Use backward design for project planning

As we get ready to move into the summer months, have you thought about your goals and what you want to get accomplished? Before we know it, August will roll around and it will be time to gear up for another academic year. Whether you are planning a productive summer or just thinking about a large project, there are some specific steps you can take to make sure you have a plan to achieve your goals. In today’s post, I will share how the principles of backward design can be used to come up with a plan to get your work done.

Photo credit: Crispin Semmens

Without a concrete plan of action, you may struggle to complete your most significant work. 

Backward design can help you plan your research

Research is more than simply collecting data and writing up results. Particularly if you’re a pre-tenure assistant professor looking to establish your research agenda, research is also about planning and arranging your publications. Without a sufficient guide, you can miss opportunities or fall short of your institution’s research expectations for tenure and beyond. In today’s post, I want to share how backward design can help you plan your research activities.

backward design can help you plan your research

Photo credit: Paul Albertella

Backward design is an approach to curriculum development that calls for creating learning goals and then working backward from those goals to determine instructional methods and assessments.

The goal with backward design is to teach toward specific goals which helps to focus and organization a course. Backward design provides a roadmap to guide the instructor.

Similarly, backward design can help you develop a roadmap for your research activities. 

Tips for publishing with students

Graduate and undergraduate students can be tremendous assets to your research endeavors and can serve as the embodiment of a merger between your teaching and research activity. For all the benefits of working with students, some concerns and challenges exist. In today’s post, I want to share some tips for publishing with students that you can use to make sure that your publishing relationships with students go well for everyone involved.

tips for publishing with students

Photo credit: Alan Levine

My reading list for 2017

Happy New Year! I have never been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions but I do enjoy picking out books that I’m going to read for the year. Some years I focus on popular books that I’ve never read or on non-higher education books. For this year, I have identified 10 books that are mostly focused on faculty and academic governance. This is an area I ended 2016 thinking about and want to continue into 2017. Below are my books for the year along with blurbs from Amazon. What are you reading this year?

Photo credit: Moyan Brenn

What are the types of academic publications?

Academic publishing represents one of the most significant aspects of the work of faculty members as well as graduate students. One’s success in academic publishing fundamentally determines one’s success in higher education. Publishing is vital for getting a faculty position and critical in the tenure decision. Unlike other aspects of faculty work such as teaching or service, the high stakes world of academic publishing is fraught with complications. What counts? How is one type of publication weighted compared to another? These questions are quite context-specific depending on your discipline, institution, and department. In today’s post, I want to help unpack academic publishing and research by exploring the question of what are the different types of academic publications.

Photo credit: Sam Churchill

Like the broader publishing world, academic publishing has changed dramatically in recent years. Universities have closed academic presses and the need to turn a profit, while always present, has grown exponentially more relevant to publishing decisions.

The ratcheting up of tenure expectations with institutional aspirations has led to journals and presses being inundated with mediocre manuscripts.