learning

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Category archives for learning

Another look at evaluating teachers

The first thing that I saw was this article from nola.com (The Times-Picayune) “New teacher evaluation method being proposed in Jefferson Parish”. Let me summarize this article. Basically, one of the local School Board wants to use a learning tool (Interval Testing) as a teacher evaluation tool. The Interval Testing program gives students spaced out…

You are an expert (at something)

This is something I use at the beginning of a semester. I ask the class: “How are you an expert?” What is an expert? Let me call an expert someone that is comfortable answering questions about that particular topic. If students are too shy to share (especially on the first day of class), I will…

And just suppose you had no grade

It would be nice if I could come up with a good rhyme for grade to fit this title. One of my brothers is a biochemistry faculty at Appalachian State University (hint – he is the one with the same last name that I have). We were talking (and surprisingly agreeing) that grades were dumb.…

Book Review: Made by Hand

I am not normally a book-review-kind-of-guy. However, in this post I will make an exception. My wife (who clearly knows me very well) bought me this book – Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World (amazon link) The basic idea of the book is to look at how the author (Mark Frauenfelder)…

Skip calculator = win

First, where does Chad come up with these links? Oh, I am talking about Chad from Uncertain Principles. In his latest links of the day, I found this: Skip Class Calculator What a great idea. Basically, you enter some info about the class – like how often it meets, how many classes you have skipped,…

Videos and traditional lecture

I see that Doug at Nanoscale Views has fond memories of the hit show The Mechanical Universe. If you have never seen this show, it is quite excellent (even if old). Perhaps the best thing about The Mechanical Universe is that it might be the best that traditional lecturing can provide. Oh, I know it…

You thought I was going to talk about a problem that math teachers could use, didn’t you? Well, maybe math teachers can use this. (note: when I say “teachers” I really mean “learning facilitators”) It all started when I read this valedictorian speech from Erica Goldson. Here is part of it: “I am now accomplishing…

“I hate math”

I don’t hate math, that is just the title of the post – notice that I put it in quotes. As you may know, I teach this physics course for elementary education majors (using Physics and Everyday Thinking – which is awesome). The curriculum has very little math in it. That is not necessarily a…

Allegory of the Grade

I have been thinking about grades lately and I am pretty sure they are dumb. The main problem is that it seems that many many many people (politicians, parents, students, administrators, some other faculty, and zombies) think that the grade is the THE THING to worry about. Really, it is just a pale representation of…

I imagine that would be silly

Suppose there was an imaginary university. (is that statement redundant?) Let me call this TIU (The Imaginary University). Also, suppose TIU offers summer courses. Further, suppose there is an instructor teaching 2 sections of lab during the summer. Here is a communication that instructor might have received. Dear Person Teaching a Summer Course: It appears…