Karin Howe


Pedagogical Showcase Method: Assessment

Showcase Description: Specifications Grading


If you could choose one word or phrase to describe how you work, what would that word be and why?

Student-centered - For me, teaching is all trying to find the best way to get students to really engage with the material that I am trying to teach them. I try to focus on creating assessments that really serve the purposes of the class, and create incentives for students to do their *best* work (rather than work that is just "good enough"). I also focus on teaching students how to fail in the right way, where failure is seen as a sometimes necessary step in the process of learning. The structure of my classes allows and incentivizes students to learn from their mistakes, and to keep trying until they master the material.

How do you keep track of all of your work? Do you use any apps? Gadgets? Other solutions?

I use many of the advanced features of Blackboard in order to deliver course content to students and to keep track of students' grades. I have also used Google spreadsheets to share grades with students. I use Doceri and PowerPoint to create online lecture videos, which I then upload to YouTube. I have used Skype for virtual office hours, but am planning to switch over to Zoom for this summer.

Are you an Apple person or a PC person? Both? Why?

I am a Mac user all the way, because Macs are awesome and Windows sucks.

Describe your workspace, either at home, work, or both. What is it like?

I have a desk at home but I usually work sitting on the couch with my cat next to me. :)

How do you recharge yourself when you’ve been doing a lot of work?

Spend time with family - crochet while watching TV or a movie - play with the cat - morris dancing

Are you a night owl or an early riser? Briefly describe.

Early riser, definitely.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else? Is there something in everyday life that you find yourself being the go-to person for?

I'm a pretty organized person, so people often come to me for tasks that require keeping track of a lot of details. I'm also pretty good at baking.

What are you currently reading?

Working my way through the Kathy Reichs mystery series that the TV show Bones is based on.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received about learning and teaching? 

"Find what rings your bells, and then spend the rest of your life ringing the hell out of that." ~Jim Schofield (my first logic professor), RIP