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Criminology Class, Fall 1999

California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Latest update: September 6, 1999
E-Mail Curran or Takata.

Jeanne's Notes on Exercise 4: Learning to Communicate Learning
Sample E-Mail Answers to Exercise 4: Learning to Communicate Learning



Jeanne's Notes on Exercise 4: Learning to Communicate Learning

Curran and Takata, Teaching Series
Copyright: September 1999. "Fair Use" encouraged.

  1. Look for phrases that could also describe your dog.

    An example I've always liked is "This student shows initiative and is willing to explore resources on her own."

    My dog has lots of energy. Lots of initiative. If allowed off leash he is willing to explore the neighbors' resources in garden fertilizer by rolling gleefully in it. But the "doggie" bone would describe him.

  2. Read any of the Reports of Learning for the Spring 1999 classes. Spot and copy one that could have been a "doggie" bone. Why do you think I used it?

    Here's one:

    "One early submission seems to have been individual. Then a later very well done exercise from a group. Missing exercises must be made up. No project."

    Sounds very much to me like I couldn't put a face to this student. The report of learning is based on minimal written records, with no detailed recall of specific evidence of learning.

  3. Think back through classes you have taken. Describe in 25 words or less some work you did, studying, thinking, discussing the concepts, applying what you learned, that you are pretty sure your teacher did not know about.

    I recall one student, who when she received a grade of B, e-mailed me a complete list of all the things that she had done that should have given her an A in the course. When I asked how I was supposed to know she had done them, she merely looked perplexed. This is a very common problem. Your teacher cannot know of the efforts you are making unless you find some way to tell her/him.

    Learning theory that might help: the Herbartian apperceptive mass. You are assuming that everything in your head is in your teacher's head also. Wrong. You must find a way to communicate your learning. The student who drives us all crazy by asking questions to show off and let everyone know how much he knows is really trying to deal with this predicament. We need to find a better way of communicating our efforts to learn, the skills we are acquiring, and the factual content of what we have learned. Tests deal mostly with the latter.

  4. Describe how you might tell me about that work so that it would be included in your final evaluation.

    You might try using the form on the Ways of Measuring Learning, and Infamous Grades and Letters of Recommendation file to come up with a form of your own, one that list your efforts, your skills, your factual mastery. Then make sure that you communicate that to me so that it is included in your evaluation.



    Sample E-Mails

    None up yet on September 6, 1999.