Exam Template

Did you know that PACE has an exam template for midterms and final exams?

It’s on the Nexus Instructor Communication Portal, under Content – Exams.

We ask that instructors use this to create their exams for use at PACE.

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Changes are Coming: Grade Sheet Process

In an effort to help instructors process grades and concentrate on delivery, starting in January 2019, PACE will be providing instructors with Excel grade sheets that are pre-loaded with your class list.

Watch the Nexus Instructor Communication Portal for more details.

Grammarly

The use of technological aids at work has become a part of our everyday life.  It’s an old joke that many of us grew up learning math from teachers who said we wouldn’t be able to carry around calculators, but now we have a calculator, flashlight, phone, and a link to all of the world’s knowledge sitting in our pocket.

Electronic writing aids are no different.  More and more people are using resources such as Grammarly.  As we support our students to develop as writers, we are looking at every tool we can to help them.  This past year, many students have been using Grammarly with good results, both with their writing and with their understanding of writing.

Starting with the January 2019 intake of students, we are strongly encouraging PACE students to get a subscription to Grammarly.  There are both free and pay versions available and we are treating this online resource like a textbook, putting it on the list of things a student should have to be successful at PACE.

Instructors should be aware of PACE’s promotion of Grammarly and encourage students to use it in their written assignments.  Check out the website, https://www.grammarly.com/, and, where applicable, incorporate it as a recommended resource in your next course.

Happy Holidays!

Gold plating in the Classroom: A Lesson from Project Management

Gold plating is a term in project management that refers to the project team putting extras into the project.  Extras that are not asked for by the client, extras that are not being paid for by the client.  In general, it’s considered a bad thing and should be avoided.  The classroom is the same as a project, gold plating should be avoided. In short, it’s about trying to teach too much.  A common theme in a lot of literature aimed at college and university instructors.

In the classroom context, gold plating is adding in extra teaching points, expanding the lesson beyond the learning outcomes, or adding in trivia to expand the class.  In general, it’s a bad thing for our students.

With most of our classes at 36 hours, with students in the full time program taking courses five days a week.  Students rush to finish assignments, cramming for tests, and juggling any home commitments they have.

Gold plating puts extra pressure on students to learn more points, to try and retain ideas and concepts that aren’t needed.

It’s not that ideas and concepts shouldn’t be expanded on to ensure understanding, adding personal stories and examples that help students fully understand and apply the main lesson.  Those should always be there, but adding in extra material that takes the course further, that should be viewed with skepticism.

As an instructor, strive to find the balance between delivering what the student needs, what PACE wants, and adding in too many extras.