Saturday, February 12, 2005
My experiment in teaching without using any paper is going pretty well. Last semester I made it a policy that I wouldn't hand out anything in class, but that it would all be digital. But I still gave exams on paper and the students turned in their papers to me in hard copy. But this semester I am trying to be completely paper free. The first paper assignment was due last Thursday, and I asked that the students email me their papers before class started. I ran into a few problems. A few students sent me wordperfect documents, which I can't read so well, being that wordperfect requires Windows and is not available for Mac users. Which leads me to another problem. I require that the papers be in MS Word format. What is good about that is I can check the five pages in length, proper margins, fonts, etc well. It helps me to get the students to follow rules and directions. I also like the track changes feature, as my comments stand out very well. But I'm not comfortable supporting Bill Gates and Microsoft. I've thought about just having them email in text format, but for now I still think I prefer MS Word. So the paperless papers are going well, but I guess I need to find a better term for the assignment, like critical essay for example. For the final exam, I'm going to try an oral interview with each student.