Could your tests withstand a grade appeal?

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE A faculty member contacted me recently. She is facing the nightmare so many of us in academia fear. A student is appealing her final grade. Yikes! You may be surprised to hear that this student failed 3 of her 4 course tests. But, that is not what she is contesting. Rather, the student is appealing because “the tests in this faculty member’s course were unfair in comparison to other courses.”  “The tests were too hard.” And now the faculty member must defend her tests before the grade appeal panel. Seeking advice, this faculty member asked me about what she should prepare for her meeting with the grade appeal panel. This is what I told her: Bring copies of your syllabus to demonstrate how the policies of the course, including testing, are clearly laid out. Be prepared to defend the reliability and validity of the course tests. Bring copies of your course tests and all of the corresponding test analyses provided by the test analysis software. Bring copies of your test item blueprints. Be prepared to cite best evidence literature that indicates the tests were reliable and valid. Do you agree? If you were this faculty member, could you provide the grade appeal panel the evidence that indicates your tests are reliable and valid? Likewise, administrators, do […]

Why We Need to Address the WIIFM Question in Our Classroom

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE Have you seen the Broadway show Kinky Boots? There are many great lines in the show. But, one of my favorite lines reminds me of what I believe all college students ask themselves when they’re sitting in our classrooms. WIIFM? The shop owner is excitedly explaining his ideas about expanding his shoe shop to Kinky. And a bored Kinky asks the owner, “Are you going to get to the part about where it concerns me?” In other words, Kinky’s asking, “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM) meaning, “How is this relevant to what I want?  I’m curious. How often do we educators charge into our classrooms and similar to the shop owner splatter our students with content before answering the WIIFM question? I admit that I’ve done it. Typically, it’s because I’ve had “so much material to cover” that I’ve lost myself in trying to get to it. How do we know when students DO NOT perceive the material as being relevant to them? Eyes are glazing over. Cell phones are in use. Social media posts are rampant In other words, we have a classroom full of inattentive students.  How do we get into this spot? We have agendas, objectives, and a curriculum to satisfy. That’s naturally where our thoughts […]

Have You Ditched Your New Year’s Resolution?

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE Are you tired of hearing the hoopla about making a New Year’s resolution? I am. And I’m really tired of hearing skeptics scoff about how few people follow through. When recently I heard someone state that 46% of people don’t make it past 6 months, I thought, “Well, good for those who tried and made it that long!” Yet, I couldn’t help but wonder why 46% of people give up on their resolutions. Or why 30% of people give up on their resolutions in the first few weeks of the New Year. If you are one of the 30%, all is not lost.  Here are 3 reasons people ditch their New Year’s resolutions and simple strategies to get you back on track. The First Reason January beckons us to begin anew. To throw off bad habits and begin fresh. Wouldn’t you agree? We are so fizzled out after the holidays that by the end of December we’re willing to promise anything to anyone. And this is just what we do. Bad idea! Coming off of the holiday in a frazzled state coupled with depleted energy leads us to make resolutions from a place of lack. A place of scarcity.  You know, from those “I’m not enough.” “I don’t do enough.” “I don’t […]

A System to Prevent a Student Mob

by Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE I remember the second time I debriefed graded tests like it was yesterday. A student mob broke out. I was squeaky green new to teaching and erroneously thought I was well prepared. I distributed the tests and individual test result forms and asked students if they had questions. We were about halfway through the test and 15 minutes in, when a student disputed a test item answer. I stood my ground and repeated my rationale for the answer. She indignantly voiced her opinion about my rationale. Then much to my dismay, others joined her parade of indignation. The noise level of the class escalated to a disturbing level. The only mentoring I ever received on this topic was to forgo debriefing tests in class. My response? I calmly instructed the students to return their tests. I packed up my belongings (cursing myself inwardly for bringing so many items to class). I told the class of students, “I don’t appreciate your unprofessional behavior. And I’m not obligated to put up with it” And I left. (Yes, kinda like, “I’m taking my ball and going home.”) I’m still trying to decide whose behavior was more unprofessional – theirs or mine. 🙂 I went to my office baffled. […]

A Thanksgiving Reader

By Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE Happy Thanksgiving week. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. I love it because this is a time of year that calls for reflection. Reflection on all the good things in my life for which I am grateful. I want you to know that you’re on my gratitude list. Thank you for letting me into your life. And most importantly, thank you for bringing your knowledge, passion, and love for teaching and learning to the classroom and to clinical. Students deserve nothing less, right? Click here if you’d like to download this graphic as desktop background. * Click on link. Save image. Click on Control Panel. Click on Display. Click on Personalization. (Or click on Personalization directly from Control Panel.) Cliclk on Destop Background. Browse for image. Click on Save changes. Did you know that having a spirit of gratitude is beneficial to your body, mind, and spirit?  Especially when it becomes a part of your daily practice. What’s not to love about that? It’s free. It’s simple. And it doesn’t take much time. So in this spirit of gratitude, I’m trying something new this year. Together, let’s make a list of the things for which we are thankful. Simply click on my Facebook […]

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