Casting Out Nines
Where math, technology, and education cross.
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Posts from Casting Out Nines
The new semester is underway, and with it is the implementation of specifications grading in my two classes. Here is a report from the field about how the system turned out and how it’s working so far.
Twenty days ago I publicly committed to dumping traditional points-based grading systems in my courses and going with specifications grading instead. After a week of intensive re-design, two courses are (almost) ready to deliver.
Thinking about specifications grading involves rethinking some basic assumptions about assessment and grading, even teaching in general. Here are four things that came clear to me as I read Linda Nilson’s recent book on specs grading.
What is “specifications grading”, and could it precipitate a revolutionary change in how faculty assess student work in higher education? In this 4+1 interview, we chat with Linda Nilson, director of the Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation at Clemson University, about her latest book _Specifications Grading: Restoring Rigor, Motivating Students, and Saving Faculty Time_ and the idea of specs grading.
In this third video of three on making screencasts, we discuss the “working example” video where the instructor is writing out longhand on a screen as you would at a whiteboard.
In this video I go under the hood to show how a “talking head” screencast is made. This is one where it’s just a voiceover and lecture slides. This gets technical, but it has ties to the overall pedagogical framework I outlined in a previous video.
Practicing kindness and professionalism as a professor is hard, especially when you are going on 75 minutes of sleep. Writing random notes to yourself during a class could help.
I was recently asked to contribute some short videos to a MOOC on Evidence-Based Undergraduate STEM Teaching on my use of lecture and screencasts as part of the flipped classroom. Here’s that video.
On a recent visit to California Polytechnic State University, I met a lot of great folks and was asked several good questions about teaching and learning. Here are some of my answers.
“Work-life balance” is an important and yet contentious idea in academia. Everyone wants it, but it seems hard to find. Balance can be had in academia, but it takes intentionality.