Table 17: [Potluck] Frontloading: Activities/Assignments to Help Students Come Prepared to Class


  • Facilitator: Mihai Boicu George Mason University; Department of Information Sciences and Technology; Volgenau School of Engineering
  • Facilitator: Beverly Middle



**Participants are strongly encouraged to bring a few printed copies of a specific example activity, assignment oràstrategy they use in their classroom related to this topic to share.**
NOTE: You can still join a potluck even if you didnââ¬â¢t bring anything!
Welcome to ITL and this table! àJoin your fellow Mason instructors to informally discuss this table's topic. At the table, you will find desk copies of related resources (digital versions are available below), and an experienced Mason colleague who has experience and strategies related to this topic.ààNot sure what to talk about?ààHere are some conversation starters:
  • Share a little about yourselves:à

    • Department

    • Years at Mason

    • Courses you are teaching

    • What excites you about teaching?

  • What brought you to this table?

  • ââ¬ÅAsking for a friend,ââ¬Âentirely àhypothetically, what kinds of projects do faculty typically run late on or not prepare fully in advance of a set deadline? What sorts of reasons might faculty have for deciding not to prioritize one task over others?

  • What kinds of strategies have you tried or heard about that might help students know more about what, how, and why àto prepare for your class?

  • Essentially, faculty have three powers: the power of time (prioritizing what students should focus on in class and in homework), the power of assessment (deciding how to distribute and account for course grades), and the power of story (providing explanations and motivations). Which of these powers could you best use to support student preparation? What are the opportunities and risks of using that power?

  • What might you be willing to ââ¬Åtrade offââ¬Â (grade weight shift? ...cutting an assignment?) to better emphasize or support pre-class preparation?

Have an example or resource to share?ààSubmit through this link and we'll upload it after the conference:ààStill have questions?ààLeave a post it note on the table sign at the end of the Share-a-thon or email your questions toàstearns@gmu.eduàààADDITIONAL RESOURCES:ààà

Author Biography

Facilitator: Mihai Boicu, George Mason University; Department of Information Sciences and Technology; Volgenau School of Engineering

Mihai Boicu is an associate professor and associate director of the Learning Agents Center at George Mason University.