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Ken Bauer Associate Professor of Computing Science at the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Guadalajara.

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For my previous blog posts, got to my blog page linked below (March 2013 - Feb 2019).




Homebrew Website Club - Guadalajara - Meeting Notes #002

2 min read

Another good meeting, I (Ken) am personally very happy that we had 9 participants for this session.

We did realize there is an interest in (the beer) as well as . I mentioned the possible confusion with the hashtag on the whiteboard and Cervera said "hey I brew beer too". Ken made some nonsense remark about setting up a homebrew store like the ones in Canada.

Homebrew with Cervera, Rubio, Fredele and Miguel

Photo courtesy of photo from Fredele

Link back to the announcement for this meeting.

Meeting Notes via Fernando R

Self-assigned "homework tasks"


  • homebrew domain for the club build on Known


  • Statistics course
  • Statistics digest


  • Bring back her blog to life
  • Social posting and Engineering


  • Constant feed
  • Colophon about Twitch setup
  • Internet Archive
  • Presenting yourself to the world


  • Has a blog on github pages

Fernando G

  • Jekyll setup
  • Also looking at Hugo
  • Martes de Taquito

Hermano de Maura (Manlio)

  • twitch?
  • buying a domain

Fernando R

  • keep going with the blog
  • backup scripts


  • telegram bot
  • developer blog


CerveraFredeleMauraManlioMiguelFernando GKen
Fernando RNext meeting to be determined, the campus is closed April 15-19 so perhaps a meeting offsite during that week.HomebrewWebsite club Guadalajara, meeting 002

Year in Review (ongoing)

7 min read


We have a good process at the Tecnológico de Monterrey where we define our commitments ("Compromisos") for the academic year in advance and then review them at points during and at the end. Part of a holistic view of our roles as educators at our institution.

I'm busy reviewing mine from this year and realized that putting these in the open is a decent idea and I plan to do that going forward. Since I have no time machine to go back to the beginning of the year and post this, I'll post both what the plans were and a reflection of where I am so far on this.

The Big Five

Here is the list of the five factors which we look at:

  • Personal Development (Compromisos de Desarrollo Personal)
  • Teaching (Compromisos de Docencia)
  • Academic Vitality (Compromisos de Vitalidad Académica)
  • Service and Leadership (Compromisos de Servicio y Liderazgo)
  • Transformation and Continuous Improvement (Compromisos de Transformación y Mejor Continua)

Plans Best Laid

Best Laid Plans image

Awaiting response on ownership license from Jim Borden but this was too good to not use for now. Image from his blog post at

So my original plans stated back a the beginning of last year were:

  • Personal Development:
    • Finding balance among many projects on campus.
    • One key role here will be collaboration and mentoring other faculty members.
  • Teaching:
    • Continue trajectory with good evaluations and contact with alumni.
  • Academic Vitality:
    • Continue with keynotes and participation at international level.
    • Reintegrate in national research community (committee and paper push).
    • Reach goal (2019 or 2020) coauthor of a book or major paper.
  • Service and Leadership:
    • Participate in at least one project in the community with social impact during 2019.
  • Transformation and Continuous Improvement:
    • Reboot of my projects with cMOOCs and training/inspiring faculty at the national level as well as internationally.

Reality Bites shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license" width="225" height="174" />

"reality bites empire records" flickr photo by Pink Cow Photography shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license

  • Personal Development:
    • I am finding balance but saying 'no' can be difficult for myself and the receiver of any "no". Work in progress.
    • I have had some success reaching out to incoming faculty and giving them professional and personal advice.
    • Hitting both points, I was successful in passing on the responsabilities of our local ACM ICPC leadership to a fellow faculty member who expressed a desire to take that on.
    • I am extremely excited to be enrolled in (and supported by my leadership) a five week course led by Howard Rheingold starting on May 3 titled "Augmented Collective Intelligence". The cohorts in my group has me both excited and a little bit intimidated.
    • I remain an Associate Professor and will need to plan for a review of that status in 2020.
    • I particpated in a full week training course July 31st - August 3rd, 2018 titled "Qradar training + Tec.Cyber" at IBM in Cambridge, MA, USA.

