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If who pays you makes a difference,
You should find a new career.

Lynn Turner

Teaching Tools

Bulk Rename Utility is the only sane way to keep files that students submit to Blackboard assignments. Quickly rename an entire folder of file names by stripping off the first xx characters of the file name (58 in the example below!!). Blackboard creates file names based on the

  • Assignment name
  • Student ID
  • attempt and full date + timestamp, down to the second!
  • full filename and extension
  • Each of the sections listed above is separated with the underscore character _
  • Example full Blackboard file name:
    Critical Reflection_b00099999_attempt_2014-04-29-14-10-08_lastname_Critical_Reflection.docx
  • which should be shortened to

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Creative Commons License

  • Creative Commons - ...give people the right to share, use, and even build upon a work you’ve created, you should consider publishing it under a Creative Commons license. CC gives you flexibility (for example, you can choose to allow only non-commercial uses) and protects the people who use your work, so they don’t have to worry about copyright infringement, as long as they abide by the conditions you have specified.
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Managing Email

This might be the most brilliant post I've ever seen on email management! Managing Email Realistically by Matt Gemmell. Quotes follow

  • I want less hassle, not another job to do.
  • Frequency of reply:
    • Immediately (friends, family, close and trusted_
    • Within 24 hours (clients, important folks, to say thanks)
    • Once a week (clean it up, 30 minutes max)
    • Delete immediately (ideally automatically)
    • Everything else (Archive it immediately -- don't read past the first line)
  • Be Ruthless ... If it doesn’t immediately and obviously make you feel you should reply to it within the next day or two, it’s not that important to you. Archive or delete it.
  • Volley all vague email. immediately ask for clarification
  • Be polite. Thank people for their message.
  • Don’t check your Junk or Trash folders, ever.
  • Does it work? of course not all of the time, but it goes a long way towards a nigh-empty inbox.

Continuing with the Email theme

How to free yourself from email by Simon Kuper at

  • Update email etiquette: forget greetings, capitalization, and punctuation
  • The George Orwell method of detering time wasters ''If anyone demands a reply, punish them. If somebody writes, “Please could you go over this again, answering my queries”, then respond with tedious questions of your own.
  • ''A more radical solution: never reply. ... When you go on holiday, set up Gmail to delete incoming emails so you don’t have to spend a day going through them.”

In a similar vein, How to Scale Yourself and Get More Done Than You Thought Possible

  • great article!

also The Rule of 3 by J.D. Meier The rule of 3 is a very simple way to get results. Rather than get overwhelmed by your tasks, you bite off 3 things you can accomplish. This puts you in control.

From The Rule of 3 Applied to time:

  • 3 outcomes for the day
  • 3 outcomes for the week
  • 3 outcomes for month
  • 3 outcomes for the year


Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) is a reaction in your immune system to *some* allergens.

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The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.

Robert R. Coveyou, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

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