Lee Skallerup Bessette worked public higher education for nearly 20 years, in two countries and four states, primarily at regional, teaching-focused universities, before moving into faculty development, which is her current focus. She specializes in the integration of technology in pedagogy and curricular levels, as well as developing online and hybrid courses. A prolific writer and speaker, she has penned her own higher education-related blog, ReadyWriting.org, and is a frequent contributor to the ProfHacker section of Chronicle of Higher Education. She also has written extensively for and has been quoted in such national publications as Inside Higher Ed, EdSurge and Campus Security.
Areas of Expertise (8)
Technology in Higher Education
University of Alberta: Ph.D., Comparative Literature 2007
Université de Sherbrooke: M.A., Comparative Canadian Literature 2003
Université de Sherbrooke: B.A., English Studies 1999
Media Appearances (2)
What a Controversy Over an App Tells Us About How Students Learn Now
The Chronicle of Higher Education online
Lee Skallerup Bessette, an instructional-technology specialist at the University of Mary Washington, said the use of widely distributed digital materials creates a homogenized academic experience that students are ready to take advantage of.
"How many thousands of students have access to that Pearson material and then upload that to Quizlet?" Bessette asked. "Say you have your Bio 101 textbook that plugs right into Blackboard or Canvas. Yes, we’ve always used the same textbooks, but now we’re using the same slides, the same bank of questions, the same test questions, all of which exist in a digital format. And students know that."
Can a New Approach to Information Literacy Reduce Digital Polarization?
Lee Skallerup Bassette, an instructional technology specialist at the University of Mary Washington, has been teaching with Caulfield’s guide to her Introduction to Digital Studies course, which typically has about 25 students. Her favorite part is having students go through the exercises, such as the one where students learn how to do a reverse Google image search to determine the origin of a picture. “I didn’t know about the reverse Google search, and I teach this stuff,” she adds.
Things have changed so quickly that “we’ve all been caught somewhat unaware and somewhat unprepared,” she says. “I think it’s the most important time to be a university professor,” she adds. “There is a lot of disinformation on both sides.”
Lee Skallerup Bessette
In The Case Against Education, Dr. Bryan Caplan, a professor of economics at George Mason University and a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center (which was funded in part by Charles Koch, who is a director there), pushes all the buttons sure to infuriate those on the left and the right.
Lee Skalleup Bessette
Lee Skallerup Bessette, Enoch Hale
In the spirit of exploration, this paper discusses the what, why and how of unconferencing and explores its implications as a transformative approach to faculty development in higher education. The authors define an unconference faculty development experience as: a less-structured opportunity for participants to learn and grow by sharing individual expertise in a variety of ways that reflect participant interests, preferences, skill sets, and needs. This paper explores the distinctiveness of unconferencing as compared with traditional conference structures, presents a rationale and theoretical underpinnings of this practice, and suggests general guidelines that address some of the pragmatic and logistical issues that inform successful unconference events. Three cases are examined to contextualize the what, why, and how of unconferencing as a dynamic and grassroots approach to envisioning faculty engagement and development.
Lee Skallerup Bessette
In fall 2014, sexual assault and rape on campus were forced to the forefront; high‐profile stories from Columbia University, the University of Virginia and Vassar College prove that we have a long way to go in order to curb sexual assault on campus.