Tuesday, December 6, 2016

What I forgot to say in class this morning.

In doing our review I failed to mention an idea I am toying with - replacing either one of the live class sessions or perhaps both with mandatory office hours.  Students would be put into groups of 3 or 4 and have a 20 minutes session scheduled during regular class time.  Since the class meets for 80 minutes, I could do 4 such sessions a day.

In this way I'd hope to get everyone in the group to chime in.  And in that setting, as distinct from the full class, I wouldn't feel reluctant to call on you if you weren't otherwise participating in the discussion.

The big deal for me is that I haven't worked through how to keep these conversations somewhat novel.  If I can somehow figure out how to do that, then this would work for me.  Focusing on the blog posts of the particular group members might do the trick.

In any event, I am toying with this.  If you have some thoughts on the matter, you might make a comment here, or send me an email about it.


  1. This would be interesting idea to implement. The individualized learning that would result from this would likely be beneficial to the students, and students may even be more willing to speak up on their own in the smaller environment.

    I might caution you on assuming that focusing on individual group members' blog posts will keep the discussion novel for you, as even blog posts by different people can blend together if they are talked about one after the other in a short period of time. This is especially true if the blog posts are all based on the same prompt. Working to give students more choices on the prompt they write for, maybe by making more "dual-choice" weeks during the semester like this last one, may ameliorate this issue for you.

    You might even make a voluntary experiment out of this -- students within your class could volunteer to be moved to this alternative class format while the rest stay with the conventional format. The performance of the two groups could then be compared.

    This idea might even have relevance to the field of organizational economics itself, as the alternative format could be translated into the job world as turning larger group meetings with a supervisor into multiple smaller ones with the supervisor. This might prove to be a way to increase productivity and social cohesion in organizations.

  2. This sounds like the right path towards having novel conversations. I think that smaller group with a more focused and personalized 20 minute discussion would create a lot of dialogue between the group members and likely improve group synergy.

    I was also curious because I thought I recalled hearing at some point in the semester that we'd meet individually to go over our blog posts and comments but that was more so from a grading aspect instead of having a discussion on coursework topics.