Spring 2015 Events

Faster Grading, Better Feedback: Using Rubrics to Evaluate Student Papers

  • Robin Field, Associate Professor of English
  • Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 2:00 pm
  • Fitzgerald Room, third floor SFCC

Do your students read the comments you write on their papers? Are they learning from these comments and applying that knowledge to the next paper?  Do you spend too much time commenting on each paper and wish you could grade more efficiently? Robin will share her success in using detailed rubrics to improve the feedback her English majors received on each paper and reveal how much faster and more consistent her grading has become. Sample rubrics will be provided.

Two-Stage Exams as an Extension of Peer Learning

  • Kristi Concannon, Associate Professor of Physics
  • Thursday, February 5, 2015, 2:00 pm
  • Molewski Room, 109 SFCC

The process of peer instruction is crucial in helping students to identify and confront their misconceptions and to critically apply the fundamental principles learned in lecture to different and more complex situations.  In most cases, though, peer learning ends at exam time.  I have recently begun implementing two-stage exams in my courses under the premise that learning can and should take place throughout the entire semester, not just in compartmentalized chunks; hence, exams can both be an opportunity for students to demonstrate what they have learned and an opportunity for students to continue to increase their understanding of the course material.  In this workshop, I will describe the two-stage exam process and comment on my observations of its effect on student attitudes and student learning.

Inquiry-based versus Verification Approaches to Learning Concepts in the Undergraduate Classroom

  • Julie M. Belanger, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
  • Monday, February 16, 2015, 3:30 pm
  • Lipo Room, third floor, SFCC

There are many ways to introduce concepts in the undergraduate classroom or laboratory.  One common method in the sciences involves using a “verification” or “cookbook” approach where students are told exactly what to do and what to expect as outcomes in an experiment.  This approach essentially spoils the ability for students to discover concepts on their own, and to potentially gain a deeper understanding of the concepts.  Inquiry-based approaches, however, give the students just enough background to set them up to discover concepts, and relationships between concepts, on their own.  In this talk, I will discuss the approaches for the different styles of inquiry-based learning, comment on implementation, and how inquiry can be used across disciplines.

CANCELLED: Teaching the Whole Person: Integrated Pedagogy for Body, Mind, and Spirit

  • Anna Minore, Associate Professor of Theology
  • Thursday, February 19, 2015, 2:00 pm
  • Lipo Room, third floor SFCC

Do you ever reach a point in the class where students doze, you’ve already had discussion, and there are 30 minutes to go?  Use three easy techniques to rejuvenate their minds and bodies, while adhering to King’s College mission developing the heart and spirit, as well as the mind.

The Intentional Paper Assignment

  • Dr. Mary Goldschmidt, Faculty Development Specialist, University of Scranton
  • Friday, March 13, 2015, 2:00 pm
  • Postupak Room, first floor McGowan School of Business

Whether we want to expand students’ ability to write coherently about complex concepts, develop their problem-solving skills, or deepen their ability to think in disciplinary ways, writing is one of the most effective instructional tools at our disposal. But assigning papers can be a source of anxiety for even the most fearless.

From the student’s perspective, getting a paper assignment can be no less daunting.  How students react to an assignment is often based on their own past experience, advice from peers, their investment in the course, and their confidence levels with written communication.

What can we do to help ensure that the papers we collect will be meaningful learning experiences for our students and not exercises in frustration for us?

In this hands-on workshop, we’ll evaluate some examples from different disciplines, examine characteristics of effective assignments; discuss hazards to avoid; and review the steps for generating assignments that align with course goals.

*I invite everyone to bring an assignment that you have used in the past or are planning to use this semester.