Introduction to Philosophy classes invariably include some mixture of tests and papers, but their are many styles. We try to give some overall principles and examples. Please send us examples of creative tests and papers.
- Time-Savers. As every instructor knows, giving students effective feedback is really time-consuming. There are some ways to work smarter, not harder, both for grading tests and for grading papers.
- Tests reviews some of the different strategies for tests including short answers and essay tests.
- Examples of tests gives you some models to look at.
- Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATS). In addition to graded tests and quizzes, there are many advantages to using ungraded assessments (CATS), as a way of creating student engagement and of letting the teacher know what students are learning.
- Papers covers how to prepare students for writing a paper, how to assign paper topics, how to comment on papers, and how to deal with rewriting and revising papers.
- Rubrics for grading papers. Rubrics are a way of giving detailed information to students about what counts as good, average or poor work. They can help students write better papes and also save time in grading papers.
- The paradox of writing instruction. We brag about how we are teaching writing, which we tell students is a skill that they will need in any field. But often we are also training some students in some bad habits (for example, that longer is better) that they will have to unlearn.
- Scheduling appointments with students. It is a great thing to meet with students to discuss their papers, but scheduling the appointments can be frustrating. We have a great solution.
- Peer reviewing is a way of having students give feedback on each other's papers and then rewrite them before submitting the papers to the instructor. The goal is to improve student writing without using additional instructor time.
- Blogs (instead of, or in addition to papers). Some instructors have had success with having students write blogs as the main part of their writing assignment.
- Reading assignments are essential but students often don't do them. We suggest three things that often help students do their readings.
- One way to provide accountability so that students will do their assigned reading is to give surprise quizzes. The Monte Carlo quiz is a good way to get students read and think critically about their assignments.
- We offer some strategies and examples of assignments that create active reading.
- Grading somehow the idea of a community of learners gets shattered when we start handing out grades. We offer some tips and strategies and a handy grade calculator.
- Assessment is a hot topic these days. Everyone wants to know how we can document that our students have actually learned something in our classes. Here are some ideas but no solutions.
- PowerPoint presentations can be deadly, but a new technique from Japan -- Pecha-Kucha -- can make them more educationally useful.
Update: July 12, 2012