Classroom Victories

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I'm teaching an upper level special topic undergraduate course.  There is a lot of reading outside class and students are expected to come prepared to discuss the material. To help motivate them, the readings are accompanied by written assignments due when students walk in to class.  No late work.  Period.  So, far I've only had one student not turn in an assignment.  She apologized and said she knew it was a zero, but assured me that she had completed all the readings and was ready to participate.  She made several great contributions to the in class discussion.
I'm calling this one a victory!

I'm trying out the online homework system WeBWorK for the first time with my group of technologically-adept students in a typical lecture-based class.  I sent out the "Welcome to online homework" email this morning with details on how to log in.  Although the first assignment is only a few questions of the "see if you can type stuff into the blank and get the system to recognize it" variety, it is worth some points and is due some time next week.

It's less than 12 hours after I sent the original email and already 43 of my 91 students have completed the assignment.

Every one of my upper-division students read and understood the directions on the exam.

The directions were to answer 'n' of 'm' questions in the proof-based portion of the exam.

Every one of them clearly marked the questions they wanted graded.

Yay kiana!

I have a student who works. She works hard. The course material does not come easily to her, but she is determined, and she works hard at it on her own, comes to my office for help and advice, and then thoughtfully applies that advice. She has been doing all of this in the midst of great family turmoil, illness, and all the voices in her life that tell her she can't do it. She does it. And she is doing well. Her work isn't perfect, but it is solid, and it has consistently improved over the semester. She is thinking and she is learning.

This has been a frustrating semester for me, and she is my beacon.


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