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Motivating your students end-of-semester ...
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indytrucks



Joined: 09 Apr 2003
Location: The Shelf

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2003 11:18 pm    Post subject: Motivating your students end-of-semester ... Reply with quote

To all the uni teachers out there:

I'm wondering if anyone else encounters this problem. Like clockwork, the end of first semester comes round (within a couple of weeks) and like clockwork, the end of May signals the arrival of 28C temperatures, profuse sweating, stifling classrooms and distracting fashion trends. Translation? My students would rather be eating glass than listen to anything I have to say about course material, final exams, the weather, alien abductions or Baby Vox.

I'm curious if anyone has a special contingency plan for the end-of-semester doldrums. I've been at this a while and still haven't found a truly effective remedy. Of course, ticking down the weeks until two months vacation eases the pain ... Very Happy
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rudyflyer



Joined: 26 Feb 2003
Location: pacing the cage

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2003 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

glad your students are as gassed as mine. 45-50 minutes and they are whining. At least here they are still taking a lot of class trips even this late in the semester so I still get some free time despite worrying about covering the material for a standardized final

my only strategy is to keep thinking in less than 4 weeks I'll be on a beach for at least a month
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Real Reality



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2003 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rudyflyer,
"only strategy is to keep thinking in less than 4 weeks I'll be on a beach for at least a month"

I wish my university allowed such long vocations. It is hard for me to get two weeks in the summer or winter.

---------

Good luck with the last few weeks. Remind your students of the final exam. "You need this for the final."
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Medic



Joined: 11 Mar 2003

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2003 6:22 am    Post subject: Motivating your students end-of-semester ... Reply with quote

Tell them that there test is coming up, and that they had better prepare for it or they're going to get an F. That's assuming they Know what to prepare for, and that you have also covered the material in class.
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Canadian Teacher



Joined: 22 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2003 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of my students have never been terrible interested in learning anything...they are in university because Daddi can pay the tuition. It will be quite a shock when a whole whack of them get "F" grades, which they think is impossible.

Anyway, my rule is: "If you do not want to study, sit quietly. Sleep. Play with your handphone. Just do not disrupt the two thirds of the students who want to learn something."

If the slackers enter into their little gossip sessions I go to their book and put a big "1" in it. If I get to "2" they have to leave.

The absurd thing is the kids to not realise that they will lose their participation points for the class. Not that any of them really care. The majority of them coasted through high school and really do not belong in university.

The heat thing is funny. I am from Canada which is harldly known for hot weather. Yesterday it was about 26'C here. There was a great sea breeze coming though the window. I was not remotely uncomfortable but I got the chorus of "Teacher! AIRCON!" Of course most of them were wearing long sleeves and sweaters. DUH!!!
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The Lemon



Joined: 11 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2003 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It will be quite a shock when a whole whack of them get "F" grades, which they think is impossible.


We're three weeks away from the best week of the year. Parades of teary-eyed students, some of whom I've never seen before, arrive at my office with stories of woe (and jobs) and reasons why I must - MUST! - pass them. I bring out one of the course outlines that I passed out on the first day of class and they promptly threw in the garbage. It's in English and Korean and spells out quite clearly what I expect. They always seem so surprised that I'm going to enforce what I said I would.

That the teacher doesn't give grades - the students earn them - is a totally foreign concept here. As is taking responsibility for their own (in)actions.
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rudyflyer



Joined: 26 Feb 2003
Location: pacing the cage

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2003 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Lemon wrote:
Quote:
It will be quite a shock when a whole whack of them get "F" grades, which they think is impossible.


We're three weeks away from the best week of the year. Parades of teary-eyed students, some of whom I've never seen before, arrive at my office with stories of woe (and jobs) and reasons why I must - MUST! - pass them. I bring out one of the course outlines that I passed out on the first day of class and they promptly threw in the garbage. It's in English and Korean and spells out quite clearly what I expect. They always seem so surprised that I'm going to enforce what I said I would.

That the teacher doesn't give grades - the students earn them - is a totally foreign concept here. As is taking responsibility for their own (in)actions.


agree with you Lemon. In my case they don't come to my office since I don't go there very much. They just flood my email or they show up at the final after not showing up the entire semester and they wonder why they got an F. At the midterm I handed out a Korean version of my policies where they had to sign they understood the policies, think I got 1/5th back.

Whats worse is how these kids think that if they just stand there that I will somehow magiclly change their Fs. I've had people stay in classrooms/my offices for like 30 minutes refusing to leave after I tell them I'm not going to change thing. Must of seen that Korean boxer in 88 do it and think it'll work, didn't work then, won't work now
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Canadian Teacher



Joined: 22 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2003 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love it Rudy. I have long experience of this now. My students are required to keep a notebook with entries for vocabulary and on-board models every day. They must also buy my personal supplement book for a fat W2000, I got tired of copying all day. They must also bring a dictionary to class.

In my outline, I tell them in Korean and English that if they want to complain I must see the supplement book, notebook and text book if they want to complain about the grade. This alone removed 80% of my complainers.

When the inevitable whines start I ask "Where is your notebook?" Of course the dog ate it. The I open the supplement book and have them read it. I ask "Do you understand Korean?" The answer is a sheepish "Yes, teacher" I then put another exam in front of them. I tell them they can go up a maximum of 20% if the go home, pull an all nighter and come back the next day for the second exam. Not one has ever taken the second exam.

