Monday, November 26, 2007

can't we just say 'uncle' for the semester?

I'm just kind of unenthusiastic about teaching the rest of the semester.

Logic is at the slogging it out point.... although, this next quiz should be interesting, as I don't think they've done the homework.... and that will hurt.

The ethics issues aren't all that compelling.

Next semester I'm going to schedule presentations at the end of the semester.... have any of you solved the group-presentation-slacker problem? I'm thinking that I might just do it like a conference panel-- Students write and present their own papers and someone is the discussant.... hmmm. I'd love to hear how you do it.

5 comments:

Bardiac said...

It doesn't totally solve the problem, but can help...

Each group gets 10 points per person, and each group member writes a short note dividing the total points between everyone in the group, and explaining the division.

So a group of three gets 30 points. X is a really solid group leader, Y is a good contributor, and Z doesn't do diddly.

My sense is students group themselves quite closely; they tend to give lousy work a C rather than the F you might. But, mostly you get a sense of who's done what. It does take time, though. AND, for long projects, you have them do it fairly early on, and let them know they'll do it again, and then you have a chance to intervene if you need to, and they have a chance to step up.

For a group essay (mid-semester), I let them revise individually. The weakest writers tend to do better than usual on those essays, and the best tend to revise up to their norm. And they learn lots working in groups.

Seeking Solace said...

I know what you mean. I am so ready to just say "I'm done" and just give them the final.

CK said...

I teach logic entirely online... and we're at truth tables now, just a week away from their final. There is panic in the air...which I can sense even without being in a classroom!

corey said...

I've tried group presentations in Ethics in which each participant turns in a short (2-3pp.) paper detailing their contribution to the project. It certainly doesn't eliminate the slacker factor, but at least those individuals will have to do something...

Ashby said...

I do presentations in my Ethics and Bioethics courses-- throughout the semester, but with a handful during the last couple weeks of the semester (good for me!). The groups get made according to student interest in particular ethical issues. There are usually 3 or 4 students in a group-- already formed by interest in a topic, let's say "sex & morality." Then, the group has complete responsibility on how they divide up this big issue. As an example, this semester I had 2 who wanted to do same-sex marriage and 2 who wanted to do pornography. The mini-groups then decide how they want to split up the topic-- depending on the arguments, etc. Then, everything else is up to the individual student-- from research to presentation. Only the topic itself, how they choose to divide it, and presentation day link the group. Everyone is graded individually. They also submit a 5-6 page paper one week after the presentation detailing the arguments that they used in the presentation. I've been doing this style of "group" presentations for 3 years now and I think it works really well.