  • Teaching:
    • My evaluations have been 'fine'. Not high enough to apply for awards such as "Profesor Inspirador". Perhaps in 2020. I had applied way back in 2014 and 2015.
    • I implemented my own mid-semester survey (anonymous) to all of my students in March so solicit feedback which was very useful to myself and hopefully to my students.
    • I have continued my system of "requiring" three meetings from each student individually to discuss their progress in my course as well as in their lives. This has been a big success and the students have told me that they very much appreciate this. I have much more to write about this and should publish about it.
    • Students are able to schedule appointments with me that fits their own schedules. I have used this scheduling system in place of static office hours for years and this practice has been adopted by many other faculty.
    • Created a new topics course on "Smart Cities" collaborating with colleague Dr. Eleni Stroulia at the University of Alberta Computing Science department. One of the teams in my course is collaborating with a team in Edmonton on a project "YEG-AR".
    • Designing a new topic to be offered to international students as well as to students across degree programs (target candidates in computing in international relations) titled to be offered in August 2019.

  • Academic Vitality:
    • We completed our NOVUS 2017 project "MolCaGeTe" and presented our final report AT CIIE 2018 in December. This project was led by my colleague Alejandro Parra with the invaluable work of students Lucía Velasco and Carolina Castañeda.
    • I presented MolCaGeTe as a poster at  in Niagara Falls, NY in October 2018. Good feedback was received "MolCaGeTe - Replacing our Chemistry Textbook and Quiz System with Open Resources"
    • I presented on a panel at  on "CC Open Education Platform: International Collective Action" with Amanda Coolidge, Cable GreenCindy Domaika and Nate Angell.
    • Keynote at The 6th International Conference in Software Engineering Research and Innovation. October 24-26, 2018. San Luis Potosi, SLP, México.
    • Keynote at 4o Foro Educativo de La Red Durango de Investigadores Educativos, A.C. Nov 23-24, 2018. Victoria de Durango, Durango, México.
    • Will be a keynote in September 2019 at FlipTech Latin America in Bogotá, Colombia.
    • Working with the MolCaGeTe team on producing a published paper for the upcoming CIIE 2019.
    • Collaborating with an international team of researchers led by Dr. Hector G. Pérez González of the Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí on a paper on improving object-oriented thinking in undergraduate students.
    • Invited and coordinated the visit of two faculty from the University of Alberta Computing Science department as Academic Leaders (Líderes Academicas) November 2018. Dr. Eleni Stroulia and Dr. Ioanis Nikolaidis.
    • Still aiming with the above research and contemplating participating in a book project in 2020.
    • We developed and delivered the 2nd version of our Linux USB Exam system with my service students. Currently in operation with two teacher users.

  • Service and Leadership:
    • Chair of the Board of Directors of the Flipped Learning Network, July 2016 - present.
      • The FLN is a non-profit with a mission of being the international resource on flipped learning.
      • Personally produced (and hosted most) of 25 podcasts of "Ask the Flipped Learning Network", more still in production with a bi-weekly schedule.
      • Sponsored FlipTech East Coast 2018 conference, NJ, USA. June 29th and 30th, 2018.
      • Upcoming FlipTech New England conference, Waltham, MA, USA. June 28th and 29th, 2019.
      • Upcoming FlipTech Latin America conference, Bogotá, Colombia. September 27th and 28th, 2019.
    • Latin America Lead for the non-profit Virtually Connecting. Lead, coordinated and participated in various remote events connected to international conferences.
    • Outgoing team coach for ACM ICPC (programmign competitions) up to and including 2018. See above, I passed this role on to another faculty member in 2019.
    • Academic sponsor for the Association for Computing Machinery Student Chapter for our campus in Guadalajara. I was the original sponsor when the group was formed in 2002 and remain the faculty sponsor for most of the years since.
    • Registered for the campus program to be part of a permanent list of volunteers in programs connected to our campus ("oferta permanente del Voluntariado Tec")
    • I have registered the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Guadalajara as a Pharo Consortium Academic Partner.
    • I participated as a member of the Cyber Security Innovation Council at our meeting in Mexico City on November 7, 2018.
  • Transformation and Continuous Improvement:
    • I have not (yet) rebooted my cMooc offered in the past titled "OpenFlip". This was offered various semesters starting in the summer of 2014 and offered a total of six times. I intend to start another in June/July 2019. This is a free and open connected MOOC.
    • Coordinator for the CS1 course "TC1017" August-December 2018 and January-May 2019.
    • Regional leader (Occidente) for transfer of upcoming Tec21/Plan2019 CS1 courses TC1028 and TC1023 to be offered in August 2019.
    • Participated as a mentor in the March 2019 Assessment Center where we give graduating students in the computing program feedback on their coverage of core competencies of their degree program.
    • Participating in preparation of hybrid content for TC1033 in a national committee.

