Week 16 Teaching Tips

Welcome to the last week of class!

Consider administering a survey to get feedback on your course during this last week of class or next week during finals.  You could make up your own or select a few questions from the SIRII administrative survey (see your last survey results or contact your Dean’s assistant for access to questions).

Make announcements in your classes to let students know about final exams/projects, class meeting(s) next week, when you expect/hope to finish grading, how they can access their final grade, etc.

Students often want to talk to instructors about final grades.  To help with this:

  • set deadlines for grade “disputes” (consider adding deadlines to your next syllabus, e.g., one week from when graded work was returned)
  • notify students of your last office hour of the semester (consider adding this to the office hour section of your next syllabus; also include campus holidays or other days that will disrupt your office hours)
  • change your voicemail and add an email autoreply if you plan/want to be away from your office and/or email over break
  • watch this funny video to know you are not alone in conversations about grades: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVvKnq5XT-g

Looking for more tips?  Check out this link written by an instructor at Oakton Community College suggesting many small things we can (scroll down to items in bold) to help impact retention, and relating this to Tinto’s theory of retention: http://www.oakton.edu/user/1/lsaret/LauraSaretOaktonWebSite/Ways%20Faculty%20Can%20Encourage%20Student%20Retention.htm

From the link: “According to Tinto, individuals possess attributes (such as family background, skills, abilities, and prior education) that influence their choices of goals and commitments. When these goals and commitments interact with college experiences in ways that don’t facilitate students becoming academically and socially connected, they are not likely to persist. Faculty must create learning opportunities that enable students to make those connections.”

Consider adding a campus-activity assignment to your classes to encourage students to access resouces and get more involved in campus and possibly help with retention.  See the CTL email about the academic calendar for more details.

Join us on Wednesday, December 18th for a CTL Open House from 1-4 pm in T2000.  Come to find out about spring CTL programming, pick up resources and/or a book to read over break, talk about teaching, and get some treats.  Bring a hard copy of your syllabus to get peer feedback prior to next semester.

Looking for additional faculty-development activities?  Ridgewater College Will Host a face-to-face Applying the Quality Matters Rubric Workshop on Jan 10.  These workshops are also available online.  This rubric addresses course design and presentation of online materials and would be useful for anyone who posts online materials for classes.  If faculty register through MOQI than the cost to them is $55 (total costs are $110, but MnSCU picks up half when done through MOQI): www.minnesota.qualitymatters.org

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