How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

PRACTICE MAN! PRACTICE!

The same thing can be said about learning something new. In order to get good at most things it takes a certain amount of practice. That’s why I provide students with comprehensive constructive feedback on their assignments, and an opportunity to improve their performance prior to periodic quizzes or exams.

Map Locating Carnegie Hall

“Learning activities do two things – help learners acquire information or cause learners to practice. The simplest strategy for helping learners avoid cognitive overload is to chunk instruction into short, informative lessons that are punctuated by frequent, meaningful practice. When you provide feedback to practice, you do more than just clear the working memory. You support metacognition by providing continuing improvement assessment that helps learners rate their learning success and helps instructors judge their teaching effectiveness when they can still make needed adjustments.” (Judy Neill, 2013) WIDS.ORG

In my drafting classes I call the correction phase of this feedback loop “Extra Credit” because not all students will make the extra effort to improve their past work which ultimately improves their skills. The added reward is an improved grade on that assignment and potentially less mistakes on the next one. Below is an excerpt from one of my syllabi that explains the process:

“Extra credit can be earned in this class by doing corrections on all drawing projects. Points lost will be added to the final score proportionally to the corrections made. When all corrections for that drawing are done, and the drawing meets instructor satisfaction, a perfect score will be given.”

Depending on the level of difficulty of the course, I may only offer half the points lost as opposed to a perfect score. The way I see it, this process puts more of the responsibility for learning on the students and puts them more directly in charge of determining their own grade.

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