Thank you for the feedback. Most of you are fine with the course. Grading/tests got the most negative scores (27%), but less than the number of positive marks. Most comments about notes indicated you like the current approach (86%). Organization & expectations are unclear to some (10%). A few things warrant a response:
• NOTES - If you find the reading too arduous, you might print out an outline first, read/highlight, then annotate in class or after class discussion. Alternatively, the Campbell Biology text we use in Advanced Biology is, I think, a great book, and there are copies on reserve in the library, or you can start with your test prep book for an overview of a topic. You can't expect to be able to get the bulk of the written notes from class, sorry; we would move too slow.
• ORGANIZATION/EXPECTATIONS - Trust I am not being obtuse on purpose. Maybe use the blog feature on this page to send out questions to classmates/me for clarification?
• ASSIGNMENTS - I can't read much because my time is spent creating the lessons. The ppts are especially time consuming. Are they worth it, do you need them? I will try to assign the occasional thing I can grade easily, like the article/SOAPS.
• GRADE/CATEGORIES - I will continue to consider this, however, I feel the grades the current scheme generated for fall are, when I look at them subjectively, pretty accurate. The curve is skewed to A and B's and only a few did not make the C. This is in part because I am setting the upper limit on tests based on the class average score, regardless of how low. Also remember that an A grade indicates excellence and C is average - for AP students - and those are in respect to demonstrating knowledge, not willingness to do the assigned work. If you are getting a C, I do not think your work will pass muster on the exam, but you pass the class.
• LAB - They can be complex and it's easy to get hung up on the protocol and lose sight of the purpose. Best practice is to ask yourself at the end of each day why we did what we did. If you can't answer it, and we don't go over it the next class, bring it up. Others no doubt have the same question.
• CONTENT/TIME CONSTRAINTS - You (and I) have to give up the notion that we will 'cover it all'. Evidently no one does, and yet students pass the exam. I will try to start class more promptly and reduce the tangents, as suggested. I will post exam rubrics too, rather than use class time for this. Help me out by getting to class on time.