PHYS 115

Problem Solving Workshops at a distance

My teaching agenda includes weekly problem solving workshops. The idea is that students should have time to work together on solving some problems. It has taken three different flavors thus far. Students have a question about the homework problem that is due on Mondays. If someone asks, we will work on the problem in small groups and then come back together. Students all work on a problem that illustrates something that I want to emphasize.

Standards Based Grading

My plan for this course has been to use standards based grading on weekly assignments. The basic theory of this practice is that we should be assessing students on their understanding, so this means that they have to demonstrate said understanding. They do this in my class by submitting weekly homework (not a big deal). The big difference in standards-based grading is that each problem is evaluated on a standardized rubric.

Standards Based Grading With Gradescope and R

Initially, I wrote this post first, but then realized that I needed to talk about Standards Based Grading before I launched into the weird realities I discovered trying to implement SBG. So I wrote about SBG in a separate post Standards Based Grading. The theory is good, but implementing it means I need to be able to accomplish a few things: I need a gradebook that calculates the proportion of problems that are satisfactory.

Incremental Improvements

After last week's trainwreck of a class I knew I had to make some changes. So this week I wrote a ton of slides. Plus side, they look great! Minus side, I made something like 9 million git commits and it took me forever! But as a result, class today went much more smoothly. There were a few differences from last week that I noticed. First, the students during office hours said that they were going to start turning their cameras on so I could see peoples’ faces and responses.


An introduction to using Academic's Slides feature.