Meet more students in your large classes by offering a “Get Out of Jail Free” opportunity

My classes are generally pretty large, with anywhere from 100 to 250 students enrolled in a particular section.  It is too easy to go through the entire semester without getting to know too many names – that is a lot of students!  In many ways, I miss the days of having smaller sections where I could get to know students.  In past semesters, I would invite students to come and see me in my office, but few did (unless there was an issue which perhaps was not the most satisfying “get to know you” experience.)

Summary: This semester, I decided to entice my students to my office with an opportunity for them to earn a “do-over” on any one quiz or homework.  I call this the “Get Out of Jail Free” opportunity.

How this works: Students come to visit me at some point up to the 10th week of classes.  They spend two minutes with me in my office and tell me something interesting about themselves.  I also ask for their major and hometown.  I also take their pictures when they visit me.  Then, at any point during the semester, the students can return and request that one past assignment be opened up for them for a week for a do-over.  It can be any past homework or quiz.  Here is my get-out-of-jail-rules that I post for students regarding the rules of this opportunity.

Benefits and Results: This semester, I have had about 100 students visit me so far.  I have done surprisingly well at remembering names from our conversations (and the pictures I take.)  It has been nice to be able to refer to the pictures when I get an email from one of these students – I can visualize who I am talking to and it helps to build connections with my students.

Since many of my students are online, I opted to NOT create physical pieces of paper to document the students’ visits.  I keep track of the visits electronically and it has not been too bad to administrate this program.  I am going to continue to offer this incentive in future semesters, and I am hopeful that I will get several more students in to see me this semester still.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

About Dr. Wendy Tietz, CPA, CMA, CGMA

Dr. Wendy Tietz is a professor of accounting at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, USA. She is also a textbook author with Pearson Prentice-Hall.

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