Posts Tagged ‘Team Based Learning’

Tokens

August 30, 2017

Like Kate, I am using a token course currency this semester. I am pairing this with specifications grading, which is where I got the idea.

One twist from the usual recommendation—which I may come to regret—is that I am giving five tokens to my 100-level probability and statistics class and eight tokens to my 300-level real analysis class. The usual recommendation is between one to three tokens.

My reasoning for giving them so many tokens is that I have a reasonable number of assignments that students will need them for, and I want to give them plenty of chances to re-do material.

Here is a list of things that students can use tokens for (RATs are “Readiness Assurance Tests,” and come from Team-Based Learning):

• If you contact me before the deadline, you may trade 1 token to receive a 24-hour extension on one
Daily Homework assignment.
• If you contact me after the deadline, you may trade 2 tokens to receive a 24-hour extension on one
Daily Homework assignment.
• If you contact me before the deadline, you may trade 1 token to receive a 24-hour extension on one
Weekly Writing Homework assignment.
• If you contact me after the deadline, you may trade 2 tokens to receive a 24-hour extension on one
Weekly Writing Homework assignment.
• You may trade 1 token to resubmit a Weekly Writing Homework Assignment that does not need
specifications. The resubmission will be due the Wednesday the original submission.
• You may trade 1 token to resubmit a Challenge Problem that does not need specifications. There is
no deadline for the resubmission.
• If you contact me before the deadline, you may trade 2 tokens to receive a 24-hour extension on a quiz.
• If you contact me after the deadline, you may trade 4 tokens to receive a 24-hour extension on a quiz.
• If you contact me before the deadline, you may trade 1 token to receive a 24-hour extension on one Individual RAT.
• If you contact me after the deadline, you may trade 2 tokens to receive a 24-hour extension on one Individual RAT.

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Summer Plan

June 11, 2014

My family and I agree that things work best when I work pretty strict hours—I work 7:45 am to 5 pm during the school year. I do very little work at home. However, I need to do a lot of prep work during the summer to make this possible. Because of this, I work a lot in the summer (we allow for 6 weeks of vacation for the year, so the default mode for the summer is “work”), although my hours are now 8:15 am to 5 pm.

Here is my plan for the summer:

  1. Take care of all of the annoying paperwork-type-stuff that needs to be done. This includes some work that I do every summer: updating my CV, updating websites, and reading and summarizing course evaluations. I also have some jobs that are particular to this summer, such as determining which mathematics courses should be considered for transfer credit at some neighboring colleges. (I am happy that I have already done this entire item).
  2. Do some reading about redesigning general education requirements. My college is considering restructuring these requirements, and my main goal for the summer is to try to determine (along with my other committee members) some sort of reasonable process for this. Fortunately, this is paid work (mostly).
  3. Plan my geometry (and prob/stats/graph theory) course for elementary education majors for the fall. This is also done, largely because I taught this course in the spring. I kept detailed notes (I am grateful I did this), and I mainly updated this course by building in more feedback. In particular, I wrote all of my quizzes for the semester, created solution videos for each quiz, and updated my examinations.
  4. Plan my calculus course. I am planning on using Team-Based Learning, which I learned about from Eric Mazur in this video. Again, planning includes (in chronological order) creating all learning goals, creating all assessments, and creating all class activities. When the semester comes, my main task will be briefly reviewing the plan, adapting that plan based on the students’ needs, recording what actually happened (and how I might improve things next time), meeting with students, and grading.
  5. Do research. I have 3–4 papers that I need to write up, and I hope to re-start work on two projects that have been on hold for too long.

Finally, one benefit of working during the summer is you can be amazingly productive. I am often the only person here, and I can be very productive in such an environment.