I sat in on a second year education lecture class and I noticed some differences between their class and some of the previous courses I’ve taken in Regina:
The students were working on an in-class assignment that was for marks.
- There are around 200 students in the class and they were working in groups of three answering an authentic task based on their readings and previous lectures.
- The students were discussing with one another, their professors and can refer back to their notes to complete the task. There was lots of noise and on task talking relevant to the assignment.
- The assignment they are doing is for marks and they are presented with requirements and a grading scheme so they understand how they will be marked. Grammar and punctuation are marked and considered in the marking scheme.
- Some groups didn’t finish in the required amount of time but handed in brainstorming sheets and notes with their paper.
In the classes I’ve takren (usually smaller in size), we have done readings, listened to lectures and have been given tasks with outlines and expectations as well. And yet, we were never even as close to the engagement levels in which these students were. I can’t help but wonder if it is because … we value our course work differently? Is it that we didn’t understand our readings and the content? Did we simply not care? And the list goes on . . . ..