Friday, April 25, 2008


Grading 'round here gets done with the help of the professor-in-training

Part of the final exam for my writing classes entails an essay written on the three most valuable things the student has learned in the course. It's a great way to wrap up the course, since it forces them to coalesce everything they've done and pick out what has really impacted them (and then hopefully it will get stuck in their heads and they'll keep using it). As part of the essay, they also have to "prove" their learning (i.e. if they're writing about document design/organization, by golly that thing better be organized and have headings all over the place), so it's a good exercise in that way too.

Reading these is one of my very favorite bits of the whole course. It's where I really get a sense of how the class went, how much people learned, what I should focus on more in future, etc. And more importantly for my own motivation, it's where I really feel like I've made a difference. I get a recap of what internships and jobs people have landed due to their newly fabulous resumes (and chuckle over things like "after you taught us what resumes and cover letters should be like, I was so embarassed that I'd actually submitted my old resume to potential employers"). Inevitably, a good half of the class admits that they thought this class would be a waste of time, but now they think they learned more in this class than in any other they took this semester.

It's refreshing to read about the multitude of ways that people have already applied the principles they've learned, whether it's in applying for jobs, giving oral presentations, working with groups, or completing research papers for other courses. And of course, what teacher wouldn't get satisfaction out of reading "I don't think I could have had a teacher who answered my questions more thoroughly and more often than she did. I learned a lot this semester [...] and I think it has a lot to do with the teacher and how she conducted class and related all of the material to her students."

It's good to be appreciated. :-)

Oh! And don't forget! The cooking extravaganza begins next week!


Crapos said...

Hey, can I take your class? I think I've forgotten it all - oh, wait, History majors didn't have to take classes like that. So I never knew it in the first place!

Meghan said...

I want to come to the cooking extravaganza!

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