Like many of you, I stayed up much later than usual last Tuesday evening. I flipped channels searching for (and comparing) each network’s up-to-the-minute election results. While each network displayed the election results slightly differently, one image dominated every network’s coverage: a color-coded map of the United States.
According to Walk Score, Boston ranks #3 on their list of transit-friendly cities (see the rankings), with its Transit Score falling in the “Excellent Transit” category. If, like me, you rely on the MBTA and routinely watch multiple over-crowded trains go by before managing to squeeze onto one or spend over an hour on a five-mile commute, you might be scratching your head over how Boston could achieve such a high ranking. How exactly did they measure the quality of public transportation? 1 Have the folks at Walk Score ever ridden the T?
When you teach, it’s natural to wonder how it’s going. Are the students getting it? Are they interested in the course content? Do they think the examples you are using are as illuminating as you do? If you are teaching this fall, consider collecting feedback from your students about their class experience so far. Now, 6-7 weeks from the beginning of the term, is a good time to solicit feedback. It is far enough into the semester that you’ve given yourself and your students time to adjust, but it is still far enough from the end of the term to give you time to tweak and adjust the course components if needed.
Jane Dunphy, a longtime collaborator with the Teaching & Learning Lab and the author of today’s post, directs MIT’s English Language Studies Program and has taught a variety of subjects in professional and cross-cultural communication. She works with colleagues across MIT by developing effective pedagogy for the multicultural classroom and providing support to international TAs and faculty members.
Melissa Barnett, one of TLL’s three Associate Directors for Assessment & Evaluation, clearly relishes the opportunity to discuss all things assessment. During a two-hour workshop tailored specifically for language instructors in Global Studies & Languages (GSL), we explored what we knew, what we didn’t know that we knew, and what we most definitely didn’t know about assessing our teaching and our students’ learning.
In August of 2016, schools using the edX platform agreed on a common data structure (standards) for their MOOCs in order to facilitate research on student learning and to allow for comparisons of data across schools. Of course, education researchers working with massive data sets are not the only ones who require standardized, well-organized data. With increasing frequency, a wide range of decision-makers — from higher ed administrators to marketing analysts to individual consumers — collect and analyze data in order to help answer a broad spectrum of questions and inform their decisions. These analyses rely on well-organized, and often standardized, data.