As an aside, my uni lowered the exam score to get in this year. My crop of freshmen can barely dress themselves. Some could not deliver Chinese food. One kid is SOOOO dumb he missed the exam. He drags his sorry behind into class two weeks later like nothing happened. I informed him, "Sorry Min-su, but you cannot pass this course." He does not believe me and still continues come.

I have a "special needs" student. Daddi has money so he is in. He is extremely disruptive in class. After he got 0 on the mid term, I told him in Korean, "If you never come back, I'll give you a C+. If you come to class, you get an F." Guess what? He still shows up.

One kid gets 6% on the midterm. Yes, SIX percent. He comes in an pleads to take a make up exam. I allow it. Two days later I gave him EXACTLY THE SAME EXAM. Guess what? He gets TWELVE PERCENT! Added to that the exam was so easy a drunk monkey could pass it. I even told them what pages to study. The questions were varbatum from the book!

UGH!
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ajuma



Joined: 18 Feb 2003
Location: Anywere but Seoul!!

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Geez, I'm sure glad that I don't have all of YOU for teachers! Don't you all remember those couple of weeks before the end of the semester? How many classes did YOU cut?? (Oh, that's right, most Western unis don't HAVE attendance policies!!!)

What I do to keep the kids coming (and interested, AND speaking English) is to stop teaching new material 2 weeks before the exam. We do some exam review for the first part of the class, then play some type of conversation game. (Chosen to correspond with what they've been learning, of course!) It keeps them interested and awake!

As for the cellphone thing: My policy is this: If a phone rings in class, the offender must answer IN ENGLISH! "Hello?" This puts a stop to the ringing phones. If I see someone sending a text message, I just take the phone until the end of class. Works for me!
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kimcheeking
Guest




PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ajuma wrote:
As for the cellphone thing: My policy is this: If a phone rings in class, the offender must answer IN ENGLISH! "Hello?" This puts a stop to the ringing phones. If I see someone sending a text message, I just take the phone until the end of class. Works for me!


If a phone rings in my class the students gets a mark on their attendance form. -1%, It only happens once, when the students see the mark go down that first time, they all turn off their phones and I never have a problem again.
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Circus Monkey



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: In my coconut tree

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2003 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Canadian Teacher wrote:
I have a "special needs" student. Daddi has money so he is in. He is extremely disruptive in class. After he got 0 on the mid term, I told him in Korean, "If you never come back, I'll give you a C+. If you come to class, you get an F." Guess what? He still shows up.


The gods must be crazy!!

CM
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Circus Monkey



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Location: In my coconut tree

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2003 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ajuma wrote:
Geez, I'm sure glad that I don't have all of YOU for teachers! Don't you all remember those couple of weeks before the end of the semester? How many classes did YOU cut?? (Oh, that's right, most Western unis don't HAVE attendance policies!!!)


Way to try to compare apples and oranges, ajuma. If I attended university in which attendance was enforced (which is debatable in Korea although on paper it's supposed to count towards a student's grade) then I would attend class. Simple.

CM
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mokpochica



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2003 4:25 pm    Post subject: huh? Reply with quote

ajuma wrote:
Geez, I'm sure glad that I don't have all of YOU for teachers! Don't you all remember those couple of weeks before the end of the semester? How many classes did YOU cut?? (Oh, that's right, most Western unis don't HAVE attendance policies!!!)


Anyway, most Western profs have attendance policies, but it differs from class to class. They're usually quite strict in my experience. My grade would have been severely affected if I didn't show up to even 3 of my classes in a semester in most cases (for classes that met three times a week).
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Ryst Helmut



Joined: 26 Apr 2003
Location: In search of the elusive signature...

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2003 7:23 pm    Post subject: Attendence is a MUST Reply with quote

Ok, so I wasn't a steller-go-to-every-one-of-my-classes student, but that's not the point. If you are wanting to compare western universities to 'our' Korean universities, I'd say they're the same. In my Enlglish Lit courses attendance in not enforced, as they don't need to hear a lecture, but better understand the material. Just like that of my home country. However, I remember taking those language courses for 4 credits, and attendance was strictly enforced...just like my Conversation courses.

Circus Monkey is right, if the rule is that you must attend, or suffer deductions, then I'd attend (and did).

Regarding the end-of-the-semester hob-knobbers, I nip it in the butt. I already give my finals a week early (still have 'class' the last day, sha!), week before I have a free-class. During this week, I just sit in the class and allow students to do whatever, while I wait for them to approach me with questions about the exam. Those who are serious, work....the whiners are too busy messaging.

Before that, well, I've a deal with my classes. If they work really hard and put forth a good effort and accomplish all sections I assign, then they can leave class. Some students are out in 45 minutes (of a 2 hour class). My classes almost never pass 75 minutes....for the conversation courses, I mean.

They can beg all they want, I tell them I don't have time to listen. My car is dirty and I have these papers to mark...but if you wash my car (hose in my office/bathroom leads out back of the building) I'll have time to give you a quiz that CAN boost your grade. Ahhh, I've gotten free labour a few times!!!

That's about it fer now.

Shoosh,

Ryst[/i]
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waterbaby



Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Location: Baking Gord a Cheescake pie

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2003 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ajuma wrote:
Geez, I'm sure glad that I don't have all of YOU for teachers! Don't you all remember those couple of weeks before the end of the semester? How many classes did YOU cut?? (Oh, that's right, most Western unis don't HAVE attendance policies!!!)


I don't know any uni's that don't have attendance policies! 80% or fail... I guess you've studied all around the world at different universities then to come up with your "most Western uni's" comment???
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