Screw Ball - Odd Ball Assignments Result in Student Success (OTC 11)

Uploaded by CACommunityColleges on 26.07.2012

tattoos in my course at various levels; I teach courses in anthropology and
sociology so I use my tattoos all the time, not by personal
ones, mind you, I'm chicken, I don't do
There's the artistic
level, the psychological level, I will ask people and asked them about their tattoos,
and you can use that as a starting point for an assignment; my students love these because they technically
go, wow! I particularly like the
English foxhound
on the gentleman, this is where the fox has gone; (inaudible). --
so once again welcome, basically seeing you all today
here and everyone who is online, your presence proves the point
that if we make our presentations sound interesting people will come. The same is true for students.
If we give them assignments that sound interesting, we are going to engage them, they are going to go, wow!
was that? is he nuts?
and that is a good reaction because we caught them offguard, and they will be interested in doing the work; that from the
ir perspective.

From our perspective, the more interesting their papers will be for us to great;
there are only so many papers on Lady chatter
lay's lover --
that makes our life that much more pleasurable so we grow with the
adage that it is better to give than to receive and if we give assignments that help students develop
critical thinking skills and minimize plagiarism, that is a big thing for online learning and everyone
is worried about authenticity; the same problem existed
in face-to-face classes; it
is an online that we hear about it.
If we let students apply the concept that we have introduced, they will create assignments that they think are fun,
they will not realize they're doing work and they will realize how much they have learned, and at the same time
we will have wonderful things to read.
So some background information.
I approached my assignments from an interdisciplinary perspective; that is a reflection of my
education, and my interest.
My BA is in European history, with focus
on British history and Asian studies with a focus on Japan; being a history major have to take
courses outside your area so I have to take American history, and I am
committing sacrilege, I really hated it. I took
(inaudible) American history and decided to write my
papers, from the point of view of the colonists
revolting on how the British
would feel about it.
The time I was working on my Japanese studies major, I had created a bit of Mariah
notoriety in the history
department for writing screwball papers always in the wrong side; I
wrote a dictator and how the US provoked Japan to bomb Pearl Harbor;
everybody wanted a piece of me, oh my God, I got an A in
the paper;
they all found something in their interdisciplinary background to comment;
alike for my students to have that strange perspective.
When I graduated college I had to decideWhether to go to France to
cooking school or to go UCLA, I'm the original
Julie in Julie and Julia; I
learned to cook from Julia Childs;
my cooking is too important and you will see how this works with this.
I got an MA in Southwest US
My PhD is in classical Roman archaeology.
I develop biochemical techniques to apply to the logical problems.
That is where I could combine my cooking with my science, with my archaeology,
and I met a physician, Paolo Facela, while a medical doctor,
was fascinated by art history and interested in art restoration; and he was creating enzymes to clean paintings, and I watched
him, and he painted a square on the canvas,
and we watched the critters eat 500 years of
he said stop working on
aminoacids and I started to cook my ancient dishes;
what was the function of these pots? I wanted to know what they were used
for so I had to extract the organic elements that have become embedded in the ceramic fibers of these vessels.
I'm cooking away,
you said we are creating enzymes, and antibiotics,
it was a disaster because I said we are not hurting a rabbit.
He said: Look for lipids.
I walked into the lab, I saw this great equipment, the lab assistants are
eating, running their lab sets, this is relaxed;
and I asked what does this hospital specialize in? Veneral disease and skin disease.

Within two weeks I was eatingAnd running my sermons at the same time.
I teach art history, psychology and sociology;
I am teaching art appreciation, both online and
face-to-face, that's who I am then not tell me what you see.
some of you will see an old hag, and some will see a young woman.
I am looking to see if I have -- maybe I can use the pointer.
Here you have the hair, this could be the young ladies
feathers; this is her nose,
her ears and this is the old hag's hair, and her
mouth now -- it was the
necklace for the
young girl.
That's the thing about assignments.
Students will not always see things as we expect them.
They will be more than one right answer. the old hag is right;
the young lady is right.
We want to get our students
to realize that I don't have such a handle on things.

