Author Archives: Chris Griffin

As a thought for our students…

Consent, explained with trying to give someone tea.


Two things

First: Thank you. This teaching community has made my whole semester better. I’ve implemented new learning tools and thought about my job in a positive way constantly.

Second, I saw this article and wanted to share. There’s a North Carolina bill that would expect all public universities to require all professors to teach 4-4. I cannot imagine the issues this would cause.

Somehow, it brings to mind the importance of our continuing to learn from each other and to work together.

So will people be around this summer? I’m always up for coffee!!


PS- My husband informs me I’m wrong, time-wise, we’re closer to T-Rex than T-Rex is to a stegosaurus. He’s been studying dinosaurs in the Witmer lab for 14 years, so I trust him! None of this means that humans ever co-existed with T-Rex… Sigh.

Millennials and Teaching

I found this article fascinating and read the study.

American Millennials are among the world’s least skilled

Basically, Americans aged 16-24 score badly on numeracy, literacy and the ability to problem solve with technology. One of the reasons may be the lack of playing that children experience these days:,-policy-and-practice-a-review-of-contemporary-perspectives.aspx Playing has broad developmental effects and helps children learn! To me, this has broad implications on our student’s abilities vs. what we believe they should be able to do. Just because my mother, my grandmother, and my brother can use Google to figure something out, our students may really NOT have that skill!

Chris’s Bios Metrics of Success

My department is currently in the process of justifying the existence of a course. I’m DataLady, so I’ve been running all the metrics. Neil asked about this and I thought maybe others would be interested. I did have to jump through a number of hoops to receive access to some of this data, and I have cleared all personal information (just in cases). For fun, here’s what the analysis folder looks like for 1 course. Screenshot 2015-02-09 17.55.29Screenshot 2015-02-09 17.59.42 Anyone who likes graphs and doesn’t known Prism, please check it out, its lots of fun 🙂 Last year’s results: – Study Habits – > ¾ Learned to take notes on what the instructor says, use pictures in text book and organize class information. – ~ ⅔ Integrate, read textbook carefully, study over an extended time period. – < ½ Read outlines, boldface words in text or immediate review class notes. – Outcome – 100% of the students felt it helped, and would recommend it to 1st and 2nd ½ semester of incoming students. – How to get more into 1500? – 62% want more time to decide between 1500 and 1700 – 38% want 2 exams in 1700 before deciding   – How did Fall ‘13-14 1500 do in Spring ‘13-14 1700? – Told 5 students Yes, 2 moved forward, received A, and C – Told 5 students No, 2 moved forward, received C, and F – Told 8 students Maybe, 5 moved forward, received B, C, C, D, F – Track Spring ‘13-14 1500 students in Fall ‘14-15 1700 – 8 said they would enroll, only 4 total students did enroll, only 1 stayed, they passed with C- Therefore:     Yes = Pass No = C or worse  NOW we have 22 students who went in and 1/3 of them pass. – Students have gone from a 3% chance of passing 1700 to +30% (very small N). For a numbers comparison: Over 1000 students enrolled in 1700 in last year. Statistically, those 7 students would have likely passed without intervention. Exam 1 vs Final Grade ACT scores vs First Exam   Overall, while the grade on the first exam and ACT score track with outcome, I don’t think they are the best way to determine what happens with a student. I have excel files with how students in 1700 do in upper level courses, but that’s respective and not prospective…

Engaging Students in Learning

Hello All, I’m Chris Griffin, a GII in Biological Sciences. I would like to focus on student engagement. I teach Bios 1500X, which is an experimental course designed to help students who have struggled with Bios 1700 (the first of the major intro series). Students start in  Bios 1700, and if they fail the first exam, we encourage to consider withdrawing from Bios 1700, and enrolling in Bios 1500 mid-semester. The goal of Bios 1500 is to find out why these students are failing and try to fix it! Engaging All Students in Science Courses This article focuses on science courses, and I’ll be doing a very short case study, Case of the Sick Student, to go with it. See you soon! Chris Added: Powerpoints 3 Case Study Presentation Fake FLC 1