and unexpected pockets of time to write within your tried-and-true teaching practices. By paying more attention to what we do when we teach, we can spend less time teaching and more time writing without sacrificing quality feedback. I’ve previously written about streamlining your student feedback and grading practices, without sacrificing pedagogical value, to create more time for your writing. In this final article, I will explore several ways to enlist student help in meeting your own writing goals while providing a role model as a scholar.

Impossible you say! “My academic writing has nothing to do with my teaching.” However, when you weave aspects of academic writing into classroom activities, both you and your students benefit.

Let’s look at some powerful classroom activities that will advance thinking and writing for teachers and students alike.

Tips for anxious writers: Analyze feedback

Dealing with feedback can be difficult. If you’ve had your work rejected, it is particularly difficult to use the feedback you received effectively. Anxiety naturally runs high in such cases, and it’s not that rare for a writer struggling with anxiety to avoid dealing with feedback. But it is crucial to use feedback effectively: the feedback we receive is the best guide to how to improve our work and get it accepted. In this post, I want to suggest a plan for dealing with feedback, along with some perspective that might help reduce some of the related anxiety.

TAA announces results of 2022 Textbook Contracts & Royalties Survey

A recent survey conducted by the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA) found that nearly 30 percent of respondents agreed to allow their royalty rates to be changed. Nearly 40 percent of respondents have been asked by their publishers to sign new contracts, and two-thirds of those have complied.

Stephen Gillen, an attorney with Wood Herron & Evans (Cincinnati, OH), estimates most of those authors did not know they did not have to agree to that royalty rate change, and most of the new contracts were almost certainly more favorable to the publishers than the ones they were replacing. “My guess is that the respondents did not appreciate the differences and did not fully understand that they did not have to agree to the new contracts,” he says.

TAA’s goal with this survey is that the results, combined with tracking data from the 2015 and 2020 Textbook Contracts & Royalties Surveys, will help authors 1) negotiate better contracts; 2) negotiate higher royalty rates for print and digital products; 3) to seek professional advice when negotiating contracts and when they want to better understand their royalty statements.

Use your inner mentor for your academic project predicaments

Most of us probably had mentors in graduate school and may still keep in touch with them. But they may not be available every time we need their advice or guidance. Did you know? We have a mentor that’s always available, night and day, every season and semester, for every situation and circumstance.

The IM

This is your Inner Mentor (IM), also called your inner guide, self, voice, spirit, higher power, soul, subconscious, guidance system, intuition, even your heart or gut. It has more power than the dean of your school, your department or committee chair, or even the guy who issues your annual parking sticker.