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# Tag Info

31

Every time I add a new technological object to my classroom, I increase the chances that my class does not happen that day. Imagine if you could only make copies for your students in class in front of your students, but the copies came out very quickly. This would be extremely stressful, because when you brought a quiz to class, there would be a small ...

24

Here's what I've found, based on my own clicker use for the last 5-6 years and by doing clicker workshops: Cost. Clickers (and their software BYOD variants) cost money and many profs don't want to ask students to buy Yet Another Item for class when textbooks are so expensive already. Also, many IT departments don't want the hassle of managing fleets of ...

16

Only a small percentage of lecturers use these tools despite claims from their manufacturers that they improve learning dramatically. Maybe people who actually use these tools have a different opinion on their effectiveness to that of people trying to sell these tools? I'm a part of the network support team in a college, I don't deal directly with ...

14

Get a sheet signed by each student who took the exam, use that to check nothing is amiss. I collect exams (and keep them during the whole grading process) into large, sturdy envelopes. So no sheet can wander away. I separate exams by question, each question to be graded separately (some by TAs). Students are required to turn in all questions, with a sheet ...

13

Here is an example from an algebra class I teach. We cover the quadratic formula, completing the square, the multiple ways to find the vertex, and try to connect it all together with the effects on the graph of the functions. In practice problems from the online homework, the students see things like Solve $x^2 - 9x + 18 = 0$. However, when I ask them ...

13

As in other answers and comments: while in gigantic "classes" one might hope to either get meaningful responses, or do quick polling/quizzing via in-real-time responses, ... techno-glitches make it impossible to depend on these, in the first place. The potential plus that feedback can be anonymous, allowing perhaps more sincere response than otherwise, ...

11

I've used clickers and helped other faculty with clickers for over 10 years. I'm at a very large, very research-oriented public university. Here are the reasons I've seen for why research faculty don't use clickers when they teach: They team-teach, which means all instructors have to agree to use them They teach only 5 weeks a year, and have to re-learn the ...

11

If you want to rely on things convered in other course, one thing I think you should try to do is to get information from the teachers of these other courses what they have discussed; if possible, in detail, so that you know exact terminology and notation they use. In my experience (both as teacher and student!), students can be (for various reasons) quite ...

8

People have mentioned lots of good thoughts but I'll add a bit. Even staying away from ancient history and sticking to recent years, in addition to clickers (I don't know the vendor they want me to use here), people have been telling me that I should record my classes on video (we have Tegrity), digitize all my whiteboard work (we have SmartBoard), flip my ...

7

In my experience, everyone participates in a class of 10. By the time you get to 20, there's maybe a couple of students in the back who aren't really engaged, and class of 30 has a noticeable contingent of disengaged students. I haven't taught any classes in the 40 - 70 range, but a class of 80 really feels like a large lecture, with only a few students in ...

7

Question: What is the efficiency of a lecture? Answer: Assuming that the learning comes from studying the notes generated by the lecture, students can recall about 80% of a list of facts for a day or so, and then this declines -- often down to low levels like 40% -- after a few weeks. Obviously, difficult concepts are not learned as well to begin with, and ...

7

Offer them a choice of retaking the exam or averaging their course grade without it. And apologize, of course.

6

I originally wrote that there is independent data showing no difference in outcomes. This was based on a presentation at Stevens Institute of Technology where they tested clickers and found that students were more enthusiastic in class, and that attendence rose. At the time, they said that scores did not rise. Scores after all, are the objective goal. ...

6

I teach in the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, which is a fairly large public engineering school with research objectives. The students are comparable to those I have taught in engineering degrees at places like Georgia Tech or the University of Washington, although they enter the univesity with better preparation. The teaching of calculus in the UPM ...

6

A colleague of mine recently tried out a very cheap low-tech alternative: university students were provided with red and green pieces of cardboard, to be folded by the students themselves. They were asked to place these on their desk, one hidden inside the other, and could thus very visually indicate their answer to the basic question “do you understand”. ...

