Saturday, May 26, 2007

Everywhere I Go, Kids Wanna Rock

I know two very simple things you can do to push your student evals through the roof, and make your students write those oh-so-rare teaching portfolio-worthy comments. One, bring candy to class on Hallowe'en and Valentine's Day. Two, have your students watch movies and listen to music that's relevant (or even just "relevant") to the philosophy they're doing in your class. (No, not in class. Even I'm not that much of a whore. Besides, class time is for listening to my own voice.)

In the fall I'll be teaching a course with a lot of potential for both high- and pop-cultural tie-ins, so bring on those teaching evals. The first time I taught the course, I had a few movies and TV shows on the syllabus as "optional viewing." This time around I also want to add some music. But here's the thing. Am I allowed to, say, e-mail an mp3 to the class list? I mean, the class is going to be full of college kids (as college classes often are), so only the weirdo loners aren't already going to have "Cashmir Pulaski Day" on their iPods. Still, I feel like the instructor ought to make sure these things are avialable to everybody, just in case. But I also feel like the instructor shouldn't tempt the RIAA to break his knees.


Anonymous said...

If your university has course-management software (as most do, these days) just post an mp3 of the song to the course website. That way you can't be accussed of trying to dessiminate it widely, and the RIAA will never see that it's posted, since they won't be able to access the content.

Anonymous said...

or make them buy the files from iTunes or whatever. $20 for course-related songs is still way cheaper than even the smallest textbook or reading package.