Renegade Advice on Supporting Persistence, Managing Grading, and More!

Kalina Hill and Juan Manzano adding strategies to supporting persistence poster

Yesterday I had the pleasure of hosting a discussion with new faculty and experienced faculty on a wide-variety of topics. These topics ranged from supporting student persistence to balancing work/life and thriving in the first year. Our discussion was structured as a gallery walk. Faculty engaged in discussions on these topics with colleagues and wrote their strategies on posters for each of the topics. 

For a recap of the tips and tricks faculty shared, read on!

Supporting Persistence

  • Maintain constant communication
  • Send Canvas announcements
  • Create videos
  • Connect students with support services (DSPS/EOPS/SID)
  • Send communications via Starfish (flags and kudos)
  • Encourage students to join various clubs/groups
  • Celebrate make up work and communicate a positive response to late work
  • Develop relationships with students

Integrating Active Learning

  • Start with low-stakes activities
  • Create project oriented teams
  • Let students work on team projects using latest tools worthy of industry gold-standard
  • Help students develop skills for the workforce 
  • Align course activities with values

Managing Grading 

  • Grade assignments within 7 days after the due date
  • Learn Canvas Gradebook functionality
  • Remind your students of upcoming due dates
  • Put limits on grading
  • Be mindful of stress influencing grading
  • Use rubrics (ask other faculty and find rubrics on Canvas Commons:))

Balancing Work/Life

  • Set communication boundaries with students and coworkers
  • Articulate response times to clarify expectations
  • Use “Do Not Disturb” on your phone so you’re not on 24/7
  • Keep a routine
  • Don’t be afraid to take a break from email over the weekend
  • Schedule personal time just as you would a meeting in your calendar
  • Tell students to not text your Bakersfield College office phone
  • Understand your priorities in life and follow them

Thriving in the First Year

  • Ask plenty of questions
  • Get feedback on as much as possible
  • Read the faculty contract
  • Seek out a mentor
  • Keep calm, don’t panic
  • Know when to say “not yet”
  • Be flexible: Both in life/class/mind/body
  • Be prepared every day for preps
  • Develop new faculty colleagues/friends (You are not alone!)

Succeeding in Evaluations

  • Be open and confident
  • Relax- they aren’t there to look for problems
  • Be humble
  • Be prepared
  • Pick measurable and attainable goals
  • Don’t be afraid to try new innovative ideas

Building Relationships with Students

  • Use the remind app
  • Ask students about their weekend and majors
  • Provide time for introductions
  • Respond to online discussions
  • Have photo and email in Canvas 
  • Know students’ first and last names
  • Ask students how they see themselves in 2, 3, 4 years time
  • Know students preferred pronouns
  • Ask students what courses they are taking 
  • Use a first day survey
  • Have a text/phone bank before start of class to connect with students

Creating a Classroom Community

  • Use breakout rooms/Kahoot! or fun ways to compete
  • Integrate small group activities
  • Encourage students to find a buddy in case they miss class
  • Connect students who have the same major 
  • Use video for low-stakes assignments
  • Create a class logo/metaphor/mascot 

Designing Meaningful Student-Student Interactions

  • Ask questions
  • Develop relationships
  • Work on labs/workbooks in teams
  • Learn about technology that can help
  • Provide student hours
  • Create inclusive class environments (welcome diversity)
  • Look at your class as a student

Making Technology Work for You

  • Work with Academic Technology
  • Learn about BC’s media ecology (Starfish, Canvas, etc.)
  • Experiment with technology in the classroom
  • Create a Google phone number
  • Follow Academic Technology on social media and YouTube
  • Reach out to Academic Technology with ideas/contributions on various tools

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