Just before class started I got my student feedback review. For the most part it was overwhelmingly good. The one part that stood out was the commonality that the students weren’t getting enough lab time to really work on the assigned labs in an environment they felt comfortable with. I followed up with them at the beginning of class to get more details as the one or two sentences from the feedback weren’t enough to really steer myself towards a good direction in how to improve them beyond adding more time.
I found a lot of students decided to speak up, more then the number that provided feedback in the survey. I was able to crowd source a new plan going forward. More tailored labs and to break them apart for things that were destructive to the machine, possibly that is, and safe labs they could do at home. It was a great idea for feedback. It would really require more work on my part to continue to tailor the labs beyond choosing which ones from the book to do and changing a few words. I also felt that this is the best time to try it out with the upcoming sections based on topics that I really feel are my bailiwick. I feel confident in my knowledge in this area and I can focus more on the lesson structure and ensuring that our activities are meaningful and relevant instead of making sure I’m accurate and covering all that I need to.
The class before I had asked if they wanted to do a Quiz Show style review session or a Jeopardy. I don’t believe I heard a single person say Quiz Show. I did have one student ask which one was easier for me, and I told them the Quiz Show style, so then everyone was on board for Jeopardy. I bought 4 cheap buzzers off of Amazon for under $20 and let people decide on their team names. Between the team names, friendly banter and odd sounding buzzers, it was a fun session. I designed the questions to be hard, first because Jeopardy is hard, and secondly I thought it would inspire them to study more. I gave them the questions in .PDF form for them to study after the class for the midterm.
Over the week between the review and midterm, I got a very nasty sinus infection that knocked me out of commission for about 5 days. Luckily most people used the time wisely and studied and I got a few questions about what to study and what sources to study from. The answer was always, the Book. It is designed to help them pass an A+ test, but as I told everyone, the way the material is presented in the book may not work for everyone, so the labs were there to help the hands on people and the PowerPoint slides were for the visual learners. The feedback I got from them before the exam was that each person found different parts helpful. The true results will only come out once they complete the exam they are taking right now.
Hopefully my lessons have paid off and people are growing and learning from the newer users to the self proclaimed geeks. I’ve started off strong and I am aiming to finish even stronger!