Jeff Schinske Biology 6A Information



Lecture Slides

Jeff Schinske Biology 6A

Index Cards

So why are 3x5 index cards part of the required materials and how are they used?

Frequently during class, you will be asked to discuss questions with your peers.  Sometimes I will then ask you to take out an index card to write out your personal thoughts in response to the question.  I will sort the cards into three piles based on the responses, and you can pick up your cards during your lab sessions.  When you pick up your cards, they will have a mark on the back such as:

greenGreen Mark - Excellent job!  Your response was well supported with biological evidence and is mostly or totally complete!  You received 10 points for your card.


blueBlue Mark - Nice work!  Your response was on-topic and you supported your response with some evidence from biology.  You received 6 points for this card.  There is probably additional evidence that would support your argument or deepen your response.  Talk with your classmates or me, then turn your revised card back in to me and increase your score for up to 8 points!


redRed Mark - Thanks for sharing your ideas!  However, your response was a little off topic or did not have support from biological evidence.  You received 3 points for this card.  Talk with your classmates or me, then turn your revised card back in to me and increase your score for up to 8 points!  Don't worry, everyone will get red marks at times, and it does not have to permanently affect your performance!

Why use this technique?
  1. I get to hear from every single student on a regular basis.
  2. I can give you frequent individual feedback and increase our level of communication.
  3. You get points for learning, even if your initial ideas were not 100% complete.  Through revising your cards, you directly address your own misconceptions and share ideas with your classmates.
  4. I find out how we're doing as a class, so I can go back and correct any major misconceptions or clarify difficult topics.
  5. You make yourself a test study aide as part of your normal classwork.  The card questions often form the basis of tests.
  6. I can assess a much wider array of topics more frequently.  This takes some pressure and weight away from the tests.
Click here to view my journal article on using index cards in college biology classes
I love index cards!  I wonder, what are some other clever ways people use them?

World RevolvingThere's an entire blog devoted to making humorous or thought-provoking statements on index cards!

email Email: Jeff Schinske
Phone: (408) 864-8750
Office: SC1 Room 206 
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Last Updated: 5/23/11