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Teaching Excellence Center

Circle Summaries November 2000

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Monday 2:00 Session

Our group discussed issues related to grade inflation and maintaining standards. We feel that we do have the brighter students here, but also possbily more of the less prepared students than some usinversities, due to the fairly open admissions policy. We shared approaches to helping students study, about which we all felt many students were not well prepared. Two of us had taught SFA 101 and we felt that course had really made the lack of study skills apparent to us. Although we all knew of individuals who felt that giving students advise on how to study was below them, we saw it more as a "civic duty" since learning how to learn is so fundamental to success in life.

All of us felt that maintaining standards were important, although we all went through an adjustment process when we first started teaching here (some more than others). Of course, some classes are simply better than others due to chance enrollment.

As an aside, we discussed attendance policies. We tend to "treat the students as adults" and thus not always require attendance (depending upon the class and how others in the department treat the issue). We all agreed that attendance was probably one of the most important factors in a student's success in a particular course. However, our experience is that students don't really believe that until after the first semester (from SFA 101 discussions). Norm brought in a bit of history when he pointed out that professors used to be paid directly based on attendance for each class. That would certainly shift some people's perspectives!

Tuesday 3:00 Session (no summary)


Thursday 1:30 Session (no summary)


Friday 12:00 Session (no summary)

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