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Professor Mamas in 2009 - Page 2

post #21 of 560
Geoscientists question for you: I'm teaching 2 classes, each has a lab. No grad student and so far no luck finding an undergrad grader (because s/he has to be work study). I'm in a biology dept and some of their classes don't turn in labs each week, rather they do the lab and then the next week take a quiz at the beginning of the lab on last week's lab. That would cut down on my grading substantially, but is so foreign to what I've done in intro labs. Thoughts? FWIW I'm teaching Physical Geo and an environmentally based physical geo that they call Env. Geo.

Lisa: as I'm sure you've heard a zillion times -- there is no perfect time to TTC. Not that I would know as I've never had intentionally unprotected sex . I just got an email notice that I'm Dr. kerc now from the grad school. apparently their notification system is slow. In any event, once those diss edits are done you will feel a huge sense of relief. Honestly, it was like childbirth, complete with full exhaustion for a week or so later.

Wendy: teaching study skills. I'm not using it now, but in the past when I used the Grotzinger book (Understanding Earth), the teachers' manual included a piece on teaching study skills 5 minutes at a time. I can't find it now on my computer, but if I do find it later today I'll send you the teachers' manual (pdf). I find it really tricky to teach in a concept based class and then ask questions that can be answered via multiple choice. But then again, I'm a pretty dang holistic person so I tend to loose details first.

YAY for rockdr.

anthansor: 3 classes at your old school + new school + kids. whoa. That's like my fall semester Which I am still recovering from.
post #22 of 560
Thread Starter 
kerc, how is grading a quiz easier than grading a lab? Can you distill what is it about the quiz that's easier and have the students hand that part of their lab in at the end of class? Have them write out the explanations (since this is often where they learn -- when forced to think through the logic of something) but then only score certain parts?

There are other methods like an in-class assessment, where you give groups a task and you grade them on the spot.
post #23 of 560
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geofizz View Post
kerc, how is grading a quiz easier than grading a lab?
LOL. I'm laughing out loud here, because I've spent way too many years of my life as a ta or adjunct, grading labs (>5 years). Labs are longer and I'd feel compelled to grade every answer because when you don't students often feel like they need to ask you 6 zillion times if you're going to grade this one.

Quote:
There are other methods like an in-class assessment, where you give groups a task and you grade them on the spot.
I know, I just struggle to make it a meaningful assessment for each lab.

One other perk I just thought of of the lab practical weekly style: students have to interact with the material for more than one week. Even if it is just the 10 minutes before class to review.

I'm envisioning asking some quick questions and one or two simplified questions like the problems I tend to have them work through on a lab.
post #24 of 560
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geofizz View Post
Ideas for me on teaching study techniques?
http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1029082
Wendy - I don't have answers to the study techniques question, but I realized our semesters will have a lot of parallels... I, too, am teaching my first large (140 person) general ed intro geology course this semester. I'm using Marshak, too.

I'm also looking for answers, since I'm about to go through the same struggle. I am planning on doing weekly on-line multiple-choice quizzes for students to give themselves a self-check on understanding (and hopefully encourage them to actually do the reading). I'm also going to do some in-class exercises that will cover concepts more than facts. I plan to have exams that are half multiple-choice and half short answer mostly because the thought of grading 140 exams like I usually write gives me the willies, but the thought of nothing but multiple choice leaves me dissatisfied.

I also went to one of those small colleges where the max class size was 40, so no personal background on how to deal with a large class from a student's perspective either.
post #25 of 560
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaybee View Post
I plan to have exams that are half multiple-choice and half short answer mostly because the thought of grading 140 exams like I usually write gives me the willies, but the thought of nothing but multiple choice leaves me dissatisfied.
kaybee ... one of my semesters grading (last spring) included a course in which the exams were NOT multiple choice. Each ta was responsible for grading a portion of the exam. We were given a day (e.g. tuesday Feb ___ is grading day) and on that day we were expected to sit down and basically spend the ENTIRE day grading. It sucked, but it was probably a good thing.
post #26 of 560
kerc - maybe you could do the quizzes online also -- like on elearning or webct so you don't have to grade that much.

wendy - I answered your question on the main forum. I also use Marshak- Essentials- because it is cheap.