I always tell my art students that there is a difference between looking and seeing; look up there in the sky, is it a bird or a plane?
No, it's superman. What do you see?
A skull.
>> PARTICIPANT: (off mic)
>> MODERATOR: (laughter)
some of you will see the skull first,
but this is the woman seeing her reflection in the
mirror, the nose is a
gap; once again,
there is more to the assignment than meets the eye.
now I have to check your perspective;
take a look at this, that's just it; if you have had 30 go this is not what you want to look
at for any length of time, a work by Richard Riley; it is absolutely flat;
it is a two-dimensional surface, she has changed our perspective with two
lines; I always thought that the most
provocative art should be upset of the toilet so you would have a captive audience.

Imagine if you tiled your floor like this and you
had dogs or cats.
I wanted to get the big picture.
What do you see?
Can we close the door there, so we can get this side darker?
The door -- you have to unlatch on the bottom.

That makes a difference.

The big picture is this older woman, this older man, in between them this
chalice; they are made up of a younger woman, and a younger man,
with a bottle, her earring, the young
señorita in the doorway.
What is this picture all about?
Is he still young at heart? can we look at the whole picture,
or should we look at the parts that make up the picture?
once again this isGreat for a psych class; it's about psychology,
art perception; I want you all to have fun with this and realize that there is more than one
way to look at any discipline and any particular assignment so I have ever read the
a writing
variety of assignments.
Every student has his or her own voice; I know that voice and I do not have to worry is that
really Joe or Julie's paper?
I know it's them and was not them.
>> PARTICIPANT: (off mic)

>> MODERATOR: The question was, how do I do the
embedded lecture questions?
I put them in the PowerPoint lecture, so I have a topic and then I ask a question; at the end of the
lecture they have to submit into blackboard the answers to those questions.
I then read all of their answers,
yes I do read all of their answers and I have an answer key for every chapter,
so is their answer falls within the parameters of what I think is a good answer to get a smiley face;
if their answers do not meet my standards, then the answer key that I send them give them my ideal answer,
as well as a series of student answers that while slightly different than mine also hit the target.

It varies from lesson to lesson.

Some have three questions. Some have six questions.
This is not non-labor intensive;
this is a labor intensive.Now, it's not self grading.
>> PARTICIPANT: (inaudible)
(off mic)
(off mic)
>> MODERATOR: As soon as they submit the
questions, I try to give them back.Typically they get everything back
between 24 and 38 hours.
>> PARTICIPANT: (off mic)
>> MODERATOR: this way I know they read the lecture;
when I teach on campus I have glazed over audience. Another they are there in body but I do not know that they are there in
The happy faces means that they got that right; the comment
see key, that means they got some are
none of the credit.
I typically do not give comments with a good answer;
>> PARTICIPANT: (off mic)
>> MODERATOR: The embedded lecture questions are in their
lectures; there is a separate column, the assignments,
and they have a chapter or the lesson questions, and that is where they submit it.
>> PARTICIPANT: (off mic)
>> MODERATOR: No, no, These are my online students;
they do this online -- but I also teach,
teach the class face-to-face as well so for my face-to-face,
all of the questions appear in the chapter learning module, they are
instruced that they need to have done the reading before they come to class,
so when I asked the question in the face-to-face class they participate. If they don't
participate I tell them that I will not go over the answers.
So what you do not do the workwhen you needed to,
better do it between now and Saturday when the test is due, because you won't necessarily know the answer.

So, I am very much into accountability and making the students responsible for their own
destiny; if they put in the work and participate they will do very well.
If they do not paticipate, if
I remind them, don't
that if they don't do their work and will get a zero. I get my inspiration
from food and art and things I hear on National Public Radio.
Take an interdisciplinary approach; my education is interdisciplinary;
what I teach is interdisciplinary and it is important for me that students understand how interconnected everything
is. I want my students to realize that the work -- these
disciplines don't just work on the pages of their text but often live in the real world.

I try to create assignments that have real-world
applications and granted, anthropology, sociology and art are very interdisciplinary, and I will show you that even if you don't teach those things
-- you can come up with some really screwball, crazy things.

