Monthly Archives: December 2008

Teaching Students the Ask the Right Questions

You will notice that I didn’t say “Teaching Students to Get the Right Answers” which seems to be the preoccupation with most educational practices. Formulating good questions could be cultivated as a skill in organic chemistry because the real experience of laboratory work lends itself to asking questions about the phenomena the student’s are observing. […]

What I Learned This Semester

I think that it is good to look back each semester and reflect on what I have learned from teaching what I did. I have already made an ongoing record of changes that I would like to make next year written in red ink in the Instructor’s Copy of each experiment we have done. Sometimes […]

Do Grades Get in the Way of Learning?

An appropriate topic for the end of the semester is the relationship (if any) between grades and learning. I think most teachers would agree that grades and learning are not obviously synonymous. At this time of year I tend to see grades as a necessary evil – we give grades because it’s what we do. […]

Do Students Learn from Their Mistakes?

One thing that I have regretted about my laboratory sequence in recent years is that there is only the student submission and instructor grading for follow-through with these experiments and subsequent reports. My experience is that instructor grading is poor method to allow students to revisit the assignment, extend their knowledge, and learn from their […]