The Open Comments: 2

I really should do this more often than once every *cough*twoyears*cough*. This is an "open comments" post. I've got midterms on the brain (and I bet you do, too), so I'd like some mid-term evaluation from you.

This is an opportunity for me to ask "How am I doing?" and an opportunity for you to provide some formative evaluation--as opposed to the summative evaluation at the end of term.

Should I speak up? Should I slow down? Let me know.

Why aren't you commenting?

19 comments:

Anastasia said...
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"Why aren't you commenting?"

Clearly the students who don't comment just don't like you as much as the ones that do.

I still think you should get Twitter. You'll thank me later.

As for the class - there is too much reading! I have other classes too, and I need time to procrastinate for those. I think you should move the midterm to after spring break. Other than that I find the pace of the class to be pretty good. Anything further I say would just sound like sucking up, and I prefer to do that in person.

Why aren't you tweeting?

Anonymous said...
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I highly agree with moving it to after reading week..If classes started later this year/semester, why is it that our exams are earlier? This confuses me..Nevertheless, I want to thank you for not incorporating any presentations into a 400-level course. It is a great perk, and doesn't scare students away :)

Karsten Loepelmann said...
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@Anastasia: What's all this about "other classes..."?

I tried to choose readings that weren't overly complex (or long). Some HF/E textbooks are incredibly complex.

I've taken polls about midterms, and it was a pretty even split between have-it-before and have-it-after Reading Week. *sigh*

@Anonymous: I try to put exams at "logical places" in a course--like at the halfway point, in terms of both lectures and readings.

I don't have time for presentations, unfortunately. I've got a lot of ground to cover. Why are presentations scary?

Aman said...
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I don't agree with having the midterm after reading week. First off, we have another midterm in this class in march, so if the first midterm is moved to after the reading week, there would only be three weeks in between.

If you're complaining about there being too much reading, imagine doing all of that in that time. Yes we all have other classes, but university is about knowing how to balance your time and social life. I'm a 4th year and I think is about the same in any class. If it was any less he would barely be covering anything! If you can't handle the amount of classes you have take one less or reduce your outside activities. To be honest, this is nothing to what you have to read in higher level courses or even if you decide to go to grad school.


Also, I think the class is moving at the perfect pace, the midterm was fair in the amount and types of questions.

Just so you know I'm taking both 267 and 494 with you and I'm having a blast and actually feel like I'm learning something, which doesn't happen often with the methods most professors use so thank you! =)

Anastasia said...
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@Aman: But you only move it up by one school day so it doesn't really matter. Except you'd have a whole extra week to study.

Also, "social life"? Lol! Good one!

Anastasia said...
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...and I was talking about the 494 class, where there is only one midterm. (I checked!)

Karsten Loepelmann said...
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It's really, really hard to juggle and manoeuver exams around holidays, etc. I typically teach the same course in both fall and winter (and spring!) terms, when different holidays take place at different times of the term.

I've had midterms on a Friday before a long weekend, or on the next day after a holiday. Some are upset, because they've planned to be out of town on those days.

Well, er, sorry, but they *are* regularly scheduled "school days." So I don't take holidays into account, and try to divide the course up as logically as possible.

As I've found, about half the class would like to get an exam out of the way before a holiday. And the other half would like to have a few extra off-days to study for the exam...

Anonymous said...
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psyco 267- there was one class where the notes weren't in the same order as what was on the screen, which got some of us confused. that's my only minor complaint for now

Anonymous said...
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Psyco 267 - Good class so far. Can you post answers to the virtual lab questions?

Karsten Loepelmann said...
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@Anonymous (11:31 AM): I update my notes constantly. Sometimes, I make a change and forget to update the HTML (or PowerPoint). Sorry!

@Anonymous (9:22 AM): I don't want to post answers because, for some questions, there can be more than one acceptable answer. Also, I have a very limited pool of (good) questions that I draw from. If I post the answers online, I've found that some students will "pass on" those answers to students who take the course the next term. That's not fair, and defeats the purpose of having the labs.

I realize that I forgot to talk about the answers when I handed back the last set of labs--I'll do that next class.

Anonymous said...
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I think that you (and profs in general) should be less secretive about the mandatory (or non-) use of textbooks in studying for the exams. For 267, yes it was obviously massively required. But for 365 and 494, the textbook readings are not explicitly testable, and I don't think profs realize (odd...being that they were students once!) how much time and stress they could save students by saying that textbooks are basically for backup knowledge. The only gained in NOT telling students this is so that people feel like they didn't waste their money on buying it. That is my beef with a lot of classes, not just yours. But people work themselves into a frenzy over not finishing the readings when they aren't even tested. I LOVE the setup of 365, how you basically had the textbook quizzes, and the lecture notes exams. That is a perfect split between getting use out of our book, and knowing exactly if and when the material would be tested.

Anonymous said...
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Why are presentations scary? Don't tell me you were one of those students who LIKED presenting...You are definitly a minority!

Blogger said...
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I was wondering why you didn't have a "review" lecture for 494? It is not like we ran out of time...we had an extra lecture that we didn't have to go to. Granted, when you did it in 365 the concepts were a lot more confusing, but the option would have been nice if we did have questions.

Karsten Loepelmann said...
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@Anonymous (8:09 PM): I don't try to be deceptive about readings. The most trouble seems to occur in intro psych, where many students assume textbooks are optional. I make it a point to explicitly say that the majority of exam questions are based on the textbook.

Back in the day, my profs didn't tell us *anything* about the exams. Number of questions, lecture-vs.-textbook, nothing.

@Blogger: Hmm, it didn't occur to me. I specifically plan to do the 365 review because so many students have so many questions about some fundamental things. But in 494, students generally seem to have a good grasp on the material.

I usually cancel a class in 494 for the hands-on project, but I calculated I wouldn't have enough time. I'll have to recalculate that. Thanks for the suggestion.

Anonymous said...
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Lecture notes: I was in your 104 class a couple years ago, and now 267, and I must say (you probably get this a lot): Thanks for saving me paper and ink! Your lecture notes format is fantastic and allows me to easily copy and paste your notes onto Word and color-code and reformat them to my liking (I'm weird like that).

Textbook: The textbook chapters are short and sweet (but there are a lot of them!). I took 258 (Cognitive psych) last semester with a textbook by the same author, and he uses a lot of the same examples and anecdotes in both. Repetitive, but I'm not complaining!

Exam: The midterm was very fair. The only thing that caught me off guard was that one ambiguous question with 2 right answers. Thank you for clearing that up with me during the exam.

Karsten Loepelmann said...
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@Anonymous: That's why the notes are not PDFs. Hate PDFs. Well, hate Acrobat, anyway.

There is going to be a bit of overlap, unfortunately. I do try to differentiate if it makes sense--like the attention stuff has a bit of overlap, but is mostly different. One is more cognition-focused, the other more perception-focused.

That exam question was an oops. I updated my notes with a very recent study at the last minute. It helped to bring closure to some open questions, so I was delighted to include it. But I forgot that it impacted that one exam question. At least it didn't end up making the question have NO correct answer.

Anastasia said...
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I don't remember where it was that you were talking about lolcats and lolpresidents, but if you like that sort of thing you should checkout lolspiders:
http://insidiousclothing.com/lolspiders/

Cute, aren't they?

Anonymous said...
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Psyco 267- What was the ambiguous midterm question? I didn't catch it. Will the TA be holding another midterm viewing session or will we have to book an appointment?

Karsten Loepelmann said...
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@Anonymous: There was a question that asked about "recent research" which could have been answered two different ways, depending on which study you look at.

I'll ask the class about interest in having another exam viewing...

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