Sunday, February 19, 2017


This is the first post in a series that intends to showcase growth mindset language in the syllabi and course materials developed by our outstanding CSULB faculty. The examples below are borrowed from the Spring 2017 syllabi by Drs. Judy Brusslan, Ashley Carter, and Jesse Dillon, Department of Biological Sciences.

1.       Focus on process and effort

Studies show that people become better writers by writing often. / Dr. Brusslan

In this course, you are developing your writing skills.  A writer needs to convert ideas into written words.  This is a process that requires continual practice, but will be necessary in whatever professional career you choose. / Dr. Brusslan

Assessments are designed to measure the level of your understanding against the learning objectives. They are not indicators of your intelligence; rather, indicators of your efforts in meeting the course objectives. / Dr. Dillon

2.       Mistakes, asking questions, and struggling with the material

To take charge of your own education, you must be willing to read the texts, ask questions, actively engage in discussions, write scientifically and learn to think critically about challenging material. Every mistake you make, every question you ask, and every time you successfully struggle with a concept, your brain grows a little bit stronger and smarter. / Dr. Dillon

Midterm and Final exams will be used assess your learning of core concepts presented in class and readings. They are written at a level for you to be successful, challenging but fair. I understand that not everyone is great at test taking, so I also use other assessments of your understanding. / Dr. Dillon

3.       Opportunity to improve

Extra credit is available for this course after the first three exams by retaking the multiple choice sections at home. After each of the first three exams the multiple choice section will be posted, you may redo the multiple choice section and hand in completed scantron forms on the next class meeting (or to my mailbox by 12:00 the next day for the third exam). These submissions will be graded and all students receiving whatever the highest score is will receive an additional 1% added to their final course grade. You must take this seriously; any students scoring below 60% on the submitted scantron will have 1% deducted instead. / Dr. Carter

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