Deploying General Rubrics to Preclude the Pitfalls of Grading

by Christian Lambert, Goldman School of Public Policy Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2016 Assessing student work is the household chore of any given course: important and useful, but often begrudged and disparaged, too. As an instructor in an introductory course that many students pursue in order to fulfill pre-requisites for Continue Reading >>

Introducing Students to Scientific Writing in E45 Lab Sections

by Rajan Kumar, Materials Science and Engineering Teaching Effectiveness Award Essay, 2016 In Spring 2015, I served as the GSI for Properties of Materials (E45), an introductory materials science and engineering course usually taken by freshmen and sophomore students. My primary responsibility for the course was to lead the lab Continue Reading >>

Grading Rubrics

What are rubrics? Rubrics are scales in which the criteria used for grading or assessment are clearly spelled out along a continuum. Rubrics can be used to assess a wide range of assignments and activities in the classroom, from oral presentations to term papers to class participation. There are two Continue Reading >>

Incorporating Active Learning and Technology into Teaching Economics

by Marquise McGraw, Economics
I innovated by…creat[ing] an exercise that required students to integrate multiple concepts and skills to solve…This type of activity proved to be much more effective in promoting student learning than the standard “chalk and talk” delivery.

A Pre-Lab Assignment for a More Efficient and Effective Laboratory

by Jessica Smith, Chemistry
Prepared students are slow because they meticulously follow the directions rather than thinking critically about the purpose of each step…Students of science become scientists as they begin to comprehend how different steps contribute to an experiment rather than blindly following directions.

A ‘Tradeoffs’ Method for Soliciting Student Feedback

by Sean Tanner, Public Policy
I experimented with a method of collecting student feedback that would force the students to make tradeoffs in my time and effort. I gave them a list of the potentially alterable activities I perform as a teacher…All told, I had eighteen hours per week to distribute across nine teaching activities. Each student reapportioned my time to suit his needs.

Grading Essays

Connecting grading to specific learning objectives, and developing a clear system for commenting, can make grading an easier and more strategic process.

Encouraging Critical Thinking through Exam Preparation

by Sarah Macdonald, Sociology
While teaching Sociology 5: Evaluation of Evidence, I encountered a problem that is not unique: how, as GSIs, can we prepare our students for challenging final exams without teaching exclusively to the exam?