A semester’s midpoint is an essential opportunity for your students to examine their progress in a course and for us to do a check-in on teaching our course.
As an instructor, you can help students become aware of their standing through the midterm grade submission. Midterm grades are due on Friday, October 14, by 2:15 p.m. and are submitted electronically via Canvas or AccessPlus. Read about grading policies on the ISU Catalog Grading website. Review the Grade Submission in Canvas guide and follow the step-by-step guide to submit grades for any midterms. For additional tips, join the Grade submission using Canvas workshop on October 5 (9-10 a.m., via Webex or 2030 Morrill)
Plus/Delta: A course check-in
The Plus/Delta tool, also known as the Midterm Assessment Technique, helps students reflect on their responsibility to your course, what they should continue doing to learn (PLUS), and what they need to change for the course to improve for them (DELTA) (Helminski & Koberna, 1995). It also gives feedback on what changes could help them within the course by asking these four open-ended questions:
- What is helping me to learn in this class?
- What changes are needed in this course to improve learning?
- What am I doing to improve my learning in the course?
- What do I need to do to improve my learning in this course?
Students complete the plus delta using paper or online (Canvas Classic quizzes, TopHat, Qualtrics, etc.) during the fourth through the eighth week of the semester. Then, you summarize the results and share themes back with the class. This feedback process sends a powerful message to students that they have responsibility for their learning. It also demonstrates that you, as the instructor, are willing to receive feedback and specify what modifications will (or will not) be implemented. To get started, review CELT’s Use formative course feedback guide.
With a joy for teaching,
Sara Marcketti, Assistant Provost and Executive Director
Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
Pictured above: Karri Haen Whitmer, Associate Department Chair for Teaching, Teaching Professor, Genetics, Development, and Cell Biology (by Christopher Gannon)