So I have listed some disciplines here, chemistry, biology, I don't have to read them all to you.
If I have missed any of your disciplines, I'm very sorry. to all of you teach one of
Who did I miss?
>> PARTICIPANT: (off mic)
>> MODERATOR: I put that in math.
even though I am missing a math gene,
I do have suggestions for you; Child development, psychology,
sociology, we will find something there.Hobbies --
of course I put food and art first -- motorcycling,
video gaming-- you are only limited by your interest, some of these are your hobbies as
So, I use these to
ensure that they have read the text and we have talked about that. I have an online reader and those questions will bring them to those articles as
well, because some of them were really just a textbook, and won't read the articles;
I am sneaky.

Some questions are fact-based and others apply the concepts that I present; some of the questions are
designed to have to personalize these concepts.
So I will ask this question, have you been given the r and j
omeo and juliet
We have seen the movie and know about the Montagues and
I want my students to know if their parents have put restrictions on
them.Have they been told that you cannot marry somebody like that? I call it the r
omeo and juliet ultimatum;
I wanted to think about how endogamy and exogamy
feel to them. Do
you practice either?
I use open-ended discussions, topics that have real-world scenarios,
and I wanted to personalize these.
I often state that they cannot repeat the idea of someone else, that way they are forced to make it their
And, it is a great place for either interactive gaming,
or controversial issues.
I will ask them, why convention or innovation would you give back? because I talk about
modernization and globalization, and the issue of progress and change.
I will ask -- and I will ask you, how many have microwaves?

So most of you have microwaves.
What do you think about microwaves?
You love it, convenient.I have one too, I understand
it. but they are a disaster.They are horrible, not from
the cooking point of view, but single-handedly destroy the family
Now you come home and you open the refrigeratorand everyone's plate is there with a note, Jimmy is a soccer,
Mary is a ballet.
We have lost the concept of family dinner.
I want them thinking about what they would give back, and you would be amazed at how many would give back their cell phones.

>> PARTICIPANT: (off mic)

(off mic)

Microwave -- I am repeating for the online
group -- the plants were
watered with microwaved water died.
I think it is fabulous; we used to race dairy
golds. My daughter checked
Miracle Glow,
Flinstone vitamins and goat poop. Goat poop
I will get you to -- very quickly.

Then there are papers and projects, and this is where you can have fun and run amok;
your students will have a good time and they will learn to laugh, and you will have fun grading.
Let's get to resources.
I have a lot of resources here.
Probably will not get through all of them; I am happy to send you the presentation so you don't have to type
furiously; you can have them hyperlinked.

You can click to your hearts desire.

I think of my art history and anthropology as living organisms; I am constantly changing and they are affected by
political, social, economic, and technical issues; I can bring in
music, computers, child-rearing issues.
And nothing happensIn a vacuum.
So, some of the sites I will show you I use all the time and
others I hunted down just for this purpose.
So -- I'm just
repeating what I have done.
Remember, the Internet is a big place, we do not have time to explore it from start to finish,
this is just a taste or a (inaudible)
platter, to keep it in food tersm.
I hope that at the end you will share with us some of the sites you've found; Joe sent one called
smart history, really fun.
Once again, I may be in a time crunch, and looks like I already am.

How many anthropologists do I have here? Anybody?
In order to apply this to you more I will skip over if there
is no discipline here.
No anthropologists;
I really like the sites.
Do any of you teaches biology? you could use those too.

English takers? Yes! Okay.

I had not planned on visiting the site but we can open it up;
I have one assignment. My Anthro students have to
create a taboo,
before they do that they have to create a culture that makes anthropological logical as well as real-world
They cannot have a taboo on clothing in (inaudible) --
you're naked.
Also, you can't have book burning rituals
if you told me that you have an illeterate society. It has to work.
The site not only introduces studetns to myth;
it has a mechanism to show students how to write myths.
Is very effective.
Also the site out of England, has a lot of games and activities for English students,
at various levels.
Even if you have ESL students, you could use those;
if you have more than students they have more investment activities on the site;
to use the subjunctive or not, that is a question.
Remember that you do not have to scribble;
I will send a PowerPoint to you.
Do we have any art teachers? Yeah! paisan.
I love the site; if you teach art, psychology,
business e-con, physics, biology, you can use this.
This is called art matters.
Hopefully this site will open.
Oh, color matters.
Where a series of topics here,
symbolism and emotion, effects on the body,
business and marketing, computers, computer Guy? We're
going there.
Now you have for technology
; computer color matters, is your computer
color blind, fix windows,
here you have these articles about color, and
you will not read them all;
students will critically have gone to the color
wheel, primary colors, secondary colors,
monochromatic colors, now they see it all in real
life applications.
in nature,there are very few blue food items; we
think about blueberries but they're a value of purple,
will not cheat on that one. but in nature, blue food is poison; we have been conditioned
evolutionary point of view to stay away from blue food.
When I see blue
food I don't get it.
For thoseWant to stay away from
Jennie craig, blue lightbulg in the
b in the refrigerator.