anthansor - wow, you do have a full plate

kaybee - I've been teaching these large classes for 6 years now and I do 75% mulitple choice, 25% short answer (and I must say that the short answer has turned into mostly a diagram section where I give them a picture and they have to define certain things about it and also I ask them to draw pictures mainly so I don't have to read full sentences, this cuts the grading time down)

lynnS6 - good luck on research, this is supposed to be my research semester too, you can see what I'm doing....
post #27 of 560
Wendy--the power point idea with sample questions from each section of the test (if it has different sections) seems to work well with my large classes. I designate one class as a review day and then we usually just work with listening examples and tips for differentiating one from another if the answer isn't already obvious. I usually set up the question, let them answer it (clickers are great for this, and make it possible to work on concept-based issues each class too, with instant feedback for you regarding what they're understanding thus far). After they answer it, especially if it was a tricky one, we'll talk about how they got to the answer and what might have been confusing.

kerc--I second namaste_mom's idea of using WebCT for quizzes, if possible. I did that last spring in a large class (120 students) because the quizzes are self-grading once you set them up. It saved a lot of time.
post #28 of 560

Bumping the thread up from page 5 to see how everyone is doing this semester?

Here, they just announced a 12 day furlough we're required to take between now and June, but DH and I might get out of having to take days off if they decide to exempt postdocs. Still, so stressful :

But on the good side, I got a job offer for a TT position I really wanted... I'm in the process of some negotiations (thanks Geo for all the advice) and am waiting for a decision from the other TT job I kind of wanted (was apparently recommended by search cmte, now it is in admin land). It would be a tough decision.... one is more research/one teaching.... one good location/one bad... nothing yet for DH... :
post #29 of 560
Callie, congrats on the job offer. I hope the other one comes through for you.
Me, I had a rough start to the semester- my book order was COMPLETELY screwed up, which directly resulted in 15 students dropping one course (out of 45, oopppsss!). I guess I scared them too much on the first night about how important reading is in this class, and the messed up/delayed till mid-February book order scared many of them into dropping. We are doing better now, but it was a rough week or two until things kinda got sorted out.
Hope everyone's semester is going well,
~maddymama
post #30 of 560
Hi! In last years thread, I wrote about how I was having trouble publishing (I am tenure-track), since DSs birth. Since then, I have had a paper published in the best journal in my field, and a very promising revise and resubmit (minor changes). YAY!!!

I have two more in review at the moment, and will probably be able to get another article out in the next month or so.

I also used the option of delaying tenure for a year because I took FMLA leave. Anybody else do this? I work with mostly men (who have SAH Wife's), so I was a little concerned that they would think it was an "extra year" instead of a delay. On the other hand, I did not publish anything the year DS was born, so I really needed the delay.
post #31 of 560
Thread Starter 
I took a 1 year delay right before they made it automatic for all faculty (male or female) that have a baby or adopt. I find that most people are either clueless or supportive, though no one has addressed it negatively to me. I do not have an overwhelmingly supportive department when it comes to gender issues.

My dept has never given a woman a unanimous vote for anything. My 4 year review was 21-1! : Now I'm just trying to get the dossier database software to behave for my file to go over to the college P&T committee. :
post #32 of 560
Thread Starter 
Congrats on the pubs, rcr!!! What are your publishing expectations?

Maddysmom, I find out bookstore very difficult to work with and somewhat unreliable. I've taken to sending out an email to students registered for the class 3-4 weeks before the quarter starts with the textbook info. Most buy it online ahead of time for a fraction of the cost.

It's the 5th week of a 10 week quarter here. I'm fighting d2l which can't handle 50000 students all trying to download a half a quarter's worth of lectures before their midterms. :
post #33 of 560
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geofizz View Post
My dept has never given a woman a unanimous vote for anything. My 4 year review was 21-1!
WOOT! (If I knew the vote was 21-1 I would be totally bitter toward the one person who didn't vote yay! But then again I'm one to hold a grudge occasionally)

Good work on the pubs, rcr!!!

Maddysmom I generally do the same thing Geo does. Granted I'm usually not THAT on the ball that I get it out 3-4 weeks ahead of time, but I do ok.

Geo I struggle with D2L on a daily basis. My own experience is that the server is NEVER able to handle the kind of traffic it gets. That's a university based problem, but seriously -- Sunday night is h*ll for using the system. All colleges/unis should anticipate 3 x as much traffic as they might get "on average" and then the system wouldn't collapse nearly as horrifically as it does.


Myself: I just got the email from my colleague that says something like, "So about that manuscript you've been working on for eons..... what's going on there?" The story is that I'm revising some of it, my grad advisor is revising some of it but is pregnant with twins and has mentally checked out (probably forever) and hasn't told far away people she's expecting. So...I'm leaving it to her to respond and taking the email as a sign I should really get my act together and get this paper out the door.

