Robert's Teaching Tip of the Day (Tip 2)
Bond University has recently celebrated its 20th birthday. According to the vice chancellor, Robert Stable, Bond is well on its way to join the Ivy League, Harvard, Yale and Princeton. This, so I read amused, is driven by Bond's epic struggle towards academic excellence. It has definitely nothing to do with any Porsches or Maseratis in the student parking lot.
As I happened to accompany Bond on its Golden Path to enlightenment and have seen the business model from the inside, I have skimmed their tricks of trade in the process. Tricks I'm ready to share with you.
One direct way to excellence is simply to prep students for exams. That is called week 13, actually the week right before the centrally organized exams. This is the week where the students realize that their physical presence in the class room during the trimester may only have subliminal reverberations on their overall performance in the exam.
Especially for those who did email to you:
Robert, I cannot be in class this month. I'm in Cairns, it's travel time. You understand.
What is unwise - so I learned the hard way - is to let students just digest the material and then test them. It is like watching Maseratis crashing into concrete walls. It's a interesting sound, though.
No, to avoid that students go in full panic mode and to avoid to have a George on your back it is better to proactively use the time to practice the exam, and the exam questions. One at a time, complete with background and solution. That way you push your numbers up.
Still, you should expect unsolicited answers:
Robert, if I wanted to know that, I ask my technician.
Robert, how am I supposed to know that?
Robert, the rest you can answer for yourself.
Some even add a smiley. So when they failed, I added a smiley too.
Prep them. And prep them hard.