website & blog of Tuan Hoang, Pepperdine University



YouTube & iMovie for remote instruction

I’ve completed the first three lectures for the history survey and divided them into five videos of 7-11 minutes each. This is a three-minute sampling of the lectures.

I posted the videos on YouTube as “unlisted” and sent the links to students. Tomorrow, class time is spent on elaboration and answering questions. I have no idea how many students will have watched the videos, or how they receive the presentation. But they should be handy when they study for the next exam. It took a while to make them, due mainly to doing retakes and tedious editing on iMovie. But I’m getting a hang of it.

A few observations:

  • I heard say myself “right,” “all right,” and “you know” too often, and “hmm” and “ah”… Yikes!
  • My lecture style is conversational and it is therefore a challenge not interacting with a live audience. To minimize the possibility of droning on and on, I focus on analyzing two or three primary sources in each video.
  • Taking this approach means that I only show my face at the beginning, the end, and once or twice in between for a short time. Visually, students see mostly class materials.
  • That said, it’s been fun putting on different clothes for each lecture, making different arrangements on the makeshift set, even holding a different piece of glassware each time.
  • Who would have thought that editing those goofy dance videos is paying dividend? It’s cool, for example, to add to the screen a note or a point of emphasis, even a small correction to something I said earlier.
  • Since I often show short documentary clips during lecture, it helps to have a large TV.

First Zoom class ever tomorrow. Here we go!

The IGEA workshop and the Teaching Professor conference


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From delight to affection: Fall 2015 and beyond

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“Absolute unity of evening”: A vocational anniversary of mine

Six years ago today, I went to Pepperdine for a job interview. It was my first time on campus and I remember it distinctly. I met some of my current colleagues during the first two interviews, both of which were held in a room that I’ve walked by all the time since then yet, oddly enough, have never entered again. I had lunch with two faculty, and we sat outside of the cafeteria and looked at the beautiful ocean in the distance.

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Explaining teaching evaluations to my first-year students

“How many classes,” asked a faculty at the end of a committee meeting three years ago, “is a tenured professor at Stanford required to teach each year?” None of us gave the correct answer, which is one. The same is probably true at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, and other top Research I universities in America. I have no idea how teaching is evaluated among these folks—or if it is a category for evaluation. I’d guess, however, that teaching evaluations matter little or not at all at these institutions.

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Pepperdine’s memorial service for Alaina Housley


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A former student’s reflective essay on Plato and exercise

37 Persians 9
September 2014: Grace Vitek, second from right, and several peers performing a scene from Aeschylus’ The Persians.

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My students on Langdon Gilkey’s Shantung Compound

Chapman cover
This student counts Gilkey’s book among her handful of favorites in the Great Books sequence. ~ pc Cate Chapman

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Rod Dreher & J.D. Vance at Pepperdine

By a coincidence of scheduling, Rod Dreher and J.D. Vance gave talks at Pepperdine within four days of each other.  I was able to attend both presentations and took a few notes.

Dreher 2
Rod Dreher on the Benedict Option

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