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The Good Class and the Not So Good One: What Makes the Difference for Students Michelle Firnstein and Tom Moran Center for Multidisciplinary Studies.

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Presentation on theme: "The Good Class and the Not So Good One: What Makes the Difference for Students Michelle Firnstein and Tom Moran Center for Multidisciplinary Studies."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Good Class and the Not So Good One: What Makes the Difference for Students Michelle Firnstein and Tom Moran Center for Multidisciplinary Studies

2 0697-510 Multidisciplinary Life B.S. Applied Arts and Sciences

3 The Assignment Short Essay What was the best or worst class that you had in your college career? Why? What made it that way? Describe briefly.

4 The Results Best Class - 70 Worst Class - 68

5 The Not So Good

6 “The instructor was late to every class and complained about RIT parking. He had trouble hooking up his computer in class and complained about tech support. Everyday he complained and apologized because he ‘wasn’t himself.’ He arrived 20 minutes late for the final and didn’t have the exam ready, told us he would post it online. When I got my final course grade it was wrong; he had forgotten to include my final exam grade.” The Worst

7 “She rarely followed the syllabus. The assignments were vague and feedback was uninspiring. She always came to class unprepared. One time she stopped her lecture midway because she realized she had to do more research and rambled off topic for another hour. It was never clear what we were supposed to get out of the class.”

8 The Worst “He rapidly scrawled the equations and numbers across the board while explaining what they meant but nobody could understand him. Half the class had dropped within the first two weeks. I asked for help and he began to ask me questions that I couldn’t understand. It was embarrassing. I had to learn it all at home on my own.”

9 The Worst “Any class where group work is a substantial part of the grade. It is supposed to simulate the real world but in the real world everyone brings a competence to the group or gets fired. One person knows what they are doing and everyone else copies. It seems the teacher is too lazy to teach the material, pawning his work off onto the strongest students.”

10 The Worst “She lectured by reading directly from the book. She had nothing to add, he just quoted from the book. There was very little interaction between the professor and the students and none was encouraged between students. I felt I could have done it all at home.”

11 The Worst “The instructor’s heart wasn’t in it and it showed. He spent the class going over homework problems but not preparing us for the next assignment. It was as if he was trying to teach a college course expending the least amount of effort possible. By the end of class only 6 of 30 students were still showing up. It was dry stuff. It was brutal. I ended up 100% teaching myself the material.”

12 The Worst “I asked a question in class. She told me to ask my neighbor for help. My neighbor didn’t know the answer either. I told the instructor and she said it was too bad. Teaching?”

13 The Worst “It took four weeks for the instructor to grade assignments. How are you supposed to know how you are doing? When we got them back, they were marked down because we didn’t do them the way she wanted. But we had been given no explanation as to what he wanted. I dreaded it twice a week for 11 weeks.”

14 The Worst Class structure -35 Instructor preparation - 23 Work load -14 No empathy -13 No relevancy -12

15 The Good

16 “The instructor taught us as if we were peers and made sure that she was available to help us in any way we needed. Even though this class had more homework in it than most classes, I felt as though it was nothing. I couldn’t wait to do the next reading and assignment. It wasn’t the material, it was a learning atmosphere that I loved.” The Best

17 “I learned skills and concepts that I will be using for the rest of my career. It was very challenging. I felt an incredible sense of accomplishment after finishing the class project. I wanted to experience that feeling again and again.”

18 The Best “I loved this class. We had a big project but it was fun to do and not a chore. The instructor liked my project and said she wanted to use it as an example for future classes. It was the proudest moment of my college career.”

19 The Best “Taking this class is honestly like getting your mind blown every single day. The things I learned in that class may not have been the most practical information I have learned but gosh darn it, they were the most fascinating. The instructor would talk about the material with such fervor it was awesome.”

20 The Best “His love of the subject showed in every class without fail. His excitement filled the classroom whenever he spoke. You could see he was getting giddy just speaking on the subject. He got us excited and worked up about everything we did.”

21 The Best “She told us we would be writing papers until we couldn’t write anymore. I was intimidated. But she had an eloquent way of presenting the topics. I just listened to her. I rarely took a note. My responses just flowed out. I looked forward to classes even though they had nothing to do with my career. She was a great presenter who made the topic interesting.”

22 The Best “He was so blunt and truthful. He spoke passionately and wanted us to learn and become better at it. He pushed us to do our best and forced us to learn. The class was scary at times but it was also full of humor and fun It taught me many things. I walked out knowing a lot about the subject and a lot about myself.”

23 The Best “The class was not my cup of tea but she made it really interesting. I could tell she was an expert in her field and truly loved her work. But she was also humble and personable and was interested in what students had to say. She let me revise my papers until I got it right. It was a lot of work but it gave me more motivation.”

24 The Best Great Environment - 29 Knowledgeable/Passionate Instructor - 22 Practical Knowledge - 20 Empathy - 19 Hands On - 15

25 Lessons

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