First Week Completed

The first week of the collaborative course design project is finished. Last week we focused on some theoretical underpinnings of the project, and then began to work in our teams. Thursday we broke into teams for an hour to begin sketching out the class. On Friday teams worked one-on-one.

One thing the three of us (S. Raley, B. Trader, and myself) noted was that the students are not picking the “easiest” route. My two students said they really wanted an “in-depth” research paper, but we’ve yet to haggle on length. But they were excited to think about doing significant research and then present that information in the form of a written argument. They have even chosen potential topics!! Much more has to be decided for the course itself, including more readings, assignments, and the role our museum trip will be. But they have incredibly interesting insights. As upper level students (all of them are juniors or seniors), they really do bring a wealth of information that is helpful for faculty to know.

This afternoon we meet in the whole group again to present the “best” assignment. Faculty will present the best assignment they have given in the past, and explain why it worked so well. Students will also present the best assignment from their perspective, including some contextual information on the class size, level, and whether or not it was in their major. Should be interesting and I’ll update with another post soon!

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3 Responses to First Week Completed

  1. Robin Armstrong says:

    I am eagerly following your discussions of this project – thanks for sharing your experiences with us. I would love to hear about the things these students say work for them (as assignments or projects or whatever) and what kinds of things they say don’t work for them.

    thank you for taking the time to write this as you go.

    • gretchenmckay says:

      More coming…as soon as I can find time today to create a new post. The conversation yesterday about “best assignments” was very interesting.

  2. Bob Trader says:

    Some things have really surprised me.
    Like that students feel like they talk little about what is going on in classes with their instructors.

    Like that they want freedom of choice about topics to explore with guidance. (Yet, when given this freedom in class, they have so many difficulties coming up with ideas.)

    Like that our students are capable of expressing themselves quite eloquently when given the chance, and yet they feel like they aren’t usually given the chance. If they aren’t given the chance, then how did they learn to express themselves so well?

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