Also food that does not lookGood; we eat with our eyes first.

When you bring home your baby from the hospital, what color is it in? what do you dress your baby in?
Blue or Pink. For those undecided we go yellow.

And the hospital gives you a blue or pink beanie.
Your sex is biological; your gender is cultural.

boys were put in blue, girls in pink.

In English you have to write a descriptive
essay, and oftentimes students not know what to write about;
I and this lesson with the survey, I asked them to associate colors with emotions and
issues. What's the color of expensive? what's the color of taste
good? what's the color of royalty? what's the color of mou
rning? what's the color of happiness? and I asked
them what they learn about color, and they discovered that color is
In the US people wear black for mourning; in Asia they were
ar white.
Royalty, if you're Chinese the color will be yellow. in the US it will be purple.
There are color choices that are media driven; to give up the colors that my
goggles, Wendy's and Burger King use. Red
and blue.
Red stimulates yoru
This is a fun site; from a computer perspective one of the things
in teaching art is that when students go online -- I'm sure you discover that --
color values are wrong; you have to be aware of the kind of color that computers are
>> PARTICIPANT: (off mic)
>> MODERATOR: This is another great site, that lets you
paint like an artist; this one has -- Mr. Picasso had --
you can paint like Picasso.
Once again if you have to write a paper, have them first do this and explain the process,
because sometimes you have a procedural paper to write.
Let's click on here and see if it will work.
It does not like me today.
Maybe I get to drag.
Now I need ears; and I'll get some lips.
And -- eyes --
just so I'm fooling around for this but you can fool
around -- it lets --
my students look at Picasso, and
say, what the heck was he on?
They can send them, and save them.
I also happen to like this students never get Jackson Pollock.

We are waiting for it to come in.

You get the idea; you can play around with these at
thome. Once again, how do you know when you're done?
how does Jackson Pollock know when he needs to stop? student need to create something and
This site gives you more interactive -- Keith Herring site
has lots of activities; this is a
great site to teach you culture,
it shows the different stages in life, and are associated;
do I have political and scientists are here?
This is my favorite.I use this all the time because I teach out this environment; this is a gaming
politics and violence;
I think we should create a nation together.
So we are going to create a nation.
Are we a republic, kingdom, empire, Sultanate --
should we try being a Sultanate today?
what is the name of the country? anything. Imer. Okay.

And our national flag.
>> PARTICIPANT: (off mic)
>> MODERATOR: My students have figured out a way of
designing their own flag; I will just try this one, Herm.
Are we a plucky,
malnourished pioneers? how we
recently discovered or undiscovered tribe? Sackers and Salvagers, you like that
Are we liberate, conservative, passionate? or
psychotic? we will do
What is the name of our current city? Imerina.
What is the national animal? unicorn.

And what is the national motto?
>> PARTICIPANT: (off mic)
>> MODERATOR: Plundering and kill.

r and kill.
Crush the weak.
Now --
>> PARTICIPANT: (off mic)
>> MODERATOR: Oh, -- the food.

Now, -- I am not going to put an e-mail,
you put an e-mail so the site can contact you, because you will start legislating.

A password so you can go in afterwards;
>> PARTICIPANT: (off mic)
Oh no, and wait -- The thing is that once you become a
nation, my students have to demonstrate five days of legislative
activity to get their points; and they get sent things
about the want to legalize this, you want to do this? It really --

>> PARTICIPANT: (off mic)
>> MODERATOR: No -- the question
for confer is,
Do students work this individually or in group? I am not a proponent of group work.I do not want the
weak, carried by the strong.
They have to do this on their own, and a lot of
them stay this long after the lesson is over.
They have to make all the choices; so the password is
imer, all lower-case.
I guess we can't be Imer, somebody else has
I know.
>> PARTICIPANT: (off mic)
>> MODERATOR: Plunder and pillage; we have to take
it from them!

