Unlock student data: an easy way to reformat UC Davis rosters

One of the first tasks I had as head TA for BIS2C was to build up a master roster/gradebook for the course. One way to accomplish this is to download the gradebook from Smartsite. This works well for basic uses, but lacks additional information about students that we might want to analyze, such as major or class (i.e. sophomore vs junior). Continue reading


Great podcast debate on MOOCs

I just listed to “More Clicks, Fewer Bricks: The Lecture Hall is Obsolete,” an Intelligence Squared debate about the role that MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and other forms of online learning should play in higher education. The panelists arguing for the motion were Anant Agawal (founder of edX) and Ben Nelson (CEO of the Minerva Project). They were opposed by Jonathan Cole (Provost of Columbia University) and Rebecca Schuman (an adjunct professor and education writer). While the debate didn’t sway my opinion either way, I think that the panelists made some really interesting points that are worth thinking about: Continue reading