Homebrew Website Club - Guadalajara

1 min read

This is a placeholder for the Homebrew Website in Guadalajara meetings and links to posts about the club.

Whiteboard info about our meetups

#Ungrading, Rest and Reboot.

5 min read

edit (April 2, 2019): This post was linked from an excellent article authored by Colleen Flaherty at Insider Higher Ed, "When Grading Less Is More". I thank Colleen for reaching out and including text from this post.

or Subterranean Homesick Blues

This is a post about work in progress, I have been thinking deeply on this over these past two semesters since I went back towards "traditional grading". I am formulating a plan for the pendulum to shift more towards what my colleague Laura Gibbs calls: "all-feedback-no-grades". You can read about this in much more detail in her upcoming book chapter "Getting Rid of Grades".

Just this weekend, this arrive in my Twitter DM inbox. My DMs are open on Twitter, I receive much more good than bad so it stays that way. I redacted the identifying information and it will remain that way unless I get permission to put that back.

Hi Ken, I hope you're well. I'm working on a piece on ungrading <redacted>. I saw your tweet about going back to traditional grading this year -- can you tell me more about that decision? What caused the shift? Thanks in advance for any insight you can spare!

So, again this is in draft form, but here is the answer to that one question for now below. If one wants some history, there is a bunch on my blog (old location) but the three most important posts can be found via the search for "abolishgrading".

So much of my work is wrapped up around connected learning, not just ungrading. This is all part of a critical digital pedagogy and I invite the readers to look at the work of Jesse Stommel and Sean Michael Morris for a much better definition of that term. In fact, just go read their writings put into a book format, it is free or you can pay for the book to support them. More on that at the webpage for the book: "An Urgency of Teachers".

Many others in this field influence me deeply, this sketch below (viz notes) by Giulia Forsythe of a talk by Bonnie Stewart speaks to that as well.

#canedu13 [viz Notes]" width="640" height="480" />

[viz Notes]" href="">Networked Educators & Learners @bonstewart [viz Notes] flickr photo by giulia.forsythe shared into the public domain using Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0)


What Caused the Shift? or Yes, I finally answer your question

I would put the cause of the shift directly on me. I believe that students need freedom to learn, grading is often used to coerce students to do "what we want" and kills the creativity of our students. I perhaps went "too far" in giving the freedom and putting my role as 99.9% "the guide and mentor". Sure, I gave some guidance with a list of topics for my students to research, explore and write about (in code, in making and in writing) with the intent to give them the freedom to explore. Often the choices were larger as they could choose which topics to explore. I thought this was good. My first grading period (we have two partial grading periods before a final), I simply asked students on the exam to write about a selection of topics in the course so far and to give themselves a numeric grade on a scale of 1-100 (our official grading system).

They freaked out. Well, most of them.

So, we worked together to create a loose rubric to guide them on their discovery of their grading. That seemed to relieve their stress. It worked and I had some amazing results of work and learning from students. It was all wonderful.

