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Monday, March 21, 2011

Thinking about little class details

Little things I am thinking about-

1) How many times can students take an exam?  My math classes are set to 2.  I just changed econ to 2.  Both classes use pooled questions even for the short answer, so students won't take the same exam the second time.  My students are scattered around for most of my online classes, so I don't think they are working together at all.  My thoughts on this might change if I were teaching at a traditional college with resident students. 

2)  What's the best schedule?  I like my math classes -- the unit exams are due on Thursday evening.  I can grade on Friday and everyone seems to take the weekend off.  I think that is nice for online students and faculty who seem to always be "on".  I might move the deadline up to 5:00 so I am around for any last minute troubleshooting.  

My econ classes have exams due on Sunday night -- I did that so they had the weekend, but since I tend to not be very accessible on Saturday and Sunday morning I'm not sure that's a great time.  Makes for a potentially stressful weekend.

3) Student workload:  I have heard from students in several classes lately about workload.  After listening to them I think it's not so much the amount of work as what work.  So, for example, I rarely hear from the PHI students who have to write 7 major essays and participate in discussions.  I think that is because the philosophy faculty have really worked on the essay topics and the students see exactly why they are doing what they are doing.  They also get lots of good feedback on their work.  When I get complaints it seems to be more because the students see an assignment as "busy work" and possibly the faculty do also because they aren't giving a lot of feedback on it.  If students perceive the instructor as working as hard as they are then they don't complain. :^)

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