James M. Lang, Chronicle

James M. Lang


Worcester, MA, United States

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Past articles by James:

Give Your Students a Homeric Welcome This Semester

Don’t underestimate the importance and power of hospitality on the first day of class. → Read More

Why Students Hate Group Projects (and How to Change That)

Too many faculty members assign ambitious team projects and then leave the students to their own devices. → Read More

Annotate This: How a Common Academic Practice Can Boost Learning

A new book on annotation offers inspiration for how to better use the technique in teaching. → Read More

The Healing Power of Learning

After a health crisis, an academic finds that learning is not just joyful but restorative. → Read More

Love Means Answering the Mail

Taking time away from the Catholic Worker only made Dorothy Day realize how “love calls us to the things of this world.” → Read More

How to Improve Your Teaching — Fast

A new website for academics offers 20-minute micro courses to help you catch up on teaching innovations. → Read More

They Offered Early Retirement. Here’s Why I Took It at 51.

For many academics, the pandemic has prompted a career reckoning. → Read More

Where Do You Do Your Best Writing?

A look at the connection between place and productivity. → Read More

Why We Need to Rethink Digital Reading

Publishers and some educators have embraced the shift to reading on screens. But is that really what’s best for student learning? → Read More

2 Ways to Fairly Grade Class Participation

A professor who no longer grades participation offers equitable alternatives for those faculty members who do. → Read More

Should We Stop Grading Class Participation?

Why a professor no longer grades students on how much they speak up in class. → Read More

Distracted Minds: How to Fix Your Attention Shortage

It’s not just our students who have trouble paying attention. Sometimes faculty members need help focusing on our work, too. → Read More

Distracted Minds: Your Classroom Can Be a Retreat in Dark Times

Support and sustain your students’ attention, and you contribute not only to their learning but to their well-being, too. → Read More

Distracted Minds: Why You Should Teach Like a Poet

How to use “close reading” of a text, an object, or an idea to focus your students’ attention in class. → Read More

Distracted Minds: The Role of Tempo in Good Teaching

To help students stay attentive in class, think like a conductor, and recognize that students need you to change the pace and the action. → Read More

Distracted Minds: 3 Ways to Get Their Attention in Class

Want the attention of your students? The first and most important step is to pay closer attention to them. → Read More

Kids are getting more screen time than ever during the pandemic, but they'll probably be OK — here's why

Not all screen time is equal, researchers point out, and parents have a few good reasons to be grateful. → Read More

Teaching While Introverted

The college classroom, it turns out, can be the ideal playground for those of us who identify as introverts. → Read More

Why College Professors Hate (and Love) April

A faculty member writes an ode to the academic miseries (and occasional joys) of April. → Read More

How to Teach a Good First Day of Class

The first day of class is crucial both for your students and for you. This guide will help you make opening day as effective as possible. → Read More