Striking the Balance: Policies that Allow Flexibility While Nudging Good Decisions
Thursday, September 9th
Flexibility is the name of the game. But with a great privilege, like extensive flexibility in a course, comes great responsibility. The more flexibility that we build into our courses, the more responsibility we are placing on the students. By definition, flexibility requires students to make choices. And some decisions will be poor. Even with the best intentions, humans procrastinate and blow past deadlines. We must not only create flexibility but also keep some of the burden of responsibility on our shoulders to reduce the possible impact of poor choices. We will discuss some of the principles of decision making, discuss how to maximize the possibility of high-quality decisions, and identify specific examples of course policies that help students convert their intentions into meaningful learning. Let’s help our students reach the end of the quarter sincerely saying “thanks, past me” rather than “thanks a lot, past me.”
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About the Presenter
Victoria Cross, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Teaching in the Department of Psychology. She earned her Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from UC Davis in 1999. Her career has focused on effective uses of educational technology in higher education. She has worked in faculty support at national, campus, and department levels. Moving into the Professor of Teaching position has allowed her to initiate a research program in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Her research investigates the challenges faced in leveling the playing field when teaching critical thinking skills to a diverse student body and the cognitive mechanisms at play in university student learning. She primarily teaches lower division research methods and data visualization courses.