But then came pushback. Some students expressed that "hey, you can just do pretty much 'nothing' and pass the course" or "we students can't be trusted, we need to be monitored and graded".  This was a shock, I had discussions with students and decided that I needed to go back towards a traditional structure with deadlines (my deadlines were all "end of semester" for everything) and fit into what students were "accustomed to".

Yes, I am still extremely flexible, I just give an appearance of standard setup. I allow students to question a grade (most are simple 0/1/2 scale) and resubmit work to improve those grades. If a student discusses why something was late, I overlook the "late penalty", if a student submits an excellent work ten days late then I give them full marks and tell them how great their work is and give them feedback.  Well, I try to give feedback on all the work.

But it just doesn't feel right, it doesn't feel pedagogically honest. Not to the students and not to myself.

So thanks to the discussions of many of my colleagues and my internal discussion with myself I am working on a change again.

More importantly, thanks to my students for feedback. I am a better learner when learning together with them.

"You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows"



Call for Proposals #KensNext50

2 min read

Half Century Mark

I soon turn 50 in April and I can definitely be proud of what I've accomplished so far. I have a wonderful family, I have health, an amazing job working with incredible students at an excellent institution. Life is good, I can't complain.

Of course there have been failures, mishaps and calamity. Life is like that but I am privileged and lucky to still be here to face the future.

Obligatory Video Clip

I just can't resist the opportunity to include this not-really-but-somewhat-related-video-because-my-brain-works-like-that.

 To many Canadians of my generation, the Tragically Hip was a big part of our youth. For me, this was the background soundtrack to my undergraduate days at the University of Victoria hanging out in the coffee shop, the pub and blaring in the kitchens that I worked in during my youth. This was part of my first 50 years. We all have the soundtrack of youth and many my age remember the hours we poured into making the .

 A Call for Proposals

So I create a call for proposals: "What should Ken focus on in the next 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years".

  • Preferably a blog post but short microblog format accepted including tweets, Instagram posts, Facebook Posts.
  • If you can remember, include the hashtag . It will be entertaining to go find those.
  • You can choose the medium, the format, the length. The sky is the limit, have fun. I know that I will.

Thank You

I really want to thank so many of you that I see in person everyday or not so often as well as to my friends and colleagues that I have constant contact with via the wonder that is the internet.

Homebrew Website Club - Guadalajara - April 3, 2019

Second meeting Homebrew Website Club in Guadalajara

Location: Tecnológico de Monterrey in Guadalajara


Time Zone: America/Monterrey (GMT -05:00)

Note: open to anyone, there will be native speakers of both Spanish and English.

Nota: abierto a cualquier persona, habrá hablantes nativos tanto de español como de inglés.

Discussion around the independent web, and demos of personal websites and technology.

Join a community with like-minded interests. Bring friends that want a personal site, or are interested in a healthy, independent web!

Any questions?


Tecnológico de Monterrey in Guadalajara.

Patio of the Library connected to the CyberPlaza.


  • 5:30 – 6:30 pm: (Optional) Quiet writing hour+

    Use this time to work on your project, ask for help, chat, or do some writing before the meeting.
  • 6:30 – 7:30 pm: Meetup

More information:

Code of Conduct

Group Photo Homebrew Website Club - Guadalajara - March 20, 2019

Group Photo Homebrew Website Club - Guadalajara - March 20, 2019

Photo documenting our first meeting in Guadalajara!

Homebrew Website Club - Guadalajara - Meeting #001

2 min read


We had a good start with seven participants at our first meeting at the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Guadalajara.

The original calendar event for this meeting.

Ken gave a general overview of the idea of the meetinngs, each member shared where they were and what they would like to do in the near future. Ken arrived around 5pm to ensure we had a space reserved on the patio of the library and the rest trickled in between 5:30pm and 6:45pm. Remember you can just drop in but we would always appreciate if you let us know that you are coming to a meeting.

For the introduction, Ken pointed out the following historical links:

For a general description of what the Homebrew Website Club is, see the wiki page


Next Meeting

We plan to hold the next meeting on Wednesday April 3, 2019 at the same location and time. See the main IndieWeb HWBC page for more details at the Guadalajara entry.

