Forget I ever said that…

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A flurry of national stories has highlighted the topic of recording classroom discussions. Earlier this year at Orange Coast College a student was suspended for recording his professor’s views about President Trump and then publishing them. At the recent Conservative Political Action Conference a workshop encouraged students to do that exact thing. Have you had a student record you? Without your knowledge? How would you know?

These are all complicated questions, so I did some reading and research.

  • FindLaw has an excellent article on the legal dynamics at work in these situations. California is a “two-party consent” state when it comes to recording. While this is typically in reference to wiretaps, they argue the same principles apply in the classroom.
  • Student Judicial Affairs provided some guidance: “Unlike other campuses we do not have a campus policy on classroom recording except: 1) Title 5 governing student conduct does state, in part, the “Grounds for Student Discipline include “unauthorized recording, dissemination, or publication of academic presentations (including handwritten notes) for commercial purpose.” 2) ARC has a specific policy on “Audio Recording Lectures” which states that students are eligible for audio-recording accommodations if their disability impairs access to classroom lectures. (see ARC for the process for requests).”

My strong recommendation is that if this if you are concerned about this you should create an explicit policy for the syllabus. Students often have legitimate reasons for wanting to record class, and their peers may have good reasons for not wanting a discussion recorded. Having a policy requiring consultation prior to recording is consistent with the law and gives you an opportunity to consider the interests of all your students.

Finally, a few reminders.

Join us for an open forum on Community Based Scholarship hosted by Faculty Development and Civic Engagement. Selvester’s 100 3/10 1-3pm.

Faculty Development is searching for the next director!

We held a popular workshop on Dossier Prep for Lecturers earlier this semester. Find the video archive and handouts here.

Dr. Sara Cooper has provided additional Book in Common Material. Check out this section of the CELT page for regular synopsis updates, discussion questions, and other resources.
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It’s week 8, and the Scantrons are flying

exams Multiple choice tests don’t get a lot of respect. But in addition to helping overworked instructors save time, they can, when done well, also be effective measurements both of basic understanding and precise discrimination.  Too often, though, they are simply a measure of how well students take tests.  Here’s an article from Faculty Focus on “7 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Multiple Choice Questions.” (Note: This is not an endorsement of the webinar promoted in the article.)

Other suggestions for writing good multiple choice questions include these from McKeachie’s Teaching Tips (available in MLIB 458 if you want to read more):

  • “The item as a whole should present a problem of significance in the subject-matter field” (78).
  • “Emphasizing in the multiple-choice test introduction that the students should choose the best answer may help prevent lengthy discussion with the student who can dream up a remote instance in which the correct alternative might be wrong” (81).

Even the discussions that follow that persistent student’s defense of her answer, though, are instructive, and should be used to refine future versions of the test.  (Another argument for reviewing tests in class.) My colleagues and I also often swap tests before administering them to weed out items that are unclear or exploitable by the test-savvy. This also allows us to show off our cleverness to each other.

Really good multiple choice questions are hard to write, but developing a bank of them for a course you teach frequently can be a good investment of your time.

This tip was:

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Using Video to Enhance Learning and Teaching: A Hands-On Workshop.

Wednesday, October 22, 12:00-1:30 PM

MLIB 002 TLP Training Lab

Description: The current generation coming through Chico State are visual learners, used to turning to YouTube videos and Video Blogs for entertainment, personal edification, and self-expression. Come and hear how one faculty member has successfully incorporated video introductions as well as video assignments into her class, then start learning how to use our free tools to enhance your own courses with video.

*Authored by Dr. Katherine McCarthy.