A Fairer Way to Grade Group Presentations

Adam Sanford, Undergrad Made Easier

One of the reasons that students hate group work is that they don't want a free rider or someone who didn't do very well to drag down their grade. This is one way to counteract that problem. 

Divide the group's score into two parts: individual scores, and the group score. Each part is worth 50% of the grade, or 50 points.

On the day of the presentation, provide students with a sheet to tell you who did which part of the group presentation. For example: John did the research, Jaime did the presenting, and Jorge created the powerpoint slides. 

Tell the students that they have to introduce themselves with their full names before they start presenting. As they present, assess how well John did his research by seeing if he's cited the sources and given them correct credit; assess Jamie's ability to present well; and assess the quality of Jorge's powerpoint slides out of 50 points. (Remember that a 44 would be a B+, a 35 a C-, and so forth.) 

After the presentation, add up each individual score and average the total across all scores. This is the group score. Each individual's grade is now individual score + group score out of 100. 

To ensure that free riders do not get credit, give anyone who was listed by the group as "didn't do anything" or "came to meetings but never contributed" the group score only, and an individual score of 0. (Do not include the 0 in the group's overall grade average.) This controls for free riders, and is fair to the rest of the group.

The Quickwrite: A Weekly Student Reflection Exercise

Adam Sanford, Undergrad Made Easier

The quickwrite is a weekly exercise, designed to encourage students to reflect on the week's lessons and rewrite their notes while doing so. It also allows them a method of asking questions about the course concepts without having to go through the embarrassing ritual of asking in class. This method also allows the instructor to keep a finger on the pulse of the class about important concepts; if a third of the class mentions a concept as a muddy point, it allows the instructor to follow up immediately, rather than finding out on the examination.

The quickwrite consists of five questions:

1. What terms were the most important concepts of this week's lessons? Be sure to define any important terms in your own words. (2 paragraphs per lesson, 6 points to make sure they write enough content)

2. What was your muddiest point (that is, what did not make sense)? (1 paragraph for the entire week, 1 point)

3. What would you like to know more about from this lesson, and why? (1 paragraph for the entire week, 1 point)

4. How does this lesson relate to something you have already learned outside of this class? (1 paragraph for the entire week, 1 point)

5. Why do you think you were required to learn this content? (1 paragraph for the entire week, 1 point)

Put in caveats that point 2 must be about the course content (not its operations, such as how the grading system works), that point 3 cannot be answered "nothing," that point 4 cannot be answered "it doesn't," and that point 5 cannot be answered with anything relating to grades, degrees, or other achievements that do not directly relate to the course content. 

Make it clear that these disallowed questions will be an automatic fail on the assignment, so that they will take points 2, 3, 4 and 5 seriously enough to answer them. 

They may also answer point 2 with "I had no muddy points." 

Point 3 can often be the seed of a student's paper topic. 

If they do not answer the "why" question in point 3 or the "how" question in point 4, fail the question and explain why. 

This exercise makes students review their lessons in point 1, ask questions about it in a safe and private environment in point 2, explore territory not covered in class in point 3, connect their learning to outside knowledge in point 4, and do some critical analysis of the curriculum in point 5. I have had students tell me they have adapted it for use in other classes for studying and working on finding paper topics.


Ask students to write about objects

John G. Maguire, Middlesex Community College

Many student papers are unreadable because they are way, way too abstract. When assigned to write about some idea, students can’t think of examples easily so they just keep repeating the idea word they’ve been given to write about. They’re caught in the sphere of ethereal ideas, they cannot get out, and they write painful-to-read mush.

Therefore, I begin a writing course with physical objects. The opposite of an abstraction is an object—right? If you want students to avoid over-abstraction, why not train them from the outset to write concretely?

So I demand physical things, from the first day of class: “Write with concrete nouns!"

“What is a concrete noun?" a student will ask.

"It's something you can drop on your foot," I always answer. "It's that simple."

"So if I am writing about markets, productivity and wealth, I am going to...."

"Yes indeed – no matter what you are writing about in this course, you are going to put in things you can drop on your foot, and people, too. Green peppers, ears of corn, windshield wipers, or a grimy mechanic changing your car's oil.”