Photos from the meeting

Raul, Manlio, Fernando R,, Ken, Alejandro, Miguel, Fernando G.

Seven Participants: Raul, Manlio, Fernando R,, Ken, Alejandro, Miguel, Fernando G.

Early bird arrivals

Early bird arrivals: Alejandro, Manlio, Fernando R, Ken

Homebrew Website Club - Guadalajara - March 20, 2019

First meeting Homebrew Website Club in Guadalajara

Location: Tecnológico de Monterrey in Guadalajara


Time Zone: America/Monterrey (GMT -05:00)

Note: open to anyone, there will be native speakers of both Spanish and English.

Nota: abierto a cualquier persona, habrá hablantes nativos tanto de español como de inglés.

Discussion around the independent web, and demos of personal websites and technology.

Join a community with like-minded interests. Bring friends that want a personal site, or are interested in a healthy, independent web!

Any questions?


Tecnológico de Monterrey in Guadalajara.

Patio of the Library connected to the CyberPlaza.


  • 5:30 – 6:30 pm: (Optional) Quiet writing hour+

    Use this time to work on your project, ask for help, chat, or do some writing before the meeting.
  • 6:30 – 7:30 pm: Meetup

More information:

Code of Conduct

Introduction to



A Critical Gradebook

3 min read


Esther's Gradebook, flickr photo by Cat Sidh, shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

(Esther's Gradebook flickr photo by Cat Sidh shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license)

Back in 2015 I made a switch to a  via FeedWordPress. The plumbing of how to do this was all thanks to the genius of our good friend Alan Levine. Check out Alan's multi-post series "Feed WordPress 101: Installing and Setting Up The Machine" which gives you all the details on how to set this up. You can also go back to my post in January 2015 when I started this adventure "A New Semester, A New Year".

While digging up links to include in that background I found this post ("Conversation with Alan Levine, Pedagogical Technologist") with a video courtesy of Howard Rheingold interviewing Alan in 2014 about connected learning. This leads to the deeper history including the work of Martha Burtis, Jim GroomGardner Campbell and the amazing DS106 project/experience/cult and Domain of One's Own. I also shall not fail to give a glove tap to another colleague and friend who inspired and continues to inspire me in this area: Brian Lamb.

Conversation with Alan Levine, Pedagogical Technologist from Connected Learning Alliance on Vimeo.

The Inspiration

Earlier today I caught the end of a conversation on Twitter focused around the work of Laura Gibbs and her use (and struggles) with the gradebook in Canvas LMS.

This quick burst of tweets gave me the spark to bring back a project that I was working on back in 2016 to write my own WordPress plugin to create a gradebook inside of my course tools. One of the few missing pieces while using WordPress as my platform for my courses was that "comfort" of a gradebook to ease what can be an anxious part of students' lives: "but what is my grade going to be"?  That plugin was a total hack and I quickly abandoned it.

Now, astute readers will be asking: "Grades, you don't do grades anymore Ken"! Well, that is a work in progress still and I am finding the right balance of scaffolding to provide the best learning environment for my students.

You could look back on my previous posts on which was originally inspired posthumously by the work of Joe Bower. The most popular post on my blog by far talks of my first semester implementing this and is titled "Teaching Evaluation Comments: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly ".

The Plan

So I setup a GitHub board (criticalgradebook) and a GitHub repository (again, criticalgradebook) where I plan to build this tool. I'm putting out a call to anyone who would like to help define/design this. Perhaps we could setup a video call to discuss and hash out some ideas soon.

If you are interested, please contact me. I can easily add you to the GitHub board and repository and welcome any other input through any channel that works for you.


All posts and content on this site are released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License unless otherwise indicated.

There are some tracking items on this site and I plan to create a page about that.

Basically my YouTube embeds create some tracking and I am interested in some web statistics and Google Analytics is my best option for now.

I do recommend installing plugins on your browser like Privacy Badger from the EFF and uBlock Origin. I run those myself.