Sunday, June 23, 2013

More Words: Lake Superior State's Annual "Banished Words" List.



16 comments:

  1. Some of the ones I wished were banished while I was teaching were:

    - learning objectives,
    - learning facilitator,
    - learning experience,
    - learning delivery (formerly known as "teaching"),
    - team leader (formerly "department head" or "dean"),
    - feedback,
    - closing the loop (referring to student "feedback" and "sharing" the results),
    - customer (as in "student as customer"),
    - quality,
    - satisfaction, and
    - performance indicator (the government would conduct surveys of our graduates to determine their "satisfaction" with the "quality" of their "learning experience" and used the results to determine how much funding was available).

    Most of those were associated with that notorious educational doctrine from the 1990s in which those of us who taught no longer had students but customers. The amount of edu-babble that we had to contend with as a result was often overwhelming.

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    1. I remember watching some promotional videos for the place I used to teach at. They featured students who enthusiastically explaining the virtues of the establishment. One phrase which I found particularly irritating was "serious fun" as if to convey that it was the only reason to attend.

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    2. Wow, I don't think I've heard these today... but then I started teaching in the late 1990s. I hear "Student learning outcomes," and "retention" and "customer satisfaction." OK, so the "satisfaction" one has persevered (another term they use in reference to retention).

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    3. Oh, I continue to hear them. A member of my hiring cohort has gone over to the Dark Side and exhorts us to "close the loop" on a regular basis. New classes are vetted by the "educational delivery committee" instead of someone concerned with "curriculum". The worst? Instead of a "library" we have a "learning center".

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  2. I love the typo superfooc. It sounds like a cool new curse!!

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    1. For when simply saying "Fooc!" isn't enough.

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    2. A lot of things merit being labeled a superfooc!

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    3. I love the phrases "guru down" and "trending the passionate bucket" too.

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  3. IIRC, didn't The Unicorn Club hand out a list like this for years? Is this the same group?

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  4. Replies
    1. I must remember to make a macro for quick replies to student email.

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  5. Spoiler alert: my passion was to double down on efforts to kick cans down roads, even to the edge of a fiscal cliff; YOLO. But if job creation gurus insist, I will add a superfood (boneless wings)to my bucket list.

    It's just going to be hard to avoid using that definite article, so disdained it appears twice.

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  6. "Quality assurance" is big where I am. "Stakeholders" needs one through its heart.

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    1. I missed those when I made my earlier comment, but, yes, I agree those have to be eradicated from the lexicon. During the height of the student-as-customer nuttiness where I used to teach, I kept hearing those terms over and over again.

      What made it worse was the man who inflicted all that on the institution was none other than my own department head. He acted like he lived and breathed CQI and TQM. On top of that, whenever there was a new "quality initiative" (in other words, some new hare-brained scheme), guess who got to be the institution's guinea pigs? Of course, dissenting opinions were actively discouraged.

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    2. Doctor and NLAA, why don't you submit these terms for banishment? I checked the complete list of previously banned words, and somehow these got missed:

      Quality assurance
      Quality initiative
      Stakeholder

      I would also like to add "in depth".

      Here's where to request banishment: http://www.lssu.edu/banished/submit_word.php

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