The LSU Top 5 #2

This is the second of our weekly Top 5 links to the most interesting bits and pieces we’ve found from around the internet.

Teaching What You Don’t Know

Are you always a better teacher because you’re an expert? This opinion piece looks at some of the benefits of being a relative novice in course content can actually make you a better teacher.

When you teach as a content novice, you become much more aware of the limitations of thinking about teaching as “covering” content. You come to realize—as I always like to tell faculty members who feel like slaves to content coverage—that just because you are covering it doesn’t mean they are learning it.


You’re Probably Not Very Good at Most Things

This article asks us to recognise that while we might be good at some things, we’re probably pretty rubbish at everything else.

The hard reality is most of us have few areas in which we really, truly excel. The key, Howard and I argue, is to identify those areas — and then to search for professional opportunities where our strongest capacities are most often needed and utilized. The earlier in your career that you identify these, the easier it is for you to take control over your own professional trajectory.

Failing to recognise our weaknesses as well as our strengths means we can steer ourselves down the wrong paths. Students are so often encouraged to play to their strengths and cover up their weaknesses. The challenge, perhaps, is getting them to be open about what they’re not good at without fear of academic consequences.

“Wrongologist” Kathryn Schulz, author of “Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error, talks about accepting that we’re wrong and how we can learn from it in this TED Talk:


University postgraduate system ‘failing UK economy’

Rather than focusing on attracting foreign students, the postgraduate institutions in the UK should focus on training UK students who can, in turn, then make sustainable contributions to the economy. The article highlights these findings from the Higher Education Commission and the perspective of research institutions that rely on foreign student tuition, partly due to the changes made in the funding structures of UK universities.

Both sides seem to agree that a change in funding methods is needed to continue the position of UK universities in their research productivity but also in their role in keeping a strong UK economy going.


College Faculty Survey Finds Their Use of Social Media Has Evolved

More teaching staff in universities using Social Media to teach – but not the ones you’d think!

A study by Babson Survey Group and Pearson found that around a third of teaching staff are using social media in the classroom – and they’re doing so more readily and with less caution about the value of using this technology. What’s also interesting about the survey (results and infographic available in the linked article above) is that around 66% of teaching staff use social media in their personal lives, but only half as many also use it in teaching.

Even more striking? Computer Science faculty are less likely to use social media in the classroom than those in the Humanities and Arts!


Pundits explain Vietnam’s dive in world research rankings

Vietnamese universities ranked near the bottom in research output in a global ranking by Spanish research organization SCImago Research Group. This article hints at why and what needs to change.


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