Professors in Texas Protest Law That Requires Them to Post Teaching Details Online
By Katherine Mangan
Faculty members and administrators in Texas are speaking out about a recent state law that requires them to post specific, detailed information about their classroom assignments, curricula vitae, department budgets, and the results of student evaluations.
Opponents counter that it has created an expensive and time-consuming burden and offers little benefit to the public.
Beginning this fall, universities will have to post online a syllabus for every undergraduate course, including major assignments and examinations, reading lists, and course descriptions.
Curricula vitae must include a faculty member's teaching experience and contributions to professional publications. All of the information must be no more than three clicks away from the college's home page.
Colleges are required to assign compliance duties to a campus administrator and, every other year, send a written report to the governor and legislative leaders.
Students can already find most of the required information in other forms on the Web. "It takes an enormous amount of time and effort on the part of every faculty member to assemble and post this information in the particular form that the Legislature demands," Mr. Hillis says.
"By forcing universities to list a professor's postsecondary education and teaching experience, students will have a more accurate representation of a professor's classroom abilities than they would have otherwise," she wrote in testimony to lawmakers debating the bill.
Opponents say the law will invite political interference, and one of its requirements—posting online students' evaluations of professors—could encourage grade inflation and prompt some students to choose professors and classes that look easy.
Cary D. Wintz, a professor of history at Texas Southern University, objects to the model of students as customers. "We're not Kmart. We aren't having a blue-light special on history this week," says Mr. Wintz, who serves on the board of the Texas Faculty Association.
"You get the feeling that the government sees us as slackers," she says. By requiring professors to list every assignment, she says the law interferes with her ability to respond to students' interests and current events and shift to different topics during the semester.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Lois W. Kolkhorst, wanted to protect students and tuition-paying parents at a time of rising college costs, according to her chief of staff, Chris Steinbach. "Enrolling in a course and finding that it's not what you needed can be an expensive mistake," he says.
Overview: This blog entry shares my first attempts to use a Chromecast HDMI dongle to stream non-supported Chrome browser video formats (MKV, AVI) using Chrome add-ons, as well as shares 3 tips. The 3 tips include: 1) Dealing with Non-HDMI television; 2) Chromecast Unfriendly Networks; 3) Streaming from Mobile Devices.
Question: I have some digital video files in MP4, AVI, MKV formats on my computer in my upstairs office. I want to watch them on my HDMI capable television without hooking the computer up directly to my television using my home wireless network and a Chromecast--which I bought this holiday. How do I do that?Response: As I considered this question, I realized that I'd done practically no research on this prior to purchasi…
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"What's Office 365?" asked a second grade teacher last week at a casual meeting. "My district is moving from what we have now to that." The transition, of course, was from MS Exchange and web-based email to Office 365. For the school district, moving to Office 365 will result in much greater efficiency and functionality than they have ever enjoyed. But that means this large urban school district has a lot of professional learning to engage in. Note: This blog entry originally published by TCEA TechNotes Blog the week of 07/4/2016. Be sure to follow the TCEA TechNotes Blog for updates and great resources! Also, note that you can sign up for free professional learning sessions!If you are a teacher in a district that is launching Office 365 in August, you have some time to get ready. Take these ten steps (five in this blog entry, five more in the sequel) to ensure you are successful in supporting blended learning opportunities that the new federal Every Student Suc…