Better Late Than Never!

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My but it’s been a while!

In my summer class at MiraCosta, which was technically f2f, I experimented with a variety of new and fun ways to change the course. I dumped my textbook, which gave me freedom to redesign at will. In taking the POT cert class last Spring, Lisa Lane had talked about having her students curate images, and so I decided that would be a fun thing to test out. I broke them into groups, and had them curate images related to the discussion for the week, and then lead the discussion related to those images, forcing them to engage more with, and learn more about the material. In the post-mortem I did with the students after the class was done, they said that they had enjoyed that part because they had to learn it themselves a bit. And, they gave me pointers on how to improve the assignment.

The other thing we did that worked great was to have in-class group work related to the reading for the week, which meant they had to respond to a specific prompt I put up on the screen. If everyone didn’t agree, they had to convince each other of the position. Again, this led to them interacting more with the material, and again I got very positive feedback from the students. I was even told I wasn’t half as bad as advertised on!

All of these changes were aimed at a more student-centered experience in the classroom, where I am not the all-knowing prof at the front and they are just passive receptors. I am doing similar things in my f2f classes this fall, assuming the low enrollment one isn’t cancelled, to see if I can continue to repeat the positive energy and engagement of my summer class.


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