Week 5 Teaching Tips

Hello Faculty,

Welcome to week 5 before a long week.  Remind students that campus will be closed on Monday (2/16).

What are things I can do at this point in the semester to help students?

How can I help students improve for the next test or assignment?

  • ​​Break up your lecture by having students write about
    • how a test was similar or different than what they expected
    • which study methods they used to prepare for a test and how they can make these work better next time
    • whether they allowed enough time to study or work on their assignment and how they can plan for enough time in the future
    • how the feedback you provided can be used to improve their performance next time
  • Promote productive persistence (The term “Productive Persistence” refers to both the tenacity to persist, and also the ability to use good strategiesto productively engage with the course materials. From, Carenegie Foundation)
    • have students reflect if they are spending enough time on the course
    • model or describe ways to help them change strategies; for example, many active-learning techniques can show students how to practice application and analysis-level skills
    • suggest ways to get help.  For example, remind students of the resources at the Learning Center.  Some students are resistant to got for “help,” so remind them that successful students use these resources.
      • Offer points or extra credit for going to the Learning Center (this could also be an assignment with choices where they could go to the Learning Center, Student Success Day session, office hours, etc.)
      • If you have students writing a paper or completing a project, adding smaller assignments that scaffold skills can help students develop skills, space their work, and produce a better product.  One of these steps could be to go to the Learning Center to get help.

How do I correct a quiz question for all students after quizzes are completed?  You can re-grade a single question.  (Thanks to Beth Jensen at Bemidji State for sharing this tip)

  1. Click the arrow next to the quiz name and click Grade
  2. Click the Questions tab at the top of the page
  3. Choose the Update all Attempt radio button
  4. Click on the question you would like to re-grade
  5. Choose either Give to all attempts ___ points OR Give to attempts with answer ___ ___ points radio button
  6. Fill in the appropriate answers/points
  7. SAVE

How can I help groups work better in my classes?  (This first paragraph was included last week, and we will explore the second element below)  Many of has been a part of groups when we took classes or tried using groups in the classes we teach, and some of these groups worked better than others, and this might prevent us from using groups when we teach.  But, research shows that having students work together can improve learning, retention, create community, etc.  To help improve group work in your classes, we will explore the five elements of cooperative learning starting this week.  “Cooperative Learning involves structuring classes around small groups that work together in such a way that each group member’s success is dependent on the group’s success.” (From: http://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/cooperative/index.html, see this site to learn more)

What are the key elements to help groups work better?  (We will explore one each week)

Face-to-Face (Promotive) Interaction: Important cognitive activities and interpersonal dynamics only occur when students promote each other’s learning. This includes oral explanations of how to solve problems, discussing the nature of the concepts being learned, and connecting present learning with past knowledge. It is through face-to-face, promotive interaction that members become personally committed to each other as well as to their mutual goals.​.​”  (From: http://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/cooperative/whatis.html#elements)

  • Have your students help you rearrange the seats in your classroom then have them help you move them back.  You might experiment with a few configurations.  Once you decide what works best, ask your students to rearrange the seats each time they come into class then again before they leave.
  • Assigning roles can also help promote interaction.  A manager or of the group could be instructed to make sure that all students have an opportunity to contribute and does not let some students dominate.  Providing a handout with phrases they might use could help (e.g., “We have not yet heard from _____” or “Thank you for sharing ____, what do the others think of the ideas so far”)
  • Create groups within D2L then create discussion forums for students to promote interaction online.  This might be a place you monitor, or it could be a place they share documents.
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