professornana (professornana) wrote,

Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch changes

I had to wait to post yesterday's blog post until I was out of the hospital where my sister is recovering from surgery. It turns out that LiveJournal is blocked by their filter. I mentioned it to one of the staff who said she was not surprised. I was. Facebook and Twitter were available. I managed to get to all the other sites I needed (I was doing some grading and writing while Baby Sister slept). But no to Livejournal. And sigh to filters.

The post yesterday somehow did to pick up the Lexile Bank image. Here it is:

Which brings me from the topic of yesterday--choice, to today's topic--change. I drove home this morning to shower and change clothes before heading back to spend the night with my sister. In this case, change was much needed. But those of you who know me well, know I am not a huge fan of change. I have had to be dragged kicking and screaming into some changes; other changes have been embraced enthusiastically, though.

One of the changes for the better has been my thinking about how to assess what my students are doing. I used to bleed over every single assignment. Now, I try for a more holistic approach, settling for some comments on strengths (and, if need be, weaknesses) I see. I just completed the assessment of the individual student introductions. It is a brief assignment that serves a two fold purpose: it lets me see the faces of my online students AND it meets the attendance initiative of the university.

I provide my own intro as a sort of model so students can see I do expect BRIEF and that the photo does not need to be the requisite school photo. This is the one I include at the beginning:

I end with a photo of Scout:

As a result, I have enjoyed photos of students that are casual, often from vacations. Plus, I am getting to know their pets as well. This assignment changes the dynamic of the online environment. I want to get to know students outside of the classroom. They can see me outside as well. This is a change for the better.
Tags: changes
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