Monday, December 5, 2016

For the Last Class Session

An Idealistic Approach to Student-Faculty Interaction 

I was taught the following at the Frye Leadership Institute  back in summer 2003.
  • Every students wants to have a personal intellectual relationship with some faculty member
Does this still remain true today?  (If not, why not?)  How well did we do on that score?

Class Attendance
  • Demographics by eyeballing
    • Observable factors that seem to matter: (1) gender and (2) transfer student or not.
  • What the Syllabus says on the matter
  • Some students reported (near term) disutility from going to class (test in some other class, preference for sleeping in, other possible explanations). 
  • Class mixed on requiring attendance or not.
  • The puzzle for me remains that for 2012-14 attendance was not an issue.  The vast majority of the students came to class.  

  • There were some interesting comments (because they showed a lack of rationality in the strict sense) about deadlines.  At least a couple of students wanted the blog posts to be due Thursday evening (an earlier and therefore tighter deadline).  
  • One student wanted the deadline to be Sunday night, which coincides with deadlines for other courses.  
    • I need some time between when you submit blog posts and when I read and comment on them.

Gift Exchange
  • Walking the walk - did students learn to reciprocate?  
  • Did the professor reciprocate when students offered up a gift?
  • Were there some acts of kindness that students initiated?  

Bigger Picture Issues that Tie into Undergraduate Education

  • Are you a sheep?  Or are you self-directed in your own learning?  
    • Many of the final blog posts made it seem as if you were a sheep, though you may not have intended to communicate that. 

Stop Googling.  Let's talk.

  • The preference to have the laptop out may be indicative of aversion of conversation more generally, because listening is slow and often doesn't provide immediate reward.
  • Alternatively, I may have intimidated students in class with my questions that were too "off the wall" and without obvious answers, so students may have sought refuge in their laptops so they wouldn't have to answer the questions.

  • Learning to Accept Responsibility without Feeling It Is an Undo Burden
    • A post written about the class last year.

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