Jedi mind tricks

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scienceprof:
On the attendance thread, Alan said

Quote from: cc_alan on May 18, 2008,  3:11:49 PM


I allow a bonus for "seat time". While I don't give points for attendance, I do use it for borderline grades. At the end of the term, if they have missed less than x hours of class time, then I add y % to their total percent. ...

It's a Jedi mind trick to change the emphasis from "I have to show up or I'll get docked points" to "I'll get a bonus if I attend regularly".

Alan


Which made me wonder if anyone else had  Jedi mind tricks they would like to share.

My best is: I used to require students to rewrite lab reports that were below a "B" , and I got a lot of whining.  Now I ALLOW students to rewrite, and I get a lot of gratitude.

voxprincipalis:
Quote from: scienceprof on May 21, 2008,  7:24:29 AM

On the attendance thread, Alan said

Quote from: cc_alan on May 18, 2008,  3:11:49 PM


I allow a bonus for "seat time". While I don't give points for attendance, I do use it for borderline grades. At the end of the term, if they have missed less than x hours of class time, then I add y % to their total percent. ...

It's a Jedi mind trick to change the emphasis from "I have to show up or I'll get docked points" to "I'll get a bonus if I attend regularly".

Alan


Which made me wonder if anyone else had  Jedi mind tricks they would like to share.

My best is: I used to require students to rewrite lab reports that were below a "B" , and I got a lot of whining.  Now I ALLOW students to rewrite, and I get a lot of gratitude.


In one of my classes, the majority of the grade comes from their in-class work and preparation, and a smaller percentage comes from the final. On the first day of class, I allow the students to collectively choose the percentage weighting of the final. I give them a range: not less than 20%, not more than 30%. Almost always they choose 25%, which is what I had in mind, but they like it more when it's their choice.

VP

pavlovian:
Quote from: voxprincipalis on May 21, 2008,  8:29:39 AM

In one of my classes, the majority of the grade comes from their in-class work and preparation, and a smaller percentage comes from the final. On the first day of class, I allow the students to collectively choose the percentage weighting of the final. I give them a range: not less than 20%, not more than 30%. Almost always they choose 25%, which is what I had in mind, but they like it more when it's their choice.

VP


I do something like this in my smaller, advanced seminar course, except they think they are deciding on the weightings for all the different graded components.  I say they "think" because I set it up in such a way that there looks like there's much more flexibility in the outcome than there actually is.  I do this because I think it gets students to feel more personally invested in the course.  When they've made a commitment as a group to having, say, preparation for class discussion be worth 30% of the grade, then they are more invested in making that happen.  It's also tough for them to complain about the weightings later.

felicia68:
Last year I started allowing my students to vote on which vocabulary words would be on the quiz.  Say there are 80 words.  They vote for the top 40 words that they think are useful to know.  Then 20 words will show up on the quiz.

You would think that the grades would improve, but they only improved marginally.  However, the excitement and enthusiasm about vocabulary increased tremendously.

And the discussions about 'why we learn vocabulary' also improved.  I think students got some training in how to study on their own.

anonymath:
In my stats class, when we get to discussing central tendency, my students get to debate (and then vote) on how they'd like me to grade their homework portfolio. I'll either take the mean, median, or mode of their individual % correct on their homeworks. They absolutely love it that they get to make the decision, and boy do they remember their central tendency afterwards.

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