Adonis Diaries

Archive for April 1st, 2021

Undergraduate Students’ feedback for current semester method

Posted by: adonis49 on: November 2, 2008

Article #24, (written on June 11, 2005. Teaching at LAU Byblos university, Lebanon)

After many unsuccessful attempts to generate students’ feedback on my teaching methods and how this course might affect their perspective and behavior in approaching the remaining core courses, before graduation and in their career I decided to include two questions in the final exam that I expected would shed some insight.

The required question, which I told class two weeks ahead of the final exam that it will be part of the exam, directed the students to focus first on the diligent A and B students and then to target the C and D students in their teaching methods in case they might have to teach a course in Human Factors in engineering.

The third part was to restructure the course materials and which chapters should have to be developed further. 

Now, any logical person would expect the students to have prepared detailed answers to these questions since it is an open book and open notes exam, but unfortunately, I didn’t have any shred of evidence that any student did prepare a written answer. 

You would also expect students to be lenient in teaching this course but their reaction was even harsher.

Students feedbacks required that drop quizzes be delivered on a weekly basis after students hand in a chapter summary, that case studies be debated in class, a few lab workshops and many more assignments. 

A student suggested attaching a CD copy of the course material so that they would not have to carry books.

They suggested that summarizing chapters as assignments might force students to read, a suggestion that I did try in a previous semester but was discouraged because the endeavor ended up with students heavily copying from one another, and I having to carry home heavy loads and wasting more time flipping through useless pages.

I think that frequent and consistent drop quizzes are an excellent tool although it will cost me dear time for grading and from teaching time.

Actually, I didn’t expect even the most diligent students to read the whole course materials. 

I provided hints and suggestions on the best way to assimilate the material that would help them navigate through the content of the course. 

I encouraged them to browse through the whole course contents and focus on the graphs, tables and figures and try to comprehend the subject matters by analyzing and using them as facts in their analyses.

May be you would have a better assessment of the students’ harsh requirements, if given the opportunity to teaching, after I expose the load they shouldered throughout the semester.

Besides the mid-term and final exams, each student had to submit two assignments, two lengthy lab projects; three extensive take home exams that covered most of the chapters, three quizzes for 45 minutes each, two presentations to class of graphs, tables and figures, reading revised articles that I assigned them and a take home exam on a research paper concerning hand tool design. 

Not a single student was exposed to a research paper before, and it was a pretty tough awakening for the students planning for higher education. (Actually, the administration promised to sign in for peered-reviewed research articles from the Human Factors society, but never delivered)

I think that the students lacked an appreciation of the time allocated to managing a class that prohibits many well meaning teaching plans. 

In many instances, I had to read in class the assignments and take home exams questions and provide directions because I noticed that the students tended to dig these assignments up from their folders before a long lapse of time. 

The time allocated for students’ presentation takes up more than a third of the teaching hour and fielding questions takes the best of the second third 

There are no lab credit hours for this course and still students believe that they can set aside free hours for doing lab projects necessary for assimilating this course.

The alternatives restructuring of the course materials did not differ much from mine.

The optional question for bonus points asked the students to select 3 topics of interest to them, provide catchy titles and explain in two paragraphs for each topic how it might apply and improve their careers. 

Although I have assigned to the students articles that I wrote as an introduction to the course materials only one student offered complete sentence titles; the rest just named the topics. 

It appears that their preferred topics were: risk and errors, designing interfaces, work environmental factors that might affect performance, human-computer interface and hand tool design. 

A couple students interested in medical technology engineering wanted more emphasis on the biology aspects of the body structure. 

Only one student mentioned the cognitive preference for this single course.

Many students signed petitions to re-include the elective course of “risk assessment and occupational safety and health” for the fall semester but the administration refused to consider these petitions two years in a row.

Why?  I still did not receive any feedback either written or verbal. 

It appears that the meaning of asking students to deliver petitions for any demand is less a matter for taking their cases seriously but to erect roadblocks and present a procedural façade to secure grants as a professional institution.

Actually, students’ apathy toward the effectiveness of the student council is strikingly telling.

I had to harangue my class to grab and snatch their rights by persistent pressure on the administration for the demands in their petitions.

‘We will not be silenced, siloed, or stopped’: federal judge tosses lawsuit targeting Palestinian rights group

A federal judge has dismissed a Jewish National Fund lawsuit that targeted the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights for alleged terror connections over its support for BDS.

BY MICHAEL ARRIA

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that targeted a Palestinian rights organization for alleged terror connections.

In 2019 the Jewish National Fund (JNF), and 12 American citizens living in Israel, sued the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) for $90 million.

The lawsuit alleged that USCPR had funneled money to Boycott National Committee (BNC), which was then used for terrorist activities.

The USCPR was represented by attorneys at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR).

The complaint asserts the money was used to release balloons that ended up causing “extreme emotional pain” for people in Israel.

“Members of the public have been denied the use and enjoyment of KKL-JNF forests and public areas including scenic trails, recreation areas, bicycle trails and public areas and amenities provided by KKL-JNF and others for their use and enjoyment, as the rockets, incendiary terror balloons and kites have interfered with the public’s health, safety and peace,” it reads.

A DC judge dismissed the lawsuit and ruled that it was “to say the least, not persuasive.

“We have been looking forward to this day and welcome the court’s decision,” said USCPR Executive Director Ahmad Abuznaid in a statement.

“This should reinforce to all advocates of freedom for the Palestinian people that we will not be silenced, siloed, or stopped. Justice for all is the only way forward.”

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?creatorScreenName=michaelarria&dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1376936924871598091&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fmondoweiss.net%2F2021%2F03%2Fwe-will-not-be-silenced-siloed-or-stopped-federal-judge-tosses-lawsuit-targeting-palestinian-rights-group%2F&siteScreenName=mondoweiss&theme=light&widgetsVersion=e1ffbdb%3A1614796141937&width=550px

Lawsuits like this one are frequently implemented by pro-Israel groups in an attempt to bog down Palestinian organizations and stifle support for movements like BDS.

“The smearing of human rights advocates as terrorists is a troublingly common and dangerous tactic. The JNF complaint perversely cites our clients’ human rights advocacy in an attempt to support their ultimately fruitless effort to hijack U.S. courts,” explained CCR staff attorney Diala Shamas in a statement,

“We are glad the court did not let these meritless claims stand, and we hope this marks a turning point that discourages private actors seeking to weaponize terrorism laws to silence their critics.”


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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