End of Semester Reflection Begins
As we approach the end of the semester, I have been reflecting on the successes that have been achieved as well as ways to improve classes; something that I do at the end of every semester. Although it seems that the grand experiment with the Ocelot Scholars program will have some great work completed, there is one change I believe I would make in the future; a change I began discussing with students today.
The class was designed so that students would do research, then work on projects, and then write papers. The logic behind this progression is that as students worked on projects , they would do more research and then the papers would be even easier to write. Unfortunately, the fear factor when in came to the projects was greater than I anticipated–even with about 40% of the students taking the class because I was teaching it. As a result, as I discussed next steps with students, there was a delay in taking those steps. Because so many students–including some I knew from previous semesters–delayed, I think that we need to define this as a design error which is something for which I am responsible. As we discussed today, just because something looks good on paper does not mean that it will work in reality.
I think it would have been better had I students write their papers before doing the projects. They are used to writing papers and would have better accepted this as the logical step after doing their research. Then, when the papers were done, students would have had more confidence tackling the projects.
I will continue to talk to student about the process.
I discovered that some of my students are even more talented than I realized. At today’s reception for our student athletes, I learned about both academic and athletic achievements about which I was not aware. I have always enjoyed working with the athletes as well as Sid Fox, Joyce Galindo, and Michael Oliver.