This right here. I expect a full recitation at the end of the day.

…Why did I have to memorize glycolysis… in undergrad, masters, and again in my doctoral program? I still don’t know it by heart after teaching it multiple times a year, and it took up so much mental energy!

Facts are important, but as humans, we have created some pretty awesome tools for storing those facts. So awesome that we also store all the things that are incorrect as well, you know, just in case.

Here, memorize this book

Yes, we used to do this. Before books, uh, had copies, if you got your hands on a book and wanted to “read it later” you needed to memorize the entire thing. It wasn’t until the library of Alexandria that we started copying books regularly (they would get the books from merchants and the like, copy them, AND GIVE BACK THE COPY, keeping the original for themselves).

But I digress… I know your 3rd grade teacher told you “you won’t have a calculator with you wherever you go”, but they were wrong (particularly for those kids that had the calculator watches. All the rage in 90’s nerd fashion). You now have the whole worlds knowledge in your pocket. And if you don’t, you either lost your phone, or are in a world with a whole host of additional “mad max” like problems that your phone won’t help with.

So why memorize?

There are definitely cases where you need to memorize things. First that come to mind are anatomy and coding (or any language for that matter). Not to discount any other areas; there are always SOME things that need to be committed to long term memory.

The reasons to memorize something: You will never see the info again, it is convenient to not look something up every time, …and strange party tricks?

So think about what content you have your students memorize. Is it a good idea to have them spend their precious thoughts on knowing the intermediate enzymes and substrates in the Krebs cycle? Can you show them where to find the exact information, but then spend their thoughts on understanding how that information fits in with the rest of the field?

Think of it as “functional knowledge”. How are they going to use it in “the real world”, and how can you help them with that skill.

And if you need to have them memorize some monstrosity, try teaching them about using a memory palace first.

Fun fact! That voice actor can STILL do that song, and has even added the countries that didn’t make it into the original. Updated in 2017

Best Yakko GIFs | Gfycat

Last week I gave a lecture on research ethics. I have a love/hate relationship with teaching research ethics.

To drive home the importance of why we have an IRB and IACUC, I point out some of the atrocities that have happened in the name of science… and it’s heavy; hard to digest.

But this brings to light very specific reasons why we have historically treated each other poorly. Treating others as “less than”. Less than my color. Less than my origin. Less than my race. Less than my species. This devalues, and puts the other group in a separate compartment that: doesn’t need, doesn’t deserve, doesn’t want… doesn’t feel.

We are all only human.

My only “tip” for this week is to think about your students. We are in such a unique position to evaluate so much more about a student than the major area skills.

Are you making them feel heard, valued, human? You may be the first to recognize behavior patterns that indicate something else going on. And you don’t need to sacrifice academic rigor to be a kind person.

Now go enjoy your week fellow human!

Humanlike Robots and Your Brain Creepy Feeling

I sure did!

I was going to start this week with “too legit to quit”, but the classic just couldn’t be passed up. Make sure to watch the Vanilla Ice “Ice Ice Baby” to see some sweet 90’s drama!

Anyway… Just two things.

-Reminder to think about “Keep, Start, Stop”! It’s a great way to to get some honest feedback from your students. Hopefully by now they have an assignment or quiz completed so they have a little bit of footing in your class. This gives you a chance to see what is/isn’t working this term.

It’s pretty easy to set up an anonymous quiz for extra credit points through Canvas. You just have to download the report afterwards to get the responses. These also look great on an annual review! Let me know if you want/need more direction for this.

-Lastly, CTL is putting on a short session through Information Services on how to put quizzes in your videos. Just in case you were worried if they were paying attention or not, or, you know, reward students who ARE actually paying attention.

The sessions are Wed, April 28th from 2-3pm or Thurs, April 29th from 10-11am.

I hope you glide through this week like MC Hammer glides across the stage. (…short little crab-like steps?)

Mc Hammer GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

-Tim Burnett

Instructor of Kinesiology


Soooo, past due, but better late than… next year?

I made the mistake of trying to go down the road of correctly attributing the title quote, but that’s a quagmire I didn’t want on a Monday morning.

But most commonly attributed to Newton, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”

Point being, all of my apparent teaching knowledge is only because I’m “borrowing” from others… which they borrowed from others.

I’d say this is more like children in a trench coat, standing on each other to get into an “R” movie.

Anyway, resources!

Did you know the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) does consultations and mentoring? Of course you did!

Think you can multitask? I know you can’t. But try with this podcast on higher ed learning.

A question and resources to ponder:

  • What can we do to create more humanizing, equity-oriented, socially-connected, and politically critical classrooms?
    • Make videos for students (individually or for the group).
    • Be willing to share a little about yourself (especially challenges).
    • Show representations of diverse people in your course content.
    • Ask students what’s missing in a chart, infographic, or data set.
    • Incorporate discussions about current events as they relate to the course topics.
    • Facilitate difficult conversations.
    • Don’t be afraid to REthink critically what we have been doing in the past and encourage students’ critical thinking and generate meaningful discussions.
    • Allow flexibility as much as possible.
    • Be open-minded and keep learning.

Ok, I’m off to do business at my business office.

Vincent Adultman | BoJack Horseman Wiki | Fandom

-Tim Burnett

Instructor of Kinesiology