Thursday, July 11, 2013

I Actually Finished the Class Without Touching a Book

I got this email this week from a student who was in my Introduction to Basketweaving course during Summer 1. He had twice previously taken it, and he failed it both times, primarily due to (1) not coming to class, and (2) not doing the assignments. He finished the course this summer with a 61 average, so the third time was the charm.
Hey Dr. Wanderer i would like to keep contact with you over time. I believe you have certain wisdom you can help me with. I actually finished the class without touching a book. I plan on bettering my grades and improving my future
I'm not Hiram, but I sure am baffled.

16 comments:

  1. It might be fun to share this information with the class, after redacting the student's name of course.

    "Class, I'm here to announce that you can pass this class without opening the textbook. It will just take you three attempts."

    Those who were paying attention at all might stop listening after the first sentence so you might want to rephrase that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Student:

    These aren't the droids you're looking for. I can go about my business.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Now I feel really good about myself for making a first-attempt "B" in a course when I sold back the unopened, still-shrink wrapped book in order to get pizza money.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wait, 61 is a passing grade?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Depends on your grading scale. If you have a lower grading scale you can ask more challenging questions.

      For us, 61 is just above the C/C-minus boundary.

      Delete
  5. I always wondered why my students didn't read their book. It took me a while to figure out that about half of them COULDN'T read their book.

    A colleague of mine here, at our small state university, once got so frustrated that her students wouldn't read, she made them read aloud in class, one after another. She had to stop, because it was humiliating for them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I make my students read aloud all the time, and I don't care if they are humiliated or embarrassed. Better they be humiliated here, by me, in a safe space where it doesn't much matter, than in a job interview or worse, on the job. When you have a student read aloud, you know instantly what they have and have not understood by their inflection. Sometimes, fixing their inflection actually fixes their understanding.

      I also read aloud myself, to model proper intonation, so I don't exempt myself from the requirement. And I also treat errors in pronunciation and intonation as not a big deal -- I correct them and we move on.

      Delete
  6. I can't seem to reply directly to anyone, so:

    Proffie Galore: A 61 is in some places a D, which in some places will work for non-major courses. It wouldn't work in my current place; required courses like the comp sequence must be passed with a C or higher. In fact, we can't assign D's at all; it's A, B, C, or F.

    Chiltepin: I've noticed that about inflection, too. My reading aloud a difficult sentence or passage with the proper inflection and emphasis seems to help some students "get it" better.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Proffie --

    At our school, 60 - 69 = D.
    D is passing in an individual course.
    Overall GPA must be at least 2.0.

    Flamen --

    I like the idea of making them read out loud. I'm going to look for some places to incorporate that and see what happens.

    ReplyDelete
  8. MR and WW: A 61 is a D at our school, but the lowest passing grade is a C (70%), unless you're in nursing, where the lowest passing grade is a B (80%). Come to think of it, why DO we have a D at all? It seems useless. Maybe it provides a point for the GPA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A D is an F that the student can feel better about -- and also a way for students to "pass" electives that are not part of their major.

      Delete
  9. Qualified college students can find financial aid resources. However it may still not be enough money to complete a degree at some universities. right here
    You may be able to borrow money, but you may also be reluctant to sink too far into debt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's surprisingly subtle spam, right there.

      Are the bots getting smarter? How soon before they're skynet?

      Delete
  10. Next step: you will get a request to "connect" on LinkedIn from this student, and then a request that you certify he has certain "competencies" (I don't use LinkedIn much anyway, but I have decided I don't "connect" with students there).

    ReplyDelete
  11. P.S. I use a textbook in many of my classes -- a quite good, in-depth, discussion of the subtleties of citation. Almost every semester, a student asks if we're going to have a test on the book. I reply no, but they will be expected to show through their written work that they understand and can apply the principles discussed therein, and that I won't be covering that material in any other way. I suspect that generates some complaints on evals that we "didn't really use" the textbook. I tend to think that's what textbooks are for -- conveying information that the students are expected to use or manipulate in some way -- but apparently we have a different conception.

    And yes, I'm pretty sure some of my students pass the class without buying, or reading, the textbook. But the ones who do have an easier time, especially following up on my brief notes followed by "see [textbook author] for more detail on this." I have to admit, I rather enjoy writing those notes.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The right school will have not just books and libraries, but also a number of onsite training facilities through which the children can get some hands on experience. more information to get right here This complements knowledge from books perfectly,

    ReplyDelete

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