Comprehensive Assessment Tracking System

# Practice

## Logic Puzzles

It was noted that one thing many scientists (and others) have in common is a love of puzzles.  They require critical thinking skills and many require a scientific inquiry type approach to solve.  We decided to see if encouraging our students to attempt a number of puzzles throughout the semester, for extra credit, would enhance their critical thinking skills or at least encourage them to start attempting more puzzles which may be have beneficial in the long run.

## Mini-Whiteboards in Economics

Economics is known for being a difficult subject, but perhaps what students dread most about the class is graphing.  There is not a lot of multiple choice questions in my class- students are expected to graph routinely on bi-weekly quizzes.  In order to support student development with their graphing abilities,  last year I introduced mini-whiteboards as a way to get students practicing graphing as a class warm-up activity, focusing material from the previous class.

## Engagement in Calculus I

Since Fall 2003, a textbook was used in MAT220 (caculus I).  For the last 4 years, handouts were created to supplement the textbook.  This semester, students use only a workbook that I created.  The purpose of this assessment is to document my observations in the level of engagement of students from using textbook only, slowly incorporating worksheets, to full implementation of a workbook.   Most math textbooks are not designed to engage students, thus it was difficult to do so.

## Modeling Elements of Communication Online

One learning objective for Com 100 is to have students explain the essential elements of communication using representative communication models. In a F2F setting this can be demonstrated easily by putting the essential elements of a model on the whiteboard and  having students stand by the elements such as the “sender” and “receiver” element. They next model the  elements in an interactive process.  This semester, I assigned students the same assignment,  to diagram a recent conversation they had using a model of communication.

## Dictation- Reflection

5 -7 minutes

Maria Cecilia Rosales

I use what I call Dictation- Reflection to assess gramatical concepts, listening comprehension and writing skills.

I dictate ten conjugated verb forms from the active vocabulary list for the chapter in question (bailamos, trabajan, etc). Students are asked to:

1-      Write down the conjugated verb form I dictate (bailamos)

2-      Identify the infinitive form of that verb (bailar)

3-      Identify the implicit subject pronoun in the inflection (nosotros/ nosotras)

## Democratic Decision Making in the Classroom

In order to get students more personally involved in the learning process, students are given the responsibility of choosing four debate topics that are then used to formulate the questions used in the formal debates in the course.

Through a combination of guided discussion and voting students decide as a group what they will research and debate.

## See, Think, Wonder: Using Art to Inspire Critical Thinking

In order to help students explore their prior knowledge and initiate creative and critical thinking about a new topic, students are shown a work of art at the begining of a new unit. The subject matter of the work of art is related to the general topic of the new unit. Students then write on 3 prompts reflecting on the work of art:

1) What do I see?

2) What do I think?

3) I wonder ...

I explain in more detail how these prompts are used to initiate critical thinking in the attached document.

## Muc A Paper - A blast from the past - an OLD EZ form!

The students apply knowledge obtained in lecture concerning genotype, mutations, and phenotype to an article about a mutant strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa - a frequent cause of pneumonia in cystic fibrosis patients. Traditionally they struggle with two questions in particular. For Sp 09 the average on the hw was 60%.

## Video snippets for 130

The CHM 130 class is designed for students to learn through group work and discovery based activities.  One of the drawbacks from this method is students ability to grasp concepts at the same pace as their peers.  Many times students leave the class unsure of the core concept addressed in the class period.  Videotaping lectures lends itself to student apathy during class.  The solution I am persuing this semester is videotaping quick 3-5 min snapshots of core concepts and posting them on blackboard for all 9 section of the class.  I am using student whiteboards as my discussion topic and gr

## Enhancing College Algebra with Interactive Software

Having taught MAT151 (College Algebra) in both Fall 2011 and Spring 2012, I noticed that a fair number of students were having difficulty understanding the concept of a function.  Many failed to recognize how a function's output value varies in a predictable way based on changes to its input value, and most had a hard time connecting the geometric, tabular, verbal and equation representations of a function. Developing this understanding is critical to student success in MAT151 and subsequent math classes.