The lovely thing about writing with things you can drop on your foot is that everyone loves it, the good writers and the bad. Everyone finds it interesting. Writing about abstract ideas in terms of concrete objects is strange at first, but it is doable. And as you can guess, the papers that result are far more concrete and vivid and enjoyable to read. I stick with the drop-on-your-foot theme for a whole semester and it produces great writers.

The pedagogy derives from the insights about concreteness and abstraction found in S.I. Hayakawa's 1949 book, Language in Thought and Action.

More details are given at http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/10/the-secret-to-good-writing-its-about-objects-not-ideas/263113/.

Another account of this pedagogy is at: http://www.popecenter.org/commentaries/article.html?id=2843.

Start (and end) the term with student questions

On the first day of class, I ask students to submit three questions they have about the class topic. Reviewing questions helps me gauge the background knowledge and interests of students. I type up the questions to save for later. Then, on the last day of class, I distribute questions to small groups and ask students to answer them. Typically, students can answer most of the questions, demonstrating how much they learned over the course of a term. If the question is one that we did not directly address though the class, I ask them to review their notes, readings, etc. to look for relevant information that could build towards an answer with more research. In this way, the exercise also serves as a review for the final exam.

(This tip was anonymously submitted.)

Use studio pedagogy to help students see

Ariel H. Bierbaum, University of California, Berkeley

For those of us in interdisciplinary social sciences, it can be a challenge to engage students deeply in conversations about the complicated interactions among policy, economy, politics, and culture. As a teacher of urban studies, facilitating these conversations has an added complexity – unpacking the ways that these interactions manifest in and structure our physical environments.

 Learning to “read” the physical city and understand how it represents the layered and cumulative effects of policies and politics can be difficult to teach through traditional pedagogies of lecture and seminar discussion. I thus turned to studio pedagogy from planning and design disciplines, which emphasizes visual thinking and experiential learning.

 Studio pedagogy in seminar class has proven to be a powerful tool for my students to hone their visual thinking, spatial understanding, and critical analysis skills. The studio space offers production of visual representations not merely as a final product, but also as an iterative process to analyze, deconstruct, and reimagine our environments and the policies that create them. This pedagogy has worked in seminar classes of 10 to 15 students and in larger sections with upwards of 30 students, and enabled meaningful discussions, supported students’ diverse learning styles, and engaged students with different depths of content knowledge.

 For example, I structured an exercise for students to design exclusionary and inclusionary spaces as a way to conduct spatial analysis and prompt critical discussion about themes from readings. Before class began, I set out nine blank pieces of poster-sized paper and markers. When students arrived, they counted off by nine, creating teams of three. “Shuffling” students in this way ensured that they worked with new peers and mixed my quieter and more verbal students. First, each group determined the scale at which they would design (e.g., building, neighborhood, city, region) and identified a demographic dimension on which to focus (e.g., age, race/ethnicity, gender/sexual orientation, ability). Students divided their paper in half, and spent 10 minutes drawing an exclusionary space and 10 minutes drawing that same space as an inclusionary one. At the end of the 20 minutes, each team hung their posters around the room, and a spokesperson presented out key elements of their designs. After each team presented, I facilitated discussion and challenged all students to articulate the links between the visual representations and themes in readings and lecture.

 The energy in my classroom during these exercises is lively and jovial (even at an undesirable Friday morning time slot). This visual and tactile exercise successfully engages the diversity of my students, and inspires leadership in different ways: many of my more verbal students seemed a bit shy about picking up markers and crayons, while my quieter students often took the lead in drawing. In the follow-up discussion, students were able to articulate concepts from readings that they included in their designs, and also cogently critiqued and updated the scholarly theories. Students report that they enjoy these exercises and the ways they inspired thinking about the readings.

Prepare for class with an annotated set list

Simon Bates and James Charbonneau, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

We co-teach a large introductory (physics) class, with up to 300 students. The lectures are designed to be fairly active affairs (for the students mainly, also for us) and a typical 50 minute slot can easily comprise between five and ten separate segments, including exposition (mini lectures), peer instruction supported by clicker questions, questions from students, demonstrations/simulations and worksheet problems worked on in small groups of up to four.

Organizing these sessions necessitates advance planning and communication between the two of us as to who is going to lead on what segments. In practice, coordination is required between the three of us, as our large section is also supported by a lecture TA who takes an active role in the class.

