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Teaching Excellence Center

Teaching Tips from Attendees at November Social, 2006

 

The following tips were shared at the TEC social on Nov. 1, 2006.

(Return to TEC Socials/Speaker Events web page.)

From Harry Downing: These policies do not seem to be generating poorer student evaluations. I can say that they have generated greater attendance for the classes in which I use them.

PHY 108 - Absences from class must be made up through extra homework assigned from the PHY 241 text. The first absence incurs one extra homework problem. Any further absences will incur three extra homework problems for each absence occurrence. Each of these extra homework problems must be submitted until each is completely correct. Failure to complete this extra homework will result in a grade of WH until the work is totally completed. (WH’s turn to F’s if not completed within one year.) Every four tardies (five minutes or more late) to class will count as one class absence.

PHY 321 - Absences from lab must be made up through extra homework. The first absence incurs one extra homework problem. Any further absences will incur three extra homework problems for each absence occurrence. Each of these extra homework problems must be submitted until each is completely correct. Failure to complete this extra homework will result in a grade of WH until the work is totally completed. (WH’s turn to F’s if not completed within one year.) Every four absences from lecture will count as if it were one lab absence and lab absence rules will apply. Every four tardies (five minutes or more late) to lecture or lab will count as one lecture absence.

From Linda Bond:Collaborative learning techniques help make the classes livelier and help the lessons “stick” in my Communication advertising classes.  One of the big questions about collaborative learning, though, is how to divide the class into groups.

 

I studied two advanced advertising classes in the same semester that were the same size, subject, and general student distribution.  In one class, I had the students fill out a skills assessment and divided them into groups according to their abilities.  In the other class, I picked the group leaders then let them pick their own group members.

 

At the end of the semester, the members of the two classes evaluated their group members almost the same in their peer evaluations. The difference, however, came in the adjudication.  Three independent adjudicators evaluated the advertising groups’ projects for both classes.  The class that was allowed to pick its own group members scored almost 20 points higher in the adjudicators’ totals! I consider this a heuristic study and plan to do more evaluation of collaborative learning techniques.

Steve Wagner shared his use of a jeopardy game on PowerPoint in order to review concepts in class.  He has figured out lots of PowerPoint goodies (like applause and laughing) to include in the game.  He has offered to share his PowerPoint file with anyone who is interested (you will have to substitute your own facts in for his, of course, unless you want to test your students over biology concepts!).

A fun tidbit: Linda also shared the following poem from Tom Wayman -- his answer to the student question, "Did I Miss Anything?"

http://www.library.utoronto.ca/canpoetry/wayman/poem5.htm