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astro300_f10:eighth_day_plan [2010/10/09 05:35] (current)
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 +====== AY 300 Fall 2010: Eighth Day Plan ======
 +===== Goals =====
 +  * Spend a significant amount of time recapping.
 +  * Query about the future format for the class
 +  * Discuss how and why for giving mid-semester evals
 +  * Work on mid-semester evals and lesson plans for the coming week
 +===== Recap (20 mins; 5:30 PM) =====
 +  * Break into small groups as usual for 10-15 mins. 
 +  * Try focusing on **one** thing during the large group
 +    * Go in depth, break it down:
 +       * What was done?
 +       * What was good? Bad?
 +       * What did the GSI do well, poorly?
 +       * What do we learn?
 +       * How can we improve for next time?
 +===== Mid-Semester Evals (15 min; 5:45 PM) =====
 +  * **Be sure to emphasize**
 +    * These questions should cover things you want feedback on. Be explicit about what you want to know whenever possible.
 +    * There should be room for some free response (e.g., if there'​s anything else not addressed here...)
 +    * You should make sure you take some time to go over the results in a later session.
 +      * If you have quantitative questions, this might include averages, or distributions.
 +    * You should make sure they are able to fill them out anonymously.
 +  * NOTE: The Ay 300 eval is a little bit on the long side; we did this purposely since Ay 300 is such an amorphous class and **should** be tailored to what its students are interested in.
 +  * Discuss the wisdom from past GSIs and Slater & Adams chapter 9:
 +     * Assigning a combination of "​Informal Written Response"​ and "​Check-box Questionaire"​.
 +     * In addition, we've done two types of "​Observation by a Critical Friend",​ both a peer visit and a videotape.
 +     * Use different colored highlighters for positive and negative comments that merit further review.
 +     * Four categories of "​course difficulties":​
 +       ​-simple fixes
 +       ​-fixes for next semester
 +       ​-offsetting concerns
 +       ​-issues without remedy
 +  * Why do we do mid-semester evals
 +      * There is a department wide, official end of semester eval, but by then it's too late to fix things for your current students.
 +      * The point of student feedback at mid-semester is to allow you to adjust your section and teaching style as necessary to match your current students'​ demands.
 +      * However, take the responses with a grain of salt; Ay 10 student don't always know what's best for them!
 +  * Mid-semester eval basics
 +      * They should be done about half-way through the semester (try to avoid right before or after an exam -- this usually skews your results!); halfway through the semester is one week from today.
 +      * They should be anonymous (however you might want to ask for their section number so you can compare your multiple sections).
 +      * Sometimes this is done during the last 10 mins of a section, but you get less accurate responses this way since many students will rush through it just to leave early.
 +      * Consider doing it in the middle of section (maybe right after your initial lecture review/​Q&​A session).
 +      * The GSI will usually step out of the room during this time or //at least// turn their back to the class.
 +      * Have a student collect all of the evals and put them in an envelope. **DO NOT** open the envelope until way later (//i.e.// after you've left Evans and there are no students around you at all).
 +  * **Always** be sure to give students way more than enough room to write. ​ You don't want them to limit responses simply because they feel they don't have enough room.  You might even consider printing the evals one-sided and make a note at the beginning of the eval saying that if the student needs more room to write that they should feel free to use the back of the page.
 +  * Here's a ranked list of general topics that might be found on an eval (the last three are of the least importance by far with the last one being almost not worth putting on the list):
 +     - Section structure (lecture review, Q&A, worksheets, demos, group work, //etc.//)
 +     - GSI's skills (board skills, student interaction skills, lecture skills, //etc.//)
 +     - Section content (which topics are covered and how long is spent on each)
 +     - Stuff besides section or lecture (//i.e.// star parties you're at, your TALC, office hours, //etc.//)
 +     - Course content (which topics are covered and how long is spent on each)
 +     - Course structure (order of topics, demos during lecture, audience participation during lecture, grading, //etc.//)
 +     - Prof's skills (board skills, student interaction skills, lecture skills, //etc.//)
 +  * Types of questions:
 +     * Open ended (good because they allow students to discuss the things they feel most strongly about and students shouldn'​t feel constrained about what they can and cannot comment on). //E.g.//:
 +        -Describe three things you like about this section.
 +        -What does your GSI need to do less of in section?
 +        -Put any additional comments.
 +     * Quick answer (very directed or short answer questions are good for students who don't want/​can'​t write a lot and the answers can sometimes give a more quantitative evaluation than the free response questions). //E.g.//:
 +        -On a scale of 1-5 (5 being great, 1 being horrible) rank the following.
 +        -Give the section a letter grade.
 +        -Circle MORE, LESS, or THE SAME for the amount of time (relative to the semester so far) we should spend on each item.
 +     * Humorous (but still informative). //E.g.//:
 +        -Draw a face that best describes how you feel about this class.
 +     * Humorous (just for fun). //E.g.//:
 +        -Make up an hilarious nickname for your GSI.
 +     * Humorous and/or totally random questions are good **in moderation**,​ they can break up the seriousness of the eval and show off your personality.
 +     * Put a variety of types of questions so that all types of students can give accurate feedback and you can get both qualitative and quasi-quantitative results.
 +  * After the eval is filled out:
 +     * It's a good idea to read through them all twice: once to just read every answer and the second time to see if you can spot some trends and consistencies (based on the assumption that if a majority of students agrees on something, then it might actually be a valid point or an accurate assessment).
 +     * We will ask you to compile a short summary report that includes:
 +         ​-consistent comments
 +         ​-averages/​standard deviations/​histograms for any quantitative questions
 +         -any hilarious, unfairly mean, or really thoughtful comments
 +         -a personal assessment of what you've learned and what you'll change (and when)
 +     * In addition to turning it in to us for this class, the summary report could be sent to the Head GSI and/or prof (as opposed to having them read all of the evals). ​ Most professors, however, do not request reports or copies, or even require that you pass out midsemester evaluations.
 +     * Arguably the most important part of evals is responding to the criticisms (both positive and negative) publicly in front of the class and addressing at least some of their concerns (Slater & Adams call this '​closing the loop'​).
 +  * Different profs have different opinions of students responses on the evals: some ignore them completely and assume that the students have no idea what's best for them, some ignore them because the prof teaches the way they teach and that's that and it won't change, and some actually read through them (or at least read their GSIs' summaries of the evals).
 +  * Point them to sample ones in the [[private:​ebrb:​evaluations|EBRB]].
 +  * Collect the AY 300 midsemester evals.
 +  * Handout the [[astro300_f09:​writing_evals|eval handout]].
 +===== Group Work/​Section Planning (rest of the time) =====
 +  * Spend the rest of the time working on your skeleton mid-semester evals, getting feedback from peers
 +  * What do the answers to each of the questions tell you?
 +  * How will you respond to your students?
 +  * How long will you give them?
 +  * When will you pass it out?
 +  * How will they receive the message that you read these reviews?