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Friday, September 28, 2007

It's a Nice Day, So A Quarter Of My Class Is A.W.O.L.

It's a beautiful Friday here at Unknown University - it rained last night, and today is clear and sunny and about 80 degrees. So of course, 11 of my 45 students were absent from my investments class (they had a quiz Wednesday, so they figured "Why not? It's not like he'll give us a quiz!"

I try to have my students give me feed back every week or so on what they're enjoying (or not) in the class, and what they think I can improve on (or am already doing well). In addition, I ask them what topics in the course are giving them the most difficulty or causing the most confusion.

A lot of people think it's way overboard, but it only takes a couple of minutes, and often gives very valuable feedback. I don't report on ALL the feedback, but only address the few issues that are mentioned by multiple people. After all, if one student mentions it, it could be just a personal preference, but if 5 mention it, it's likely a problem. This time around, a couple of them though I spent too much time giving them grief for being late or absent. And they had a point - why lecture the people who are there about the importance of being there?

So, I told them that I agreed with them wholeheartedly . And since so many were absent, everyone who had signed the attendance sheet that day (I'd already collected it) got 5 points added to their most recent quiz score. In addition, they should mention this with a big smile to the eleven students who'd missed the class.

What can I say? I'm an applause whore at times. It had been a long week, and it's not like the missing students can complain about it to the Dean "Um - Dr. Unknown didn't give bonus points to all the students - only the ones who showed up for class."

It'd probably make his day.

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