Flipping February 11, 2013

Strategies for setting your students up to succeed

PARTICIPANTS: Aimee Yan, Megan Corry, James Grass, Crima Pogge, Katryn Wiese, Carole Meagher, Jessica Nelson, Kay Murphy, Roger King, Vivien Mun, Chantilly Apollon

Discussion around three questions:

1. How to get students to do the work outside of class - balance motivation vs. consequences?

  • Issue:  Students don’t buy their book until four weeks in. Responses:
    • Web-based resources
    • Loaner textbooks
    • Post lecture notes through Insight so students can at least read something
    • Keep first couple weeks’ assignments “small” (i.e. write a paragraph, works cited page)
  • Motivation
    • Offer points or taking points away (give everyone a certain number of points at the start, and subtract points from that total for unprepared or incomplete assignments)
    • Peer consequences vs. instructor consequences (do peers really push students out when they aren’t prepared?)
    • Coming prepared to class, they can join a group;  unprepared, they sit in back and work on homework
    • Perhaps those unprepared should have to fill out a survey about WHY they are unprepared and HOW they hope to improve for the future
    • Provide formative (small, frequent) assessments to keep students engaged every class
    • Provide a “to-do” or task for students right when they walk in the door, get them engaged and going quickly
    • Provide a pre-quiz that they are guaranteed 50% just by taking it
    • Use a system where the maximum they can earn without coming prepared is a B (i.e. peer review sheets required reflecting that they brought in drafts for peer review before completing the final paper)
    • Use iClickers in class to keep students engaged and/or test them on preparatory information
    • Will students be more motivated to watch videos than read?
  • How do we get students to realize that not doing work/cramming later is more of  waste of time than putting the work in earlier?
  • Group dynamics
    • Let students pick their own groups
    • Let groups fire members who aren't contributing
    • Let groups check who has done the work ahead and who hasn't -- they take care of each other
    • Groups can find innovative solutions to problems and obstacles that might exist throughout the semester

2. What to do with students that don’t do the work?

3. How can you be flexible to meet student needs without reducing your expectations?

  • Allow more absences or extensions for students that are keeping up, but had an obstacle that interfered (within reason)
  • Provide pathways for students to help each other (i.e. sharing childcare duties - alternating class meetings and watching kids)
  • Don’t fight the phone battle
  • Let everyone “drop” a low or missed assignment - everyone has one opportunity to mess up