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Did you know that Faculty Development offers weekly teaching tips, emailed right to your inbox?

Here's an example:

Embracing Mistakes vs. Grading Mistakes

I WANT my students to make mistakes, but can I give an A for a really spectacular mistake? I can’t really give an A to bad quality work.

This comment by an art instructor in a recent faculty workshop on grading gets at the heart of one of the greatest paradoxes of grading in creative fields: artists must learn to embrace mistakes, yet grading systems seldom appear to leave room for mistakes.

A study conducted with ceramics students (described in Art & Fear, p. 29) illustrates how focusing students on sheer “quality” of a finished product may actually adversely affect the quality. In this study, one group of ceramics students were told to make the best single piece they could and present it at the end of the semester. The second group was told to make as many pieces as they could over the course of the semester. The most creative work came out of the second group.


These tips come in two flavors: Teaching Essentials (aimed at beginning teachers) and Refining Your Teaching (for more experienced instructors). Although these tips are geared primarily for onsite instructors, they often include ideas that can benefit online instructors. 

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