Friday, June 21, 2013

Welcome, Dad!

Here's a shout out to my dad, one of the newest members of the blogging world.  He wants to share a lifetime of experience in high frequency analysis and design through the blog "Physics in Support of Engineering".  He's a PhD physicist with a creative and thorough approach to things, he gave me some of my earliest lessons in being an imaginative problem solver.  Have fun blogging, Dad, the ideas here are endless!!


Friday, June 14, 2013

End of the year

I haven't posted in so long, the end of the year just got nuts.  I advise two clubs and I've got my fingers in a lot of pies.  It's all done, so now I'm back to communicating.

ALEKS went well, I liked it as a lab activity.  My class has a 40 min lab in addition to the regular 80 min block schedule.  ALEKS was good for reinforcing basic skills and it let students practice the new concepts at their own pace.  They were cooperative about working on it (for the most part) and the lab time was well run.  There was no increase in their final exam grade compared with last year, though.  I think it helped them, but it didn't translate into higher grades.

This was also the first year that I put all of my course materials online.  The part that worked the best was having my class notes available.  I used a SMART Board in class and exported the day's notes as a pdf.  Student used those regularly.  The ck-12 online book was only marginally successful.  Part of the problem was that I didn't have the entire book ready at the beginning of the year.  I had it about 90% done and I finalized each chapter as they year went along.  They didn't particularly enjoy having to download a new version each chapter and they got a little negative about it.  I still think it's a good idea, though.  We are going to be changing our curriculum around next year for our first try at the Common Core and the flexibility of the online book really lends itself to that.  I will have it done at the beginning of the year this time.