The art of social media in the classroom: the perfect excuse to play with your phone

For a long time, playing with your phone was (among) the greatest sins possible in the classroom, indicating a reluctance to the lecture and materials presented. With the growing use of social media and the ubiquity of phones, can this lurking enemy become classrooms’ friend? According to Alyssa Tormala and Shannon lee, It can; students are becoming more comfortable sharing on social media and although there is a tendency to exhibit the ideal self, educators have the opportunity to help students learn and make better choices through empowerment by a positive online community. The authors provide some practical examples: collaborative … Continue reading The art of social media in the classroom: the perfect excuse to play with your phone

Sometimes, you need to mix it up a bit.

As the US universities and higher education institutes are transitioning to online methods due to the widespread of COVID-19, I’m sitting here reflecting on this quote by the undying Salinger in his marvelous book “Franny and Zooey” which goes on as “An artist’s only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else’s.” What a better statement to express the challenges and beauty of combining every pedagogical tool to face the challenges of non-traditional issues such as this one? Consider the current status: We are all trying to practice social distancing to … Continue reading Sometimes, you need to mix it up a bit.

The Joy of statistical consulting: a case-based course in statistics

One of the most impactful classes that I have ever taken is the “statistical consulting” course by Prof.Richard Einsporn at the University of Akron. The course provided hands-on experience giving consulting to clients that will approach the center of statistical consulting at the university. Contrary to a traditional stat class, each session we would have a meeting to discuss the request of several clients and then would team up based on our preferences and projects needs to work in small groups. The responsible group then would follow up with clients as their own individual projects. Although There was no limitation … Continue reading The Joy of statistical consulting: a case-based course in statistics

Open access journals: Knowledge that all can benefit

Open-access journals are not quite common in the structural engineering field, mostly because the reputed journals belong to different scientific communities that support their publication through membership premiums. Although a lot of these journals allow authors to publish open access if additional payments are made. “Buildings” journal belongs to MDPI publication which is a pioneer in open access publication since 1996. “Building” requires authors to pay “article processing charge” to make it free fro reader to access their paper. It aims to publish peer-reviewed original papers, short notes, and review papers on building science, In this regard, the scope of … Continue reading Open access journals: Knowledge that all can benefit

The bad and the ugly

In this session of “preparing future professoriate” course, we were asked to look into some case reports of the office of research integrity (ORI), to get to know about “the ugly” in academia. Being academic, we expect everyone to hold high moral and ethical standards, particularly because a big portion of what we do is to advance and educate. Unfortunately, it is not always the case, as seen in on ORI website (https://ori.hhs.gov/). I looked at Dr.Deepti Malhotra case, where she engaged in research misconduct at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of public health. Allegedly, she falsified and fabricated data and … Continue reading The bad and the ugly

Everyone is welcomed here!

Looking at the current political and societal climate in the US, it is more important that ever, to make sure everyone knows that they are welcomed in a classroom. This sounds as a common sense: while certain public figures and media outlets do not hesitate to divide us more and more everyday; to create a state of insecurity about certain groups of people, and to push their agenda, we have a responsibility to be more pro-active when it comes to the inclusion. However, the first step is to acknowledge hidden bias and privilege. If you have never “walked in their … Continue reading Everyone is welcomed here!

A look inside universities’ personality

During a recent lecture on graduate course on professoriate preparation, we are asked to look at mission statement of two higher education institutes. Being an alumni of the University of Akron (UA), a public school in Ohio, naturally I looked at my alma mater ‘s mission statement as the first one: “The University of Akron, a publicly assisted metropolitan institution, strives to develop enlightened members of society. It offers comprehensive programs of instruction from associate through doctoral levels; pursues a vigorous agenda of research in the arts, sciences, and professions; and provides service to the community. The university pursues excellence … Continue reading A look inside universities’ personality