Advice for Faculty

The Institute is built around its courses. The courses allow students to engage in new topics for the first time, learn and hone their linguistic methods, and delve deeper into particular theoretical perspectives. Below are a few suggestions as to the types and amount of work to assign your students.

Participants should primarily be learning within the classroom: As you assign coursework, please keep in mind that participants will also be participating in weekend workshops, attending evening lectures, and sharing ideas with one another outside of the classroom. Participants, in short, will be very busy. Because of this, we anticipate that the majority of learning will be done within the classroom itself and suggest that you keep this in mind as you plan your assignments and methods for evaluation.

Short reading assignments: Many participants will be taking four to five courses, so please assign readings accordingly. We suggest no more than 1 to 2 papers or book chapters per class meeting. Beyond the assigned readings, providing a supplementary bibliography or a number of “recommended readings” can be a good way to ensure that your course participants are able to continue learning about the topic after they leave the Institute.

Instructors can place a request to reserve materials in the University Reserves database by selecting the “Linguistics Summer Institute” as the department and manually adding the three digit number that is assigned to the CTools for their course. You can also email university.reserves@umich.edu to place a request.

Short writing assignments: Instead of assigning long final papers (which will be difficult for students to complete), you might want to assign a one- to two-page research prospectus, a squib, or a problem set.

Short problem sets: For many linguistic topics, participants learn best by sifting through data on their own. However, as you assign different projects and problem sets to your course participants, please do consider how much time these might take to complete thoroughly. In addition to assigning problem sets during your course, you might also want to provide participants with additional problem sets and answer keys, which they can work on after the Institute is finished.

Grading: Many of the participants taking your course will not be taking it for a grade and, in general, we encourage you to not emphasize the importance of grades in your courses. With few exceptions, participants are attending the Institute because they love linguistics, not because they need the credit. We unfortunately don’t have the staffing that would allow us to offer graders for Institute courses (though we will have Institute staff available to help you use CTools and the registration/grading system.) We would recommend allowing participants to do self-assessments or assessments of one another’s work as one way of minimizing the grading. We recognize that this is your summer break, and you shouldn’t feel required to spend the majority of it grading papers and assignments.

Office Hours: Faculty should plan to have a couple of office hours a week, though we know that many such meetings with participants will happen informally and outside of the office space. We have reserved classroom space for faculty offices on the same floor on which our business office, lounge, and most classes will take place. Because space is very limited (and expensive), several faculty members will share offices. For that reason, the offices may not be the ideal place for more than one meeting to take place at once. We will have one additional room reserved in which meetings can take place. There are also several local coffee shops in the immediate area that are very quiet in the summer. Finally, two buildings within a short walking distance from the site of Institute events will offer reservable space for meetings between faculty and participants:

    • The Undergraduate Library has a number of group meeting spaces, which can be used by Institute faculty and students. These spaces can be reserved one day in advance or used on a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve one of these spaces, go to the reservation website (http://www.lib.umich.edu/rooms), create an account, and submit a request using their online system. The website has detailed instructions on how to do this. While the best way to ensure that you have a study room is to reserve one ahead of time, there are often unbooked rooms available during the summer. If you walk into the library wanting to use a room without having made a reservation, ask someone at the circulation desk for assistance.

    • The ISS Center meeting rooms in the MLB (in the same suite in which the computer classrooms for the Institute are located.) These include 7 rooms, each with about 4 chairs and one computer with an extremely large monitor. You can also plug your own computer into the screen. The rooms can be reserved beforehand or taken on a first-come, first-serve basis. To reserve them you can call 734-763-1104. The projected hours are from 8:00-5:00, though they are going to decide on official summer hours soon.