We use a 'set list' (misspent youth at too many concerts perhaps?) to choreograph the sequence of lecture activities and share this between the three of us in advance. It turns out this simple document has a number of other practical uses, beyond the obvious, which we detail below.

1) Pre-class planning. It provides a heads-up during preparation, aiding with the scope and pacing of what will be covered in a given class. You can immediately see where there is too much talking (from us) and not enough doing (from the students).

2) Post-class reflection. This same document is a very useful place to make notes after the class about how things worked out in practice. This 2 minute reflection - which need not be anything more fancy than some hand written scribbles on top of the set list - is an invaluable investment for the next time the class rolls around, often a year later. I might remember that lecture 21 was on the Doppler effect, but a year later I'd be hard pressed to remember with any detail what sections students found most difficult, or what demos were most effective (or didn't work!)

3) Passing on the baton. Finally, when it becomes time to hand over the course to a colleague to teach, as teaching duties get rotated, how valuable to inherit not just the syllabus, and perhaps some notes and problem sheets, but also a series of reflections about what happened 'in the field,' as it were.

This is not rocket science and quite possibly many people do exactly this in their courses already. However, we had both been teaching for several years before really coming to appreciate the value of this self-generated feedback gathered shortly after the class happened, and having a convenient way to do it regularly. Creating the set list and generating the post class notes takes about 5 minutes per lecture (not including the content preparation time, of course). You can see an example of just how simple these set lists can be from our course at http://bit.ly/setlistexamples . We would even advocate spending 5 minutes less polishing your slides or notes ahead of class to make room for this activity, because the return on investment in the long term will probably be significantly greater.

Take a chance on student participation

Many instructors are in a bind when it comes to class discussions: they want everyone in the class to contribute, but they do not feel comfortable calling on students who do not raise their hands to speak. 

Kurtis Swope, in a 2006 article for the Teaching Professor, writes of an inspired technique to avoid this conundrum. He brings some many-sided dice (bought at a game store) to class, and whenever he asks the class a question, rolls the dice to determine which student is to answer. Swope notes that he still allows for open discussion in his classes, in which students freely respond to one another. But students quickly warm to the dice-rolling, Swope reports, adding that the technique "generates a sense of anticipation and attention because any student can be called upon at any time." 

It's a good idea, not least because it involves those students who are too shy to raise a hand or otherwise unwilling to volunteer in class discussions without singling anyone out. By leaving the decision up to chance, the technique takes a part of class that students can be quite sensitive about and turns it into something that's truly democratic and maybe even a little exciting. 

Source: Kurtis J. Swope, "Roll the Dice and Students Participate," in The Teaching Professor, April 2006, 20(4), 6.

Use Monte Carlo Quizzes to promote student engagement

In a 2004 article in College Teaching, Peter Fernald writes of a technique that improves upon the surprise quiz. Fernald was looking for a way to ensure that his students were doing all of the reading, but also hoping to encourage the right kind of reading, reading that actively engages with the material and lays the groundwork for real understanding. He evolved something he calls the Monte Carlo Quiz. 

At a certain point in each class period a student must roll a standard six-sided die. If it lands on an even number, there will be a quiz on that day’s reading. If it lands on an odd number, no quiz is given. If there is to be a quiz, the student rolls the die again, this time to determine which reading, or part of the reading, the quiz will cover (this second roll can be skipped if students only do one reading for each class period). Then the student rolls the die a third time, to find out which of the six pre-assigned questions the students will have to answer. 

Fernald uses the same six questions, derived from Bloom’s taxonomy of learning objectives, throughout the term:

1. Knowledge: Describe the major thesis, the central idea or set of ideas, in the reading. . . .

2. Comparison: Identify two concepts or principles presented in the chapter or article and, when you first mention each, underline and define it. Then, show how the concepts or principles in some way(s) are both similar to and different from one another. . . .

3. Application: Select a concept or principle in the chapter or article, clearly define or describe it, and then indicate how it applies to you or someone you know. Provide sufficient details to justify convincingly that the concept or principle indeed applies as you suggest.

4. Critique: Write a critical perspective on some aspect of the chapter or article, citing evidence that prompts you to agree or disagree with the author’s perspective.

5. Passion: Citing page number(s), quote verbatim a statement or brief passage that elicits in you some type of emotional response . . . Then identify your emotional response, describe the meaning(s) that the statement or passage has for you, and provide actual or possible reasons for your response.