5

I really liked using clickers myself. Ultimately (and this was about 8 years ago) I only had two classes that used them for attendance and a daily quiz. Physics. The problem with them was that they were somewhat expensive, didn't always work, and if you forgot yours you were SOL for that lecture's participation points. The one thing that stood out in my mind ...

5

I don't use clickers nor anything like that because I teach on the assumption that each person seated in front of me is an adult, in charge of their own learning. Of course that is not true in many cases these days, but to me the fact that university students want to behave like children is still no reason to treat them as such. Because of the above, and ...

5

I don't know how successful it is, but I use a pattern of short piece of theory and examples practice questions for the students to complete talk through the solutions repeat I do this by combining slides with writing on the board. The reason I think this addresses the question is that students can make use of the 'practice question' time in different ...

5

When I first started teaching in Spanish I wrote my lectures out in full before every class, something I would never do in English (my native language). This required consulting textbooks written in Spanish and speaking to other teachers to find out what is standard usage and mathematical terminology. Such consultation is essential. Since mathematical ...

4

As a recently "retired" student, this is my perspective: You seem to be tacitly implying that the efficiency is somewhere around "very poor". If so, I am certainly not surprised. I found very early on in my mathematics education that if I went to a mathematics lecture in which the material was entirely or almost entirely new, I would comprehend very little ...

4

In all the exercise groups where I was a TA or a instructor for other TAs, we made a lot of efford how questions were graded. The problem is, however, even if you spent even more time, the problems arise when you see the homework. Students did some mistakes destroying the structure of the questions (when you said "When someone arrives at that certain point, ...

4

As student I was TA in a first-year course with a total of around 600 students each time, divided into classes with around 40 to 60 students each, and weekly quizzes in 20 student groups, a different question for each of the 3 or 4 days recitation was held. No homework. The exams were divided among teachers and grading assistants by question (each one ...

4

Since you seem interested in experience in a similar situation, I will share my experiences. I moved overseas two years ago. The biggest help to thinking about math in a foreign language (in my case Hebrew) was to watch videos of professors teaching math in that language. I was lucky enough to find a coursera course given in Hebrew which really helped me ...

4

I'm studying physics at Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary, so my answer will not be complete, but I will try my best. In the first semester, we can choose between "advanced" and "normal" level calculus (there aren't many proofs on calculus for us). Both of them last for a $2/3$ semester, with $3$hr lecture + $3$hr practice/week. "In my times", there were $1$...

4

At the University of Michigan, all instruction at the level of Precalculus, Calculus 1, and Calculus 2 is conducted in small "Recitation" sections -- no lectures!. Traditionally (since the mid-1990s), these sections were capped at a maximum enrollment of 30 students; since 2016, the University has invested in lowering the class sizes to a ceiling of 20 ...

4

Honestly, I have not seen a major difference in class participation in courses with as few as 10 students than in courses with as many as 100. To be clear, I'm referring to the tendency of students to ask questions when confused---certainly in larger courses there are more students not paying attention, but I don't think being in a smaller class would ...

3

Small classes are higher courses, which people take by choice, not forced by a sequence of required ones. The difference in maturity and drive makes a large difference in the attitude towards the course and thus their active participation. Having taught both large and small, upper and lower level, part of the speciality and complementary classes, I have seen ...

3

Presumably at least the exams are graded in a standardized way such as "each TA grades a problem." This means you can use exam grades to calibrate the students' homework grades. Split the students up by TA, and find the mean and standard deviation of the exam grades, and the mean and standard deviation of the homework grades for just that TA's students. ...

3

I'll share my experience, as well. Context: As a graduate student, I was the lead instructor for a 120-student lecture course with 4 recitation sections amongst 3 TAs. Lectures were MWF and recitations TuTh. I assigned weekly homework assignments collected and returned in recitation. This was our "intro to proofs" course, a 100-level course entitled "...

2

I have given lectures numerous times in Russian. The main hurdle at first was notation, since books never discuss this. Ahead of time I thought of a lot of the notation I would need (how to pronounce all the Latin and Greek letters, integrals over a space with respect to a measure, a mapping from one set to another, a congruence mod m, a quotient space, a ...

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