Circle Summaries September 2002
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- Monday 2:00 Session (Ken Collier's group)
- Tuesday 3:00 Session (Susan Jennings and Marsha Bayless' group)
- Wednesday 12:00 Sesison (Brenda Marques's group)
- Thursday 3:30 Sesison (Charles Padron's group)
- Friday 12:00 Session (Connie Delaney's group)
- Friday 1:00 Session (Anita Powell 's group)
The Tuesday Teaching Circle met at 3:00-4:15 p.m. in Room 237 of the McGee Business Building on Tuesday, September 24, 2002. The theme was using technology to enhance teaching.
Marsha Bayless showed her web page at www.faculty.sfasu.edu/f_baylessml/ and explained how she was using it for teaching. Susan Jennings discussed how she was using WebCT to enhance teaching.
One idea proposed was that the teachers should find one thing that they would really like to try on WebCT and do that. After that task was accomplished, they could try something else rather than try to do everything the first time. Marsha indicated that she decided to try her grades first as that was an area she wanted students to have better access to.
Doyle Srader shared the highlights of his web page and explained how he used it to enhance his courses. He shared some of the links he has for students and discussed some of his assignments. Julia Ballenger demonstrated her WebCT site and showed her course welcome page, calendar, and syllabus.
The circle discussed how easy it was to use WebCT now that you could access it with your campus pipeline codes.
Circle members were encouraged to think of technology-based enhancements they would like to discuss or try out next month. The next teaching circle is on Tuesday, October 29, 2002, in Room 224 of the McGee Business Building.
Susan Jennings and Marsha Bayless, Tuesday Teaching Circle Leaders
"The Teaching Circle group consisting of Lauren Scharff, Nancy Wisely, and Charles Padron held their first meeting on September 19, and discussed the ever-expanding issue of plagiarism. We dealt with possible courses of action available to confront this problem. We reviewed the current, official SFA policy, and addressed three separate articles that have appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education: "Playing Dirty in the War on Plagiarism," of 15 August 2002; "Dealing with Plagiarists," of 14 May 2002; and "Plagiarism-Detection Tool Creates Legal Quandary" of 17 May 2002.
We all agreed that plagiarism is perhaps one of the most pressing problems in academia today. We concluded our meeting by agreeing that a university-wide panel or group would be a justified step in confronting thisplaque on our campus."
Our topic for September was how to challenge your students to think beyond "Will this be on the test?" An article by Gregory Marchant entitled "Student Reading of Assigned Articles: Will this Be on the Test?" was provided to the circle members. His findings suggest that, despite our expectation and hope for intrinsic motivation, students' learning does depend on whether it will affect their grades. We agreed that our answer to the question "Is this on the test?" should probably be "yes." Some ideas were offered to encourage students to read assignments.
- "Gem of the day" -- Students write what they thought was the most important idea, a question they had, or etc. on a 3 x 5 card to turn in to the professor. The students' questions are often used to plan future instruction.
- More frequent quizzes -- vs. midterm and final only. This practice seems to help with retention of the material for the midterm and final. (More work for the teacher, but worth it for the students)
- Reflections -- students discuss in small groups or write about how the material relates to them personally and how it applies to "real life."
- Class discussions -- applying/synthesizing/evaluating new knowledge. (case studies and discussions of controversial ideas were examples)
As former students ourselves, we understand the time crunch during the college years and sympathize with the students' concern regarding "wasting" their time. We hope that we can show our students how to learn and think on higher levels with the assignments we do give them, and contribute to their intrinsic motivation to become lifelong learners.
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