6. Student’s Choice: Answer any of the above five questions. 

The concept could work with other sets of questions as well, including those more specifically tailored to the course.

The real benefit of Monte Carlo Quizzes is that, because students don’t know which question they may have to answer, they must be prepared to answer any of the six questions. If you apply this strategy in every class period, as Fernald does, you ensure that the students always have an incentive to do the reading thoroughly. And yet, you are not forced to give over valuable class time to a quiz in every single class period; the first roll of the die should land on an odd number approximately half of the time.

Source: Peter S. Fernald, The Monte Carlo Quiz: Encouraging Punctual Completion and Deep Processing of Assigned Readings," College Teaching 52. 3 (Summer 2004), 95-99.

Make the back row off limits

Nicole Matos, College of DuPage

Before students arrive on the first day of class, use yellow “Caution” tape (available at any big-box office supply store) to block off the back row seats. After students arrive and sit elsewhere (it will be fun to note their reactions: many “get it” right away), use this device to discuss issues of student engagement and attention. Ask how many students would have elected those back row seats if they had been available, and discuss why. Reiterate your desire to have all students active and engaged—no hiding!—regardless of where they sit.

My experience using this strategy is that it usually generates two useful outcomes. First, it tends to elicit students’ worries and fears about the class. Quiet students sometimes admit to a fear of being called on in a predatory caught-you manner while others might explain that they fear the subject matter. Having these worries expressed openly from the outset allows me to soothe the nervous and explain my true reasons for seeking full participation.

Second, students who might otherwise have been troublesome are often the first to admit boldly, with a smile, that they would have chosen the back corner to be lazy and go unnoticed. Getting these students to immediately engage with me as an instructor, learning their names, and setting the precedent that they do indeed talk in class, is often the first step to winning them onto my side and, in the end, better assuring their success.

Make your course documents visually engaging

Joe Hedges, Northern Kentucky University and Miami University Hamilton

I teach beginning art and design students who are inundated with black and white rubrics, assignment information sheets, syllabi, etc. Most of these documents look like they were prepared for a fax machine, rather than pdfs for distribution online. Take a little time and redesign your course materials to be more interesting with dynamic layouts, images, and COLOR. Not visually minded? Consider finding a graphic design student and offering them their first paying job.

Creating my syllabus in the style of a contemporary magazine or reference book rather than in the style of a legal document sets a positive mood for the course. Good design engenders interaction and interest in students, while showing that I care enough about the course material to invest the time to present the content in a way that is enjoyable to read. Books are judged by their covers, and syllabi indicate expectations for a course; an aesthetically pleasing, professional-looking syllabus indicates that the course itself will be interesting and professional. Particularly with art and design students, who are continually working with the elements and principles of design, creating a visually engaging syllabus is good modeling, engendering confidence in me as a visual thinker. Additionally, designing a syllabus rather than simply writing one forces me to more carefully consider the hierarchy of information I wish to present; certain text may benefit from larger or smaller fonts, in a side column, et cetera. Delivering content in this way ensures that the students know what is most important to remember in order to have a successful course, and ensures that all the information in the syllabus can be found quickly and easily. The first day of class, students sometimes remark that the syllabus looks nice. I tell them that I have tried to make a document that I myself would enjoy reading, in the hopes that they will too!

Questions for a new term

Steve Hunsacker, Brigham Young University - Idaho

In a recent post to his blog, Grant Wiggins poses practical questions that help orient a course around the learning that matters most and to align course activities with those learning intentions. Great exercise at any time but especially helpful for anyone contemplating a new semester.


Having learned ______________[the key content], what should students come away able to do with it?

By the end of the course, what should students be better able to see and do on their own?

How should learners be affected by this course? If I am successful, how will learners have grown or changed?

If those are the skills, what is their purpose? What complex abilities – the core performances – should they enable?

Regardless if details are forgotten, in the end the students should leave seeing…able to…

Having read these books, students should be better able to…

What questions should students realize are important, and know how to address more effectively and autonomously by the end of the course?

Give out participation marks two weeks at a time

Many teachers now devote a portion of their students’ final grades to a participation mark. Here’s a way to make participation grades actually encourage participation, while making the task of calculating those marks an easier job. 

