Archive for April, 2011

Do inflatable students improve student grades?

Monday, April 11th, 2011

This image appeared on the RSS reader.  It’s from the Inflatable Crowd Company who create blow up extras (in the hundreds) for movies.


It got me thinking about the issue of attendance vs engagement, and the commonly held belief that increased attendance results in better marks.  You would think as research establishments we would have a better handle on the notion of cause and effect. 

Basically, enganged students do the work, read the texts and attend lectures – and get better marks.  Unengaged students don’t do the work, don’t show up and don’t do well.   Engagement is the key to improving outcomes, attendance is a symptom.   The issue is further clouded as students increasly feel the need (for whatever reason) to engage in part time work (15 hours/week average in 2002) .

 Most of the research shows that incentive programs aimed at improving attendance (without changing the teaching) don’t really impact on grades.  In effect, we could achieve much the same result with a quick call to the Inflatable Crowd Company.

It’s a fact – “A student’s grandmother is far more likely to die suddenly just before the student takes an exam, than at any other time of year.”

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

This important research was conducted by Mike Adams and published in Volume 5,  Issue 6 of the Annals of Improbable Reseach.

The prospects are quite frightening.

“The FDR (Family death Rate)  is climbing at an accelerating rate.  Extrapolation of this curve suggests that 100 years from now the FDR will stand at 644 deaths/100 students/exam.”

The 3 proposed solutions are:

  1. Stop giving exams
  2. Allow only orphans to enroll
  3. Have students not tell their families they are going to uni.

A sober warning.

Etiquette and electronic devices

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Can we get this put our student orientation guides?  Please?