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How to save time and improve your teaching - 2

Last updated on 9 November 2021
In last week’s tip you learned about postponing grading, to improve active blended learning. This week we’re expanding on this by showing students examples of finished assignments.

Most courses that make use of active blended learning, instruct their students to make partial assignments during the course. To help them learn optimally, it’s important that students receive feedback and in some cases a grade.

Show students examples of high quality finished assignments

For the bigger type of assignments - like physics problem-solving, a research study, a project, or a presentation - you can save time by showing students good examples of a finished assignment on forehand. Preferably, these are examples where you elaborate on your feedback with comments (either written or video) and explain what exactly you consider good or bad, and why (so-called worked examples). For example:

This approach is an effective way of giving so-called feedup: you make it clear beforehand what the students should strive for.

The example that you give should contain a different case example than the one you’re asking your students to make in their assignment. This way, your example shows mainly the structure of the end product or the method for solving a problem. Showing good and bad examples will also save you time because you will have to explain less during feedback afterwards. 

This tip is a bit different from the tip where you ask students to formulate their answers first and do not give them access to other examples on forehand.

Digital support

Canvas makes it easy to provide sample materials.

Sources

Ayres, P. (2012). Worked Example Effect. In N. M. Seel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning (pp. 3467–3471). Springer US. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_20