Day 5: Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

2 09 2009

Day 5 was just the latest reminder that taking attendance in a large classroom can be excruciating. For this experiment I collected the same data two different ways, in order to be sure we didn’t miss anyone. First, I had the students send an email to a g-mail account I set up for this purpose; the message was blank, but had to include the subject line I gave out in class.

As a backup, once we finished the class I downloaded the activity log from Responseware to see which students were participating during the class session. And of course we had about 8% who could not make theirs work/lost/forgot/misplaced their phones and I allowed these folks to sign in manually. Using g-mail for attendance makes collecting the data pretty quick, but logging it is fairly slow, since the messages in the gmail in-box are not really sortable. This technique gets an A for efficiency on the front end, but a low C for time and effort required later.  Some students still managed not to get themselves counted, despite our triple redundancy check, so I was dealing with their confused emails for several days.

(profound thought of the day) They say that showing up is half of life. But 49% of life is making sure you sign in to receive credit, while the final 1% is wearing sunscreen and using your seatbelt, because if you have a wreck without them, even if you are thrown clear of the car, you could get a nasty sunburn while you’re lying there waiting for the paramedics.

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