Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

Eco 101: Exponential Growth & Decay

Posted 27 Jan 2017 / 0

Different rates of positive and negative growth create different population trajectories over time In biology, a population is a group of organisms that belong to the same species and occupy a defined land area (or volume of air or water). These populations have the tendency to grow and shrink over time. This is because the rate at which members of Read More

A Major Post, Eco 101, Ecology, Intrinsic Growth Rate, Population Growth

What in Darwin’s name was I thinking? (#001)

Posted 13 Jan 2017 / 0

I am not afraid to play around when it comes to my teaching. I have been teaching for what seems to me a long time — eight years as a middle school teacher, several instructor gigs in graduate school, and now nearly ten years as a professor at Pratt — and I never feel as Read More

A Major Post, Course Evaluations, Higher Education, MSCI-260, Evolution, MSCI-270, Ecology, MSCI-271, Ecology for Architects, Teaching

Predicting Future Evolution (Fall 2016)

Posted 10 Dec 2016 / 0

One of the activities that I regularly have my students complete in my Evolution course is called “Future Evolution“. The activity sends students on what most evolutionary biologists consider a fool’s errand: to try to predict the future evolution of some particular trait in some particular species. Making such predictions is really difficult for these basic reasons: Read More

A Major Post, Adaptation, Animal Domestication, Anthropogenic Change, Coevolution, Cultural Evolution, Evolution, Evolution Education, Human Evolution, Lesson Ideas, MSCI-260, Evolution, Prediction, Resistance Evolution in Parasites

Celebrating Studio Days (Fall 2016)

Posted 08 Dec 2016 / 0

The Juliana Curran Design Center, where Interior Design, Industrial Design, and Communications Design critiques take place For the past three academic years, Pratt has instituted a new feature of its academic calendar: Studio Days, four days sandwiched between the penultimate instructional week and finals week, are dedicated solely to critiques, surveys, and final reviews in the studio majors. The Read More

A Major Post, Critiques, Reviews, & Surveys, Higher Education, Sustainability, Teaching

My ecological footprint for 2016-2017

Posted 31 Oct 2016 / 0

It’s that time of year again. Once again I send my students in my Ecology course out to estimate their ecological footprints, so to show that I am holding myself to a similar standard — and to make sure to keep myself ecologically self-aware — I always make sure to make my own footprint public. This should Read More

A Major Post, Anthropogenic Change, Biodiversity Loss, Climate Change, Ecological Footprinting, Ecology Education, Environmental Justice, Ethics, Habitat Destruction, MSCI-270, Ecology, Pollution, Sustainability, Teaching Tools

How Moodle allows you to remove your bias when grading quizzes

Posted 10 Oct 2016 / 0

Image of students taking an online exam at the turn of the century courtesy of Michael Surran via Wikimedia Commons I think that any teacher who is honest about their relationship with their students realizes that they are not completely impartial. Given how much you can get to know your students — especially if you require Read More

A Major Post, Assessment Methods, Ethics, Learning Management Systems, Teaching

I’ll be spreading the Learning Management System love at Pratt in early November

Posted 10 Oct 2016 / 0

I am excited to have been asked to guide an informal exploration of some of the potential behind Moodle, the platform for Pratt’s Learning Management System (LMS). I will be sharing some of the ways that I tackle teaching challenges using the LMS and will then will allow participants at this lunch to play “stump the chump” Read More

A Major Post, Educational Technology, Learning Management Systems, Pratt Institute, Teaching

The question is how — not whether — students use electronic devices in the classroom

Posted 14 Sep 2016 / 0

The Chronicle of Higher Education “No, Banning Laptops Is Not the Answer (And it’s just as pointless to condemn any ban on electronic devices in the classroom)” I appreciate this nuanced approach to technology use in the classroom, but I tend to lean towards the “any ban is counter-productive” perspective. I like the idea of being Read More

A Minor Post, Higher Education, Teaching, Teaching Tools

An interesting model for ditching the deadline

Posted 05 Sep 2016 / 0

Chronicle Vitae “It’s Time to Ditch Our Deadlines” I am experimenting with “suggested deadlines” this semester, which are actually even more forgiving than the grace period and negotiable extension system that Ellen Boucher describes here. She makes a compelling case for dropping strict deadlines, and I have a feeling that her system makes a lot Read More

A Minor Post, Assessment Methods, Higher Education, Teaching

An analysis of my course evaluations for Spring 2016

Posted 18 Aug 2016 / 0

For the most part I am like most of my colleagues: there are about a hundred things — some less than glorious — that I would rather do than analyze my semesterly course evaluations. But for whatever reason, I feel compelled to do so, especially given that in recent years my course evaluations have been Read More

A Major Post, Assessment Methods, Course Evaluations, Higher Education, MSCI-260, Evolution, MSCI-270, Ecology, MSCI-271, Ecology for Architects, Teaching