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Resources for Educators

These posts are specific to people who may not teach what I teach (e.g. who aren’t in the public policy, public administration, political science or human geography fields).

Syllabus Design

Lessons learned from designing a qualitative data analysis and interpretation graduate course

In this blog post I share my experience developing a new graduate course on qualitative data analysis and interpretation, and the challenges I faced as I was trying to sort through so many books, articles, and topics to cover.

Developing an entire course based on a research or writing project

I have crafted syllabi around topics I’ve wanted to explore more, or write on. In this blog post I share my approach with a recent doctoral seminar on Comparative Methods.

Syllabus-writing as storytelling.

This is a piece I wrote upon request from University Affairs Canada (the premiere magazine for higher education in the country) on how I use storytelling techniques to create a syllabus. It’s important to note that this method works better when you already know the topic or have at least taught the course once.

Creating a syllabus for a new course: The answer-seeking method

I used this method to create my new courses’ syllabi. Instead of trying to tell a story that I actually can’t tell because I haven’t taught the course at least once, I try to answer specific questions that *I* myself may have about the course. The post explains the logic behind this process.

Integrating under-represented minorities in my syllabi

One of my biggest frustrations with modern academia is that the “seminal readings” tend to be by old white men. I have actively countered this with gender-balanced syllabi, and integrating minorities, scholars of color and queer professors’ work into my syllabi. This explains why I do this.


Avoid the “think hard” trap when providing students’ feedback.

This blog post makes an argument for being more specific about what students can do to improve their work, rather than asking them to “think hard” (a rather generic, vague and unhelpful piece of advice).

Teaching the Mechanics of Research and Writing.

Analysing and teaching theoretical debates using a set of articles in Point-Counter Point-Rejoinder format

We often tell our students that they need to be able to write more argumentatively and “map the literature”. Both of these include the ability to chart different debates within the scholarly realm. This blog post helps faculty show how a debate/argument can be crafted using a Point-Counter Point-Rejoinder (PCR) model.

Teaching how to Read, Take Notes, Synthesize and Write and help students develop an academic research and writing practice.

In this blog post I explain my experience teaching how to read, take notes, systematize these notes and develop a writing rpactice. This post should be useful for faculty AND students (for faculty, it explains how I teach this process, and for students, it showcases how you can learn it and develop a reading, note-taking, systematizing and writing practice all on your own).

Teaching proper citation practices: avoiding “Daisy chains” and grandparented cites when doing citation tracing
As much as possible, I believe we need to go back to the original source and avoid grandparented cites. This may obviously not be easy to do all the time, but we need to make our best effort to teach proper citation practices.

On why we need to teach our students/research assistants how to develop a repertoire of reading strategies

I strongly believe that educators and principal investigators are the ones who should teach our students and research assistants/associates that there are various types of reading processes, strategies and heuristics. This post explains my reasoning.

Tools and Pedagogical Strategies

My lecture slide deck preparation process

I invest a lot of time preparing my slide deck, but it might be of interest to readers.

Using Evernote in teaching and research

One of my goals is to always teach my students new tools, software and techniques. I find Evernote incredibly useful (although they recently requested that you upgrade to the paid Premium version to be able to sync across devices beyond 2 pieces of equipment). Still, it’s a great tool, and here I explain how I use it to teach my students about data storing and management.

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