Saturday, June 09, 2007

Backward Glance on Summer School

I'm heading into the final week of my T340 summer school class. I love teaching the fundamentals of advertising course for lots of reasons. First of all, advertising is pretty much ubiquitous and there are always current examples for students to be able to relate to. telecommunications industry & management.> Another reason I enjoy advertising is that it is a medium through which some of the best example of modern-day creativity shine through. A third reason I like the class is that much of the work my colleagues and I conduct in the research lab is directly applicable to the task of persuading people to feel a certain way about a brand.

On top of all these reasons why I love teaching this course, this particular semester I have again been reminded how rare an occurrence it is for college students to read the chapters they are assigned in course textbooks. We use a good textbook , and although it suffers from the typical symptom of textbooks in a fast-moving field like Telecomm--namely having examples that are out of date due to the necessity of taking a snapshot of a rapidly moving field--it is filled with important vocabulary and concepts that a student interested in advertising should be aware of. They should especially be aware of them if they are planning on having a career in the field.

Anyway, as always, when I get to the end of a semester I look back upon it and think of how I would do things differently. I am more certain than ever that having periodic quizzes on the assigned reading is MANDATORY. I didn't have them as part of the course requirements this semester. As a result, I'm positive that my students don't read the chapters until about 24-48 hours before the exam. This really slows the learning process...and I'm sure makes it less effective.

What got me thinking about this was an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education that I read this morning which presented research suggesting regular quizzes-which require focused recall of recently...learned information.--lead to better recall for information learned. This improvement not only remains over time, it also occurs best for short-answer quizzes but (maybe surprisingly) even for multiple-choice quizzes. Here's a copy of the article.

Now, come the Fall semester, when I have 75 students rather than the 23 enrolled in the course for this summer session, I may regret having to subject me (or, maybe more precisely my graduate teaching assistant) to that much grading...I'm now just so sure that it would elevate the discussion in my classroom.


Samuel D. Bradley said...

Thanks, Rob. This is a very timely post regarding an issue about which I have been on the fence for a while.

theaudioprof said...

Glad it was interesting to you, Sam. Others might want to check out Sam's related post.

Here's the address: