When I logged on to post this blog today, I found a blog link sent by a student (who took a class with me and works in my department). In the Comments section, there's a professional and respectful exchange about grading--and challenging students to strive for excellence.
I've had this same discussion with a trusted colleague or two over lunch and I'm pleased that students want to participate in the dialog. Grading is one of the hardest parts of teaching, at least for me, especially when seeking a balance between individual excellence and the ability to collaborate.
And now the topic I intended for today: The Textbook Decision. I've opted not to use one for the fall semester. I've learned more than a few things from my students, including the fact that they generally don't read their textbooks and resent having to pay for something they don't use. It's a bit circular. Next post, I'll explain what I mean and why I've chosen to forgo requiring a textbook.