Submitted by Helen Brubeck, San Jose State University
Specifically, I have implemented this technique in my introductory courses for bonds payable, and in my intermediate courses for deferred taxes. However it can be used with any topics your students find especially difficult. When students have difficulty with a topic, they need time to absorb it and work through its complexities. No matter how many examples you give/explain, students need to work things out for themselves and focus on that one area. When you give a multiple topic test (as most instructors generally do, due to time constraints) the students' attention is divided amongst the many topics they need to learn. When I am approaching a tough topic, I let the students know that this material will be on a test all by itself. They do not need to worry about anything except this one topic. I find that this eases a bit of stress and helps them focus more clearly. I have had great success using this technique to allow students to absorb the most complex material of a course, far more so than if I treated it as 'simply another topic'.
Submitted by Rich Mandau, Piedmont Technical College
I use a large old coin (or picture of an old coin) to illustrate the par value concept. I say the state value on this Silver dollar coin is one dollar. This is similar to the par value of stock. If I took the coin to a coin shop they would pay me $10.00 for it because of its age and condition. Its stated value is still one dollar, but its traded value over par is more.