You get the idea.You will get this link; I'm always amused that my students will become
despotic or psychotic rulers;
it is absolutely marvelous.
They submit to me -- when you create your nation at the bottom is the nation's
URL; a semi-inactive hyperlink URL for their nation,
and I use this with the embedded lecture questions; they have to do them in
their but it is also part of the discussion board for my online as well as my on-campus class; in the discussion board
the post the hyperlink URL, the rest of the class then looks at everybody's country.
In my discussion board I say that they have to, in order to get full
credit, they have to talk to three people. They have to create
an initial thread;
they have to comment on the work of at minimum three other students, and they have to respond to
it any student who has commented on their thread.
So then they read -- and how to have this other thing in the discussion board, that no
student should have more than three or four people because the victory the first student
that gets in gets inundated and that is not fair.

So, I think I'm in the wrong --
That didn't work.
>> PARTICIPANT: (off mic)
>> MODERATOR: So, back to
This site is interesting. It shows students how to use historical
This is a detailed resource site; this is a great site for teaching art,
gender studies, business, psychology --
I am running out of time.
I use (inaudible),
so create a T-shirt for a new political arty using semiotics, once
again they use this in lots of different disciplines, or the history or
English, or political science; this is another site that can be
used for sociology as well as history and political science;
I have my students design
coins using iconography; we have all seen the US.
I am big on art vs.
(inaudible); besides her excellent, the great way to talk
about what graffiti is all about on the psychological, social, political
levels; and I have any physics people? No.
This one is a great site on physics and cooking;
I don't understand physics but I sure understand cooking.
Convection; cooking with
it explains everything, and it is a wonderful site.
Why do I have these problems?
Physics of cooking a turkey.

Who would've thought there were physics involved.
Wonderful site on (inaudible)
because of my chemistry and food.
You can design a
skateboard; the good for
math too.
Your students could create their own experiments to do this;
psychology -- these are all sides on portraiture, and identity,
it suggests a sense of vanity, it is an act of defiance and you can get into the politics
of portraiture as well.

Philosophy -- do I have any philosophy or religion people? The Rosco chapel,
a great meditation Chapel;
is this a direction in which religion should be going as it is an introduction on interfaith studies.

I get e-mails, he gave me a run for my money this week, I say,
"good"! That's what learning is about.

Food ever leaves me; it is all about dietary laws;
instead of explaining why this food is banned from a religious perspective look at it from the
I love (inaudible) -- these are examples
of Escher
andEuclidean Geometry; this is a wonderful
YouTube that teaches students how to create a cancellation,
using rhomboids and parallels,
you have to understand math to do it; the students do this and while they
go nuts doing it they have a good time.
Also talk
aboutthe golden ratio in math; that the art side;
optical illusions, you can write English papers, math papers,
psychology papers, all on optical illusions.
Here is my great topic, holy shit, there's gold and
then there's coprelites.
MIT students one
$100,000 prize for creating new toilet for Kenya;
another one was a toilet that needs no water and creates energetic fertilizer and it is being done in Haiti;
they use feces and urine, throw
in sugar cane, everything percolates,
and in the end the heat kills the
and you're left with organic material that is excellent for crops.
Someone said that it makes an excellent rum cake;
his name will be anonymous.
>> PARTICIPANT: (off mic)
>> MODERATOR: When I send you this you will have this
-- autotunes; big
these are hysterical; you'll see Nancy
Polosy on the floor of Congress;
the students can use this as a model.
This is a greatModeled problem-solving;
this is a site that ties IBM to Nazi Tattoo
The inventor if the artificial heart is not
Dr. Jarvis; it was (inaudible), the dummy
guy, working with (inaudible);
have your students write about companies that went
wrong; Gerber, Nestle got it wrong two
Gerber was promoting
food in Kenay.
People can't read. People thought the picture on the
label was chopped up babies.

Have your students do Shakespeare in Rap,
I hope I said your
your creativity; step out of the box.

If you hear or read something, use it as the basis for an
The end.
I will make sure the post this in the discussion board. An