Instead of waiting until the end of term to calculate your students’ participation grades, keep a running record of their contributions, and give out (or post) interim participation grades every two weeks. This has a number of benefits. Significantly, it gives students an accurate picture of how you see their in-class contributions. A poor interim participation mark can motivate quiet students to start taking part in class discussions and activities. In addition, by keeping track of students’ participation throughout the term and giving out grades so often, your task at the end of the term is a no-brainer. No longer do you have to try to remember how much a student participated in classes that took place months earlier. This takes what can feel like an overly subjective process and make it much more straightforward.

What exam questions do your students expect?

Fred Gardaphe, Queens College, CUNY

In preparation for an examination, have students write the questions they expect will be on the test and then administer them to you orally during the class you use to prepare them for the examination. This will give you a sense of what they think is important, and them a sense of how exams are created. I once did this exercise in lieu of a mid-term, but realized too late that they had never really had any experience in constructing questions, and so it became rather difficult to grade them on the questions they created. As an in-class exercise, it works well and takes some of the edge off exam taking.

Get students to read the syllabus with Jeopardy

Lake Mathison, Rutgers University

The most well-crafted, engaging, comprehensive syllabus on the planet isn't of much use if the students never read it. Putting a contract at the end might help, but it's too easy to just sign without actually reading (like we all click "Accept" on the "Terms and Conditions" page of a download). Rather than a monotone recitation of something they all could (but won't) read on their own time, turn key syllabus points into a game of Jeopardy ("answer in the form of a question" optional). Divide the class into teams and give them a time limit to confer (or look up the answer). This helps break the ice and satisfies the modern student's craving for competition and gaming. More importantly, having the students comb through the syllabus in search of information makes them more likely to remember where to find it in the future. This idea could also be expanded to include important resources contained in the course website, if there is one.

There are free programs and templates online for designing Jeopardy games, or go old-school and write the grid on the chalkboard.

Engage students with project-based pedagogy

Angela Velez-Solic, Indiana University Northwest

An active learning strategy I employ and encourage of the faculty members I train is project-based courses. This can work for any teaching modality- traditional, hybrid, or online. Think about a big project idea that gets the students involve in DOING or CREATING something that is realistic, something that will benefit them in the long run, something that makes them a particular 'expert' on an area of content. Here are a few that I've designed:

1. 100-level reading, writing, study skills course: The big project is a plan to change something in their community that they want to see change-- a law, helping a specific group, advocating for animals, opening a soup kitchen, whatever they want. Each assignment has them investigating change, how people do it who are 'ordinary' but who do extraordinary things. One assignment has them looking inward and evaluating their own strengths and weaknesses for making a difference. In the end they have a plan that they may or may not see played out.

2. Professional/Business Writing. The project involves them opening a business branch overseas. They make up their business, its product or process, choose a country, a city, inform their employees of the branch overseas, write a letter to the media to quell rumors, design a brochure to lure volunteers, research the country and its communication preferences, dress code, business practices, food, entertainment, etc. and they create a handbook for employees. It culminates in a final presentation for employees and stakeholders.

3. British Literature. Students choose an author and they become an expert on him or her. Each assignment involves them investigating the author's personal life, climate of Britain and historical 'goings on' at the time period, the various works that person wrote and summary of them, and other projects. It culminates in a presentation of what they've learned about the author.

Students love how these are very real for them (well, British Lit, maybe not so much, but the other two definitely). They're learning how to write, how to communicate, and how to research, but are having fun and learning essential skills while doing it. The learning is memorable and sometimes life changing.

Start every class with a writing prompt

Here’s a strategy whose simplicity belies its usefulness: every class period, as the students come into the classroom, put a question or prompt on the board for the students to respond to, in writing. If you make this a habit, it has a number of important benefits.

  • It provides a clear break from the noise and distraction of the outside world and the focus you want to instill during class. A brief period—even five minutes—of quiet reflection and writing can help students better make this transition.

  • It lays the foundation for a good discussion. Not every student is good at thinking on her feet; many people benefit from having time to gather their thoughts and think things through before being able to discuss something constructively. In addition, those students who are shy or otherwise reluctant to speak as part of a class discussion may find it easier to do so if they have thoughts written down on the page in front of them.

  • Writing teaches writing. By making your students write about relevant subjects regularly, in addition to allowing them to think their way deeper into those subjects, you are helping them to become better writers. There is no better way to improve as a writer than to practice regularly. You may find this helps when it comes time to read their essays.

