rebeccmeister: (Default)
[personal profile] rebeccmeister
So I think that, in the past 1.5 weeks or so, my students have started to go through a critical freshman year phase shift. It's interesting to observe and wonder whether anything that I've said or done has contributed (I mean, I hope so, but I'm not so arrogant as to think I deserve any credit whatsoever).

This involves things like having more students show up for office hours to ask questions, and having more students ask questions during lectures.

I mean, it could be because we've gotten into topics that I've taught a million times before: the cell cycle, mitosis, meiosis, Mendelian genetics, etc. I know what kinds of things students find the most challenging about these topics, and I also know how to assess their understanding of these topics.

It could also be due to repeated urgings and encouragement to switch up their study strategies (including an extremely direct "learning reflection" question asking them each to think about what they're doing well as students, and what specific things they plan to do to become better students).

It could simply be because of the dynamics of how things work during a student's first fall semester: getting through the first set of exams, learning how to live in the dorm, where now we're at a point where they've figured out that this ain't high school anymore and they need to do things differently.

Regardless, this makes my life more fun, even if it does mean more of my free time lost to one-on-one face time and less flexibility for getting my own things done. (in my heart of hearts, though, the one-on-one learning is still my favorite)

There are still some students who are struggling, and I don't know that I'll be able to reach them and get them to a point where they will be able to earn a passing score.

But it's progress.

Date: 2018-10-18 02:57 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] rainswolf
That's awesome. I only teach freshmen and haven't noticed such a shift, but I hope to soon...midterm grades were due today.

Do you have struggling students who you suspect have an undiagnosed learning disability? It kills me they're likely struggling more than they have to, but there isn't a ton I can do about it.

Date: 2018-10-18 04:37 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] annikusrex
This makes me feel very warm and fuzzy. I believe you have teaching powers not yet discovered by humankind.

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