As an avid proponent of “gamification” I was blindsided by a suggested technique last week.

After posting about student rubric creation, our colleague, Lisa Flexner, told me of this technique she learned from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Choose Your Own Adventure

I liken this to a child psychology trick I learned years ago, where you offer two choices instead of open ended questions (“Do you want carrots or broccoli?” vs. “What do you want to eat?” [it’s always cookies]).

Thus, giving students a choice in how they learn material can still lead them to learning what you want them to, but also gives them the (illusion?) of choice.

For this, students need to reach a certain point value for their grade. They then decide which assignments/exams they want to use to get them there. While you may need to keep an eye out for point loopholes, students will gravitate to what mode they are most comfortable with. Lisa mentioned that this resulted in many students accumulating enough points early on so they didn’t need to take the final.

For students with test anxiety, this can be a course savior. It might also keep some students from being caught with fewer points than expected at the end of the term.


In this week’s exciting installment of “us teech gud”, I bring you an interesting technique that you may find quite useful.

Hopefully you have learned that, when students need to teach material to other students, they need to repackage the information, and often come out with a better understanding of the material. This exercise in metacognition is a powerful tool that can be implemented in varying ways.

The linked article from The Teaching Professor suggests a way to utilize this process for rubric creation.

Rubric creation article

The primary take-aways I picked up from this are

A) Students have to think of what quality is for the assignment, not just what boxes need to be checked.

B) Their active involvement promotes investment in how they approach the quality of their own work on the assignment.

Tim Burnett

Instructor of Kinesiology

From The Teaching Professor, an article about where the responsibility lies in education.

To save you some time, here are some key take-aways from the post “Stop Blaming Students! Why We Must Teach Students, Not Content” by Liz Norell

“What students need

As faculty, we have an important role to play in breaking down unnecessary barriers that might impede our students’ sense of belonging. In wrestling with the bigger question, “What do they need us for?,” I’ve come to believe that the faculty role breaks down into three spheres. We…

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We here at the Teaching Excellence Committee do things. I know, a committee that does things? Strange!

Here are some links to some of the things the TEx committee does, along with some additional resources from main campus. No need to reinvent the wheel; we have top-of-the-line plastic hub caps right here!

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