  • If you make the questions or prompts about the readings, this activity can take the place of regular quizzes. Having students regularly write a half a page in response to their reading can ensure that they’re actually doing that reading.

In regard to that last point, you may want to collect and mark these pieces of writings, even if it’s only a cursory grade to reflect a good-faith effort on the student’s part. You can have these in-class assignments add up to a very small portion of the students’ final grades, or allow it to play a significant role in the marks you give for participation. But if you do want the activity to impel them to do the reading, you will want to provide some kind of grade.  -DG


Make change visible with word clouds

 Steve Hunsaker, Brigham Young University - Idaho

In courses intended to produce a change of perspective, I have found it very helpful to use an activity that makes change visible. 

On the first day of the semester, even before taking time for names, I ask the class to write the first three words that come to mind when they think of the topic (the Spanish-speaking world, Pakistan) on a slip of paper. I collect the papers and after class, I go to tagxedo.com or wordle.net and create a word cloud from their lists. I post it in the LMS and use it to start a discussion on perceptions for the next day's class. 

At the end of the semester, we repeat the activity and compare the two images. It has always been a great way to make apparent the change from naive and trite terms to lists that show sophistication and awareness of complexity. I think that the students enjoy seeing the obvious growth even more than I do.

A questionnaire and a quiz to start the term

An anonymous tip: 

On the first day of small undergrad seminar-type classes, I hand out a questionnaire with the usual stuff (name, major/minor, why are you taking this class?), plus a query about language background (since I teach literature in a minority/lesser-taught language), and a chance for the student to self-disclose about learning styles, preparation or lack thereof, disposition or disability ("What do I need to know about you to teach you better?"), as well as a question about favorite texts related to the course topic and a final, open-ended "Where are you from and where do you hope to end up?". Then, in the next class I hand out a "quiz" using that information and the answers to all the questions are one or more names of others in the class ("Who's from Florida? Who knows what "ausgezeichnet" means? Who loves sonnets?), and they have to try and find the people whose names fit (and there are multiple questions for each person). This helps them learn everyone else's name and feel more comfortable in class as they find some commonalities with their classmates. I also throw in some random questions that apply to me and perhaps also to them, just for fun.

Flip your hybrid class

Cyndi Nienhaus, Marian University 

I teach a hybrid course where I meet with students face-to-face once a week and then have them complete work and participate in discussions online throughout the rest of the week.

I noticed that this particular class was a quiet one in the classroom, but had very robust conversations online.

I decided to "flip" the class and do the online work in the classroom and the classroom work online. For example, in the classroom, the students now watch webcasts, read additional articles, and engage in a conversation about the topic in the same format we had done online; online, they now view a powerpoint of the topic of the day and offer additional comments, questions, and insights.

Flipping the class in this manner has allowed my once quiet classroom to become a place where great and rich discussions take place. Our online conversations also have taken on a deeper tone because the students add additional and deeper insights of their learning based upon the in-class conversations.

Make your syllabus more constructive

An anonymous tip:

This semester, I threw out the two-year old syllabus and started over. I did not realize (until a student pointed out on the evaluation) how negative and punitive my syllabus really was. So, here's what I did:

My first statement - before we get to grading - policies - rules... is Instructor Contact - 

My job is to help you to be successful in this class, so please come see me outside of the classroom if you need to talk about anything at all. The sooner the better! My official office hours will be held on Tuesdays from 1:00 - 2:00 pm; Wednesdays from 4:30 - 5:30 pm; and Thursdays from 8:30 - 10:00 am. If these times don't work for you, please let me know and we'll figure some alternative time to meet. Also remember to email me with questions on class content or assigned work.

I follow this with "why come to class" (or 'why participate" for the online class), telling them some highlights of what we'll be covering and why it's important for them to come/participate, and that just submitting work is not enough to understand the material. 

Then I continue with General Course Information, followed by Course Content and assessment measures. After that comes all the institutional requirements and other special things to help them.

I give a syllabus quiz. Don't laugh - I've had students complete the entire course and not remember my name!) I asked students how they liked their syllabus - was it understandable - easy to read - positive? 93% said it was positive, and they felt like they could approach me with a question or clarification. Yippee! I'm doing it for every other class!