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Workshop on Academic Civility

 Week Two (April 16+): Identifying the Challenges of Academic Civility

In the first part of this workshop, defintions of and considerations for "academic civility" were presented, along with resources for further reading and an overview of "best and worst practices."  In the second segment, participants will reflect on identifying general and individual challenges to civility in their classrooms as well as strategies to address those challenges.
 
Learning Objectives, Week Two:
After week two, participants should understand the collaborative ownership of and responsibility for civility in the classroom, reflect on their own specific problems with their learning environments, and understand strategies for engaging the academic civility problems in their classrooms and in their institutions. 
 

 
Week Two, Part One: (Collaborative Ownership of) Academic Civility - "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" - A Presentation

 
The following presentation was assembled for the VTLC by Marnie Dresser (English, UW Richland Center).  These slides are accompanied by Marnie's narration, so be sure to turn on/up your speakers.  The presentation runs for about 16 minutes.  To begin, click the link below, then use the navigation bar at the bottom to move forward or backward.



Sources from presentation (with links)
Donald Hall: The Academic Self (book)
Gonzalez & Lopez:  “The Age of Incivility” (AAHE newsletter)
Holly Hassel & Jessica Lourey: "The Dea(R)Th Of Student Responsibility.College Teaching
NEA forum: “Missed Expectations”
Melanie Mock “Dropping the Sanctimony” (Chronicle)

Week Two, Part One Reflective Practice

Reflect and Respond:
  • What is your ideal vision of academic civility in your classroom?
  • What problems have you experienced?
  • In what ways may you have contributed to incivilty?
  • How can we cultivate academic civility on an institutional level (as is suggested by Hassel & Lourey's article)?
  • What "takeaways" did you get from this presentation?

Feel free to reflect on this personally, send a comment to vtlc@uwc.edu, or leave a comment on this blog post.

 
 

Week Two: Part Two: Technology: The Gateway to Incivility?
 
Another common theme among discussions of civility in the classroom relate to technology: professors often cite technology and the way it has changed the classroom and way people communicate as causes of or symptoms of incivility in the classroom.  Different expectations for the use and ettiquette of cell phones, laptops, and email in and out of classrooms have presented new challenges to civility, especially between students who may be unfamiliar with the conventions of academic civility and instructors who are negotiating the relatively new and often-changing territory of technology in the classroom.
 
Two of the considerations for academic civility (presented in week one of this workshop) seem especially important for considering technology in the classroom: dialogic civility and rhetorical listening.

"Angry Emails" Example:

UW Green Bay Psychology professor Ryan Martin (who blogs for Psychology Today) recently wrote about the phenomenon of "angry emails" that have become a too-frequent part of communication between instructors and students.  In the first post, Dr. Martin advises students about what to consider when they are about to send "angry emails" (or even emails which may only be perceived as angry).  Read the first post: Avoiding the Angry Email

The second post is a follow-up after a discussion Dr. Martin had with students.  This post lists advice to instructors from students' points of view about addressing the "angry email" problem.  Read the second post: Responding to the Angry Email - A Follow Up
 

Week Two, Part Two Reflective Practice

Reflect and Respond:

  • What cultural logics inform the use of email and other technology by students? Faculty?
  • How might you incorporate this kind of dialogue in your course about email, technology, or other "hot button" issues of academic civility?
To respond to these questions, select any or all of the following:
Post a response on this blog. (No login is required.)
Email your thoughts to vtlc@uwc.edu
 
Congratulations, you made it through Week Two of the "Workshop on Academic Civility."  Click for Week Three (April 30+): Academic Civility by Design.
 
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UWC VTLC,
Aug 15, 2012, 9:08 AM