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Tracking and Improving Student Learning

Professors everywhere always want to make sure that the students they are teaching are actually learning. Thanks to this blog and the work of David A. Wood Jr, there is a way to track your work, along with students, to figure out what changes need to be made in order to improve your ways of teaching. What is this magical tool that is being used to do all of this?

The answer is: Microsoft Excel.


Mr. Wood Jr. is a professor and former dean of performance excellence at San Antonio College. He has been using Excel data to “inform his instruction and achieve better learning outcomes for his students.” He was not limited to other tools that could have been used, but he realized that Excel is one of the easiest and best to use for his intentions. By creating his own spreadsheet to manage the data he needs to improve his own learning outcomes for the students in his class.

Woods even stated that the basic approach taken on has increased scores on tests by five to ten points. What is even more important is the types of questions that are being asked by the students in class. The questions suggest their level of understanding and more about the topics being covered. To truly see the formulas and get an understanding of how a single spreadsheet has been able to improve his years worth of work, click on the link above.

Channel 8 and Microsoft DreamSpark: Free Software

Channel 8 is the place to be for students who want to code, connect and create technology. Stay plugged into tech news and share in the experience with students around the world just like you who want to see their creations come to life. This is also a back door directly into Microsoft just like Channel 9 but from a student point of view. This means access to the inside scoop about our products and life working inside Microsoft and information on cool things coming out. This is your community – a place for you to share your tips and tricks and even your problems. Go check out what others are doing and talk about what you think is cool.

Link: http://channel8.msdn.com/

Microsoft DreamSpark enables students to download Microsoft developer and design tools at no charge.

Now, for the first time, Microsoft is giving its valuable software developer and design tools directly to students worldwide at no charge! This site enables students like you to download professional-level Microsoft developer and design tools to unlock your creative potential and set you on the path to academic and career success, by supporting and advancing your learning and skills through technical design, technology, math, science and engineering activities.

In order to get this software from Microsoft at no charge, you will be asked to establish or verify your student status once every 12 months. This process is built into this DreamSpark site itself. Verification of valid student status will enable students from around the globe to download Microsoft developer and design tools at no charge. Note: You must be at least 18 years old or have otherwise reached the age of majority in the place (province, state or country) where you live, or if not, your parent or legal guardian must accept the Microsoft DreamSpark software license terms on your behalf, in order for you to download and use the software.

Link: http://downloads.channel8.msdn.com/