Mayo's Clinics

Mar 25, 2017, 18:41

Mayo’s Clinic: Assessment Methods, Part II

This second installment in a four-part series on assessment methods focuses on oral presentations and class participation.

By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT

Last month, we discussed several assessment methods: attendance, open-book tests and take-home examinations. This month, we will discuss two complicated areas: oral presentations and class participation. Next month, we will examine evaluating food preparation, dining-room service and teamwork, and in December, we will discuss the topic of assessment criteria and rubrics.

Details of Oral Presentations
In many of our classes, we ask students to develop and deliver oral presentations, which are a great strategy to help students learn material and build public-speaking skills. Sometimes, the presentations include PowerPoint or Prezi slides and other times they only include talking and gesturing.

While these assignments make sense as teaching strategies, they can be extra hard for students if we do not provide details about the assignment and the ways in which it will be evaluated. Simply asking students to make a presentation does not give them enough information to do it well. Therefore, tell them what you expect in the format of the presentation: a 10-minute talk with handouts, a presentation with 9x9 presentation (nine slides with nine lines per slide and no paragraphs), or a 15-minute presentation without notes or slides.

Mayo’s Clinic: Assessment Methods, Part I

The first part in a three-part series discussing tried-and-true and novel assessment ideas, as well as common methods whose usefulness in your program might be dated. Plus, how to customize and apply lesser-known, but effective, assessment strategies to fit your program.

By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT

Last month, we discussed maintaining a professional journal. This month as fall classes begin, we will talk about assessment since it is a critically important aspect of the work that we do. For the next two months, we will review various methods, and in two months, we will examine assessment criteria.

Purpose of Assessment
One of the gifts that we can give our students is to share our professional judgments of the quality of their work. Based on our best professional knowledge, the feedback that we can give our students helps them see their work more clearly, understand what they do well and learn what they need to improve. Providing those insights takes a commitment to be as objective and thorough as we can be in giving our students useful feedback.

Letter grades do not provide useful feedback. Comments in the margin of papers, corrected examination questions and detailed commentary on performance issues help students learn something. As faculty members, we need to think about which methods of assessment to use and which methods work best for which courses.

Mayo’s Clinic: Maintaining a Professional Journal

While beginning a professional journal can be rewarding on several levels, maintaining a journal requires commitment. Here, Dr. Mayo offers tips and ideas for making the process of recording more valuable over time, as well as less taxing.

By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT

Last month, we reviewed some of the reasons for keeping a professional journal—for us as administrators or faculty members and for students who are learning to become professionals in our field. This month, we will discuss the challenges of maintaining the journal and making it alive and useful.

Starting a journal can be an exciting venture. Finding a new notebook or appropriate bound journal to record items in, delighting in the prospect of recording all kinds of good things, and imagining how much fun the activity will be all contribute to the prospect of an exciting adventure. However, remembering to keep adding items to the journal and sticking with that practice can be challenging. The following sections offer helpful ideas about maintaining a professional journal that is useful to you.

Mayo’s Clinic: Keeping a Professional Journal

Whether you maintain one or 21, building the practice of keeping a journal and recording key ideas and activities can very useful for three important reasons.

By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT

Last month, we discussed strategies for retaining students in our courses and programs. This month and next month, we will talk about professional journals—not published in scholarly and trade journals, but notebooks or diaries in which one writes ideas, feelings and reflections so that they can be referenced in the future.

This month, we will discuss the power and value of a keeping a journal, whether you are a student, teacher or administrator.

Types of Journals
There are many types of notebook journals that journal individuals use. Kate Davis, on, lists 15 (time-capsule journal, specific-topic journal, dream journal, travel journal, reading journal, specific-timeframe journal, group or family journal, gratitude journal, personal-development journal, project journal, gardening journal, meditation journal, planning journal, creativity journal and quick journal) and Shoshana Jackson on lists 20 (family journal, couples journal, relationship journal, letter journal, birthday journal, memory journal, gratitude journal, prayer journal, good thoughts or affirmations journal, dream journal, focus journal, joke journal, book or movie journal, recipe journal, hobby journal, sports journal, travel journal, health journal, diet and exercise journal and finance journal.)

Mayo’s Clinic: Retaining Students in Our Classes

The challenge of college includes managing multiple demands and a complex schedule, often for the first time as an adult. Something as simple as taking attendance in class can motivate students to not only stay in the course and program, but thrive.

By Dr. Fred Mayo, CHE, CHT

For the last two months, we have discussed ways to encourage student curiosity. This month, we turn to the challenge of keeping students in our classes and in our programs. There are several ways—noticing them, giving them feedback, encouraging friendships and taking attendance—to keep students engaged. I hope one or more will be useful to you.

Being Noticed Counts
The primary way to keep students engaged is to provide them with comments on their participation, their work and their involvement. Showing them that you notice what they are doing and appreciate it—most especially the effort involved—makes a big difference in their attitude toward being in class, learning the material and incorporating culinary skills into their repertoire.