Monthly Archives: November 2012

CIPs Teaching Tips – Fall 2012 #11 “Don’t be a turkey and try to stuff too much in…to your grading.”

Finals are almost here – there are only two more weeks of classes after Thanksgiving. Many instructors don’t have to wait for finals to become buried under grading; they’re there already. At this point in the semester it’s probably too late to cut back on the number of assignments but there are some things that have the potential to affect your grading experience in a positive manner. Here are a few. (If you have a tip to add, please post it in the comment section below.)

Grading Tips & Suggestions:

  • Don’t correct all the grammar, mechanical, and other writing errors; instead correct a few and then write a comment about what students need to improve such as, “Watch for small mechanical writing errors that can confuse the reader and make your meaning unclear.”  This takes far less time than circling all their errors and writing in corrections.
  • Do the same thing for comprehension aspects of writing. Commenting, “You need transition here to introduce the reader to this new idea” instead of writing multiple sentences about how the student should transition is actually more beneficial to learning, especially if you suggest that students take their papers to the Writing Center and get help based on the comments that you’ve written. They could ask the tutors there how they might transition better or even why what they have written doesn’t work.
  • Choose a certain number of criteria by which the assignment will be graded and grade those and only those criteria. It’s really easy to go beyond the scope you’ve set, but don’t; not if you don’t have time.
  • Group your assignments that are ready to be graded into piles of 3, 4, or 5. The feeling of completion is very different when you notice that you’ve done 4 out of 5 as opposed to 4 out of 25.
  • Figure out what you need to stay focused even if it’s taking a break. You might want to reward yourself in some way after each pile or particular number of assignments is graded.
  • Make sure intake and outtake are happening in a healthy way while you grade. Don’t hold your breath (watch yourself, many of us do this while we grade) or anything else in for too long as you are grading and be sure to get enough fluids and proteins. All getting aside.
  • Time of day can really matter – a night person who tries to grade in the morning will take way longer to finish. Follow your natural tendencies as much as time will allow.
  • Remember who your students are; remind yourself that grading is another opportunity to teach your students; it much more than just work for us to get done. If you’ve taken a photo of your class, now might be a good time to look at it. Your students are the reason you want to do your grading well.
  • When all else fails, walk outside and get some perspective.

Here’s hoping grading doesn’t throw you a curve (ouch),

Cinse

Cinse Bonino, Director

Located on the second floor of the Miller Information Commons (the library) across from the printer – MIC 205

 Contact Director Cinse Bonino for a one-on-one CIP instructional design session:

Email: bonino@champlain.edu or CIP@champlain.edu Phone: 802 651 5965 Skype: cinse.cip

CIPs Teaching Tips – Fall 2012 #10 “Beauty (or any other trait) is in the eye of the beholder…”

It’s time once again for student evaluations. As you know, students use an evaluation form (in our case, IDEA) to communicate their experience about the courses they are currently in and the professors they currently have. Are students good judges of the value of their courses or the abilities of their professors? We could debate that all day. What we do know is that student evaluations are a tool for collecting student impressions. Impressions are very powerful – first impressions, final impressions, any impressions. Research shows that the way a student views an instructor has a marked effect on their learning and on how they value the course being taught. *Please see article links at the end of this communication.

So what does this mean?? Does it matter whether or not students truly know what’s best for them? Should their impressions and judgments matter? How can we ultimately view and use student evaluation results in helpful ways? Student evaluation reports tell us how most of our students view our efforts. They also reveal how the minority of students view these same efforts. We can compare what students perceive they received to what we were attempting to deliver.

Perhaps we actually did deliver the learning experience we wanted to deliver, but students didn’t perceive it for what it was. This could be because we need to do a better job of helping students to become aware of what is actually happening in class; to label what is happening; to make connections between what is happening in class and the purpose of the course; and to understand the usefulness of that purpose in their careers and future lives.

Student evaluation reports are our opportunity to compare what students think happened in class with what we think happened. Value emerges as we tease out why students’ perceptions are what they are – good or bad; it’s our task to figure out what’s working, what’s not, and most importantly why this is so.

Make sure to choose objectives on the faculty information sheet that match what you are trying to accomplish in the class. Don’t confuse methods with objectives. You might have asked students to use writing, but if learning to write is not a primary goal in your course then don’t choose it as an objective.

When you get your evaluation report, remember what you’ll have in your hands are your students’ perceptions, their impressions of what happened in your classes. Use that information to tweak what you do, to figure out what to keep and what to alter. If you want help wading through your students impressions, make an appointment and I’ll help you to find the useful pieces hiding underneath all those numbers.

Hope to see you on the other side (grin),

Cinse

Allen, Jerry L., et al. “Students’ Predispositions and Orientations toward Communication and Perceptions of Instructor Reciprocity and Learning.” Communication Education 57.1 (2008): 20-40. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 26 Oct. 2009. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=27949762&site=ehost-live

Andersen, Janis and Peter Anderson. “Teacher Immediacy.” Blackwell Reference Online. http://www.blackwellreference.com/public/tocnode?id=g9781405131995_chunk_g978140513199525_ss13-1

Goodboy, Alan K., and Scott A. Myers “The Relationship Between Perceived Instructor Immediacy and Student Challenge Behavior.” Journal of Instructional Psychology 36.2 (2009): 108-112. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 26 Oct. 2009. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=43843914&site=ehost-live

Huddle, David. “Sublime Time in the Seminar: An Elegy.” UVM Connection Vermont Quarterly Summer 2009.  http://alumni.uvm.edu/vq/summer2009/huddle.asp

Hutchins, Holly M. “Instructional Immediacy and the Seven Principles: Strategies for Faciliating Online Courses.” Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, Volume VI, Number 111 (2003). http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/fall63/hutchins63.html

Stewart, Kenneth “Lessons from Teaching Millennials.” College Teaching 57.2 (2009): 111-118. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 26 Oct. 2009. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=36858243&site=ehost-live

*Put these letters in front of URLs for off-campus access: https://cobalt.champlain.edu/login?url=

Cinse Bonino, Director

Located on the second floor of the Miller Information Commons (the library) across from the printer – MIC 205

Contact Director Cinse Bonino for a one-on-one CIP instructional design session:

Email: bonino@champlain.edu or CIP@champlain.edu Phone: 802 651 5965 Skype: cinse.cip