A Mid-Course Correction?

Based on last week’s interactive quizzes, I think that it makes a lot more sense for students to read the text chapters before we address the material in class than after. Even though most students were reading last week, only some had taken the quizzes and discovered that they weren’t understanding the material.

This week is somewhat worse, I think. The topic is analytical–the theories of demand and supply. As such, students generally have more difficulty getting it. Based on discussion Monday, I felt students hadn’t read the chapters yet (and I’ve gotten virtually no IQs yet–7 quizzes out of 100+ possible (2 chapters x 50+ students). To investigate this Wednesday I started class with a pop quiz, What is the law of demand?, something one would almost certainly know if they’d read the chapter.

The results:

    10am: 8 got it right, 3 were on the right track, 8 got it wrong, 7 didn’t turn it in (though some were absent).
    11am: 8 got it right, 6 were on the right track, 12 got it wrong, 1 didn’t turn it in.

Even if I “count” the ones who were on the right track, it looks like only half the students have done the reading.

So, here’s my quandary. I think that I need to move up the deadline for credit on the interactive quizzes. At present, the students have until a week after we complete the material to take the quizzes for credit. I think this may be “giving permission” to students not to read the material until after we’ve completed discussion of it. Students have a tendency to do this anyway.

I would like to move up the deadline to say the last day we cover the material in class (i.e. Midnight that day). I hope this will make it more likely students will do the reading while we’re covering the material in class. But, this would entail changing the rules of the game in mid stream, which I don’t like to do.

Any words of wisdom out there?

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One Response to A Mid-Course Correction?

  1. rrycroft says:

    I am not a big fan of moving up the quiz date because I think students should have a decent interval to mull the material until they are “put to the test.” The changing the rules in mid stream quandry is also a consideration.

    I think you should try a different strategy to get students to read. Why not give them some questions beforehand? Tell them you are going to ask this question, and the only way they can be prepared is if they have read the chapter. Or maybe give the responsibility for initiating discussion on some topic to particular students. This will at least force a subset of students to have read the chapter.

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