I'm having a decent semester, for once I have enough child care and enough $$ (at the same time!). It's amazing what a weight has been lifted when I feel like I have 10 minutes to stop and get milk before my daycare pick up and not feel like I'd have to make up the time later.

My dept. chair is a bit ticked off that kaybee and I are collaborating and competing for $$ her (small and completely different field) research group is trying to get. Ah well. If she's pissed enough to not renew my contract then I take it as a sign I'm done there.

Now on to the research....
post #34 of 560
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerc View Post
WOOT! (If I knew the vote was 21-1 I would be totally bitter toward the one person who didn't vote yay! But then again I'm one to hold a grudge occasionally)
Oh, totally bitter. Normally women get two votes no. I have no clue who the one no was, and the second nominal 'no' wasn't at the meeting. I've got it narrowed down to 5 possibilities.
post #35 of 560
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geofizz View Post
Congrats on the pubs, rcr!!! What are your publishing expectations?
I need about 1-2 per year to get tenure - min. 6 for tenure, although I would feel much more comfortable with a lot more than that. I have 3 published with the one strong revise and resubmit, plus 2 in review, with 3 years to go until tenure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kerc View Post

Good work on the pubs, rcr!!!

I'm having a decent semester, for once I have enough child care and enough $$ (at the same time!). It's amazing what a weight has been lifted when I feel like I have 10 minutes to stop and get milk before my daycare pick up and not feel like I'd have to make up the time later.
Thanks!

Forgot to mention, I think that the main reason I have been able to be more productive in the last year is because I finally found good child care. My previous DCP was a pain in the butt. A friend who HSs recently offered to watch my LO, and she is absolutely WONDERFUL. That really takes a huge weight off me, so that I can actually concentrate on work when I am at work.
post #36 of 560
How nice to see this thread bumped up with so much good news. Congrats Callie on the TT offer(s)! And Geofizz on the good review! And great job, rcr, on getting the pubs out!!!

Bummer about the book order being messed up, Maddymama.

The first 2 weeks of this term were crazy, but I think things are settling down, and I'm really looking forward to getting some research done this term. Last term was insane. I got really good reviews in my classes though, so I guess my students couldn't tell
post #37 of 560
rcr - i delayed tenure for one year. I didn't want to but I had a year of unproductively after my DD died. it didn't release me from my production for that year but gave me more time to make it up.

crap, just as I start typing Maya goes crazy bbl
post #38 of 560
rcr--congrats on the publications!

Geo--yay for a great 4-year review! Except that one person. :

I only have the online class though it seems to be breaking records for the highest number of students not qualified to take an online class.

In good news, I'm meeting with a committee member tomorrow to get my last set of dissertation comments, finally! All my other revisions are done, so I'm hoping to have a finished copy to my advisor by the end of the week and hopefully a signed signature page the week after that. I've been trying to meet with this committee member for three weeks and I want it done and off my desk. I need to finish up a paper proposal for a local conference too this week too.
post #39 of 560
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcr View Post

I also used the option of delaying tenure for a year because I took FMLA leave. Anybody else do this? I work with mostly men (who have SAH Wife's), so I was a little concerned that they would think it was an "extra year" instead of a delay. On the other hand, I did not publish anything the year DS was born, so I really needed the delay.
I didn't delay and wished I had. People told me I was making good progress and if I stopped the clock for a year that would look bad. That last year I was really sweating and wishing I had one more year. In the end I did get tenure so it all worked out. But when this question comes up I usually tell people to stop the clock for a year if they have the option. Especially if you're allowed to go up early in the event that you actually are able to get everything done and feel good about where you are.
post #40 of 560
Question: I have a pair of students (married couple) who are nontraditional students. They are in one of my intro classes, but are significantly SLOWER than the other 28 in there. If it was just one of them, I would easily pair them with a decent lab partner and it would be smooth. Since there are two and they don't want to split up (the woman is stronger than the man), I'm at a loss for what to do. Last night I had a 2 hr lab. I wrote the lab to take 1.5 hours to ensure that all students would be able to finish.

After the allotted lab time was over I was planning on working on my own stuff on my computer in my office. I did this. But left the students to work on their own -- it took them 3 hours to finish the lab that others successfully completed in 1. Do I worry about it? Do i only let them hang out when it is handy for me?
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