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Spring 2022
Facilitated by Regina Baker and Marisa Kozlowski


Regina Baker, Sociology

Learning while doing and then reflecting (and making that reflection count even if the grade is just complete/incomplete)

  • Mini-research exercises to learn methodology with reflection
  • Games to build excitement and engagement
  • Time/pair/share
  • Explicit about the values of reflection for learning with students
  • Have the final assignments in classes be reflection papers rather than exams to segment the value of reflection rather than assessment (complete/incomplete). Ask questions like
    • Describe an Ah-Ha moment when you experienced the world differently
    • What are some key takeaways from this class
    • What preconceived notions have changes as result of this class?
    • Ask students to reflect even if they also take an exam
    • Have students reflect on what happens in class
  • Pre-reflection on the course topic (complete/incomplete)
    • What does poverty look like in your hometown?
    • What is your personal experience with poverty?
    • Why does poverty exist?
    • What is research?
  • Drop lowest scores
  • Grade on content rather than writing issues (and choose to refer to writing center)

Marisa Kozlowski

Approach teaching as an experimental scientist

  • Organic chemistry 98% of students are pre-med
  • Front load course with objectives and return to them consistently throughout the semester (so included in canvas modules, in class everyday and so on)
  • Focus on the objectives as things to learn and not just a grade
  • Reassure students that they are smart enough to do the course and able to complete the course at the beginning
  • Structure
    • Recorded sessions (provided a week ahead)
    • Weekly quiz toward the goal of mastery learning
    • Give students multiple attempts (3) on different versions of the quizzes; proficiency cut off is 80%
    • 22 total assessments (2 per week)
    • Students do not get answer keys (a pain point)
    • Students get three attempts at a quiz but can’t drop any
  • Use objectives based on Marzano’s Taxonomy
    • Started by defining learning objectives per modules/chapters
    • Within a module in Canvas
    • Tag assessments to learning objectives
    • Project in problem solving sessions
    • Break down questions on quizzes so that instructor can see what students know and what they don’t
  • No final exam
  • Quizzes held Fridays during scheduled class time
  • Asked two reflective essay questions (did not read all of them) asked about
    • Working through failure
    • Advice to their past selves about how to learn organic chemistry - gives this to students the next term


  • Penn needs better testing spaces
  • Gradescope is helping with grading efficiency
  • Tell students the modality in advance
  • Two breaks built in weeks that students don’t have to take quizzes and can work to catch up if they need to. Mental health break (1 week in semester with no quizzes to allow students to catch up) and Spring break.


  • 68% of students receive an A- or an A
  • There were still Ds and Fs in the course; but fewer Cs than before
  • Will compare students who go through the next course in the series and see how students going through this modality compared to other sections


From the Discussion

  • For reflectionsoving from detailed rubrics to “good faith” grading – give students complete or incomplete get credit for trying

  • Do students appreciate when the “script is flipped” especially when it requires more work and effort?

    • Growth is painful

    • The appreciation may come later down the line



  • Be clear about you want students to get out of the courses you design

  • Design questions and give grades based on  what you want students to learn (so reflection on learning allows students to start to understand the process

  • Allowing students to learn from failure

  • Be clear about what you expect and why the course is structured in the way it is