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Svetlana Shamanaeva Assistant Professor American Studies Department, AUCA Spring 2013 Learner-Centered Teaching in American Studies

“ he student told the least, learns the most,! claimed the distinguished 20th centur" American mathematician and a universit" professor, #o$ert %ee &oore' (e meant that traditional lecturing is not the $est )a" of teaching, and other teaching methods and approaches are much more productive' *ne of such approaches, rather popular currentl", is learner+centered teaching' here are other terms to name the same thing, student+centered teaching, active learning, and interactive learning' -esides having different names, the idea has different interpretations' &ortimer .' Adler understands active learning as “a process of discover" in )hich the student is the main agent, not the teacher! /0uoted in -on)ell 1122134, 35' 6or Dr' Charles C' -on)ell “active learning involve1s4 students in doing things and thin7ing a$out the things the" are doing! /25' -ut )hat are those activities, )hich students are e8pected to do in their learning process3 Chic7ering and 9amson e8plain that students “must tal7 a$out )hat the" are learning, )rite a$out it, relate it to past e8periences, appl" it to ever"da" life! /12:;, 35' Dr' -on)ell also includes developing learner<s s7ills, increasing their motivation, “receiving immediate feed$ac7 from the instructor,! and using their “higher order thin7ing /anal"sis, s"nthesis, evaluation5! /35' &" understanding )as ver" close to these “traditional! definitions= teaching $ecomes automaticall" learner+centered )hen learners stop $eing lectured and $ecome involved in various in+class activities and )or7 mostl" in groups' (o)ever, &ar"ellen >eimer radicall" changed m" perception of this idea' (er significant contri$ution to the comprehension of learner+centered teaching includes five 7e" areas' 6irstl", she argues that a teacher should not ?ust arrange the learning process in an interactive )a" in order to ease 7no)ledge transmission' @nstead, a teacher<s role should
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completel" change into a facilitator of the learning process )hich should $e mostl" done through students< o)n discover" /2002, 13+1A5' he second area discusses the function of the content' he focus of teaching shifts from inventing e8ercises and assignments ensuring “content coverage! to those providing s7ills development' As )e see, the course content is forced out to the $ac7 front /10+125' he ne8t original idea of >eimer is a$out sharing decision+ma7ing po)er )ith learners' Since the" and their needs are the center of education, learners should participate in determining the course content, designing course activities and tas7s, )or7ing out course policies, and even evaluating their o)n )or7 /:+105' he idea sounds too radical, $ut actuall" it is not so a)ful if it is implemented graduall" and )isel"' he fourth change in the educational

process concerns evaluation purpose and process' Students should $e trained to evaluate o$?ectivel" their o)n )or7 and progress' >eimer suggests providing more practice in self+ and peer+evaluation /1B+1;5' And her final innovation is $ringing up self+sustaina$le, independent, and responsi$le learners' @t is not as eas" as it can seem' *n the one hand, responsi$ilit" doesn<t develop automaticall" and should $e e8plicitl" cultivated in students' *n the other hand, students are resistant to ta7ing $ac7 their o)n responsi$ilit" for learning /1C+1B5' Since @ )as tremendousl" amaDed and inspired $" the research of &ar"ellen >eimer, @ tried to implement as man" of her 7e" ideas as @ )as a$le to manage in m" classes on the US politics' )o of m" courses )ere ver" e8perimental, American 9overnment and Politics and American Political Parties' @t )as a difficult $ut valua$le e8perience' (o)ever, @ have to confess that a $ig part of m" e8periments failed' -ut even those failures )ere $eneficial, $ecause the" taught me plent" of interesting things a$out m" students' *ne of m" mista7es )as to incorporate too man" changes in m" most e8perimental course E American Political Parties' @ planned to use the content for developing their s7ills, $ut @ )as not read" to actuall" sacrifice a $ig portion of the reading materials' hus, @ ?ust slightl" reduced its amount= m" students /?uniors and seniors5 had to read a$out 1C+20 pages per class' 6urthermore, plent" of s7ills )ere included in the course o$?ectives, )riting, reading, anal"Ding,
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communicating their thoughts orall" and in )riting, and development of their responsi$ilit"' Faturall", it resulted in over)helming m"self and m" students' @t )as ta8ing for me, $ecause the ne) approach re0uires not ?ust 7no)ledge a$out the methodolog", $ut mostl" m" o)n teaching s7ills' And m" s7ills of creating interactive assignments and activities $ased on in0uir", choosing authentic and recent material instead of rel"ing on the course reader, and efficient evaluation of the numerous su$mitted assignments )ere ver" lo)' his made preparation of each class an e8hausting process' he other suffering side )as the students' @n addition to usual reading of $ig chun7s of material, the" had to fulfill a )ide range of tas7s for this course' 6or e8ample, after reading a chapter, the" )ere to create e8am 0uestions a$out it' he" )ere offered to )rite one or t)o essa"s on an" of the provided topics, to do up to four peer revie)s of their classmates< )or7s, to ma7e one individual and at least one team presentations, to do a team pro?ect /produce election advertisement in an" form, poster, video, )e$site, ne)spaper5, to )rite a midterm and final e8ams, and to )rite )ee7l" ?ournals on metacognitive issues and supplemental videos' -esides, learners )ere given freedom in choosing )hich assignments and ho) man" to fulfill, in esta$lishing their o)n deadlines for all the chosen activities, and in trac7ing their o)n progress through calculating their scores' All that freedom of choice )as ne) for them, and at first, it disoriented m" students' %ater the" )ere struggling )ith fulfilling the tas7s and )ith time management' -eing $uried in )or7 m"self, @ could not enforce the deadlines' his resulted in complete ignorance of all the deadlines= the assignments )ere su$mitted )henever students )anted' Another pro$lem )as m" high e8pectations a$out their s7ills, since @ had onl" ?uniors and seniors in this class' @t turned into a complete disaster= all their s7ills )ere much lo)er than @ had e8pected' &oreover, students lac7ed a$ilit" to appl" the theoretical e8planations to actual activities or to transfer the s7ills from one t"pe of activit" to another' 6or instance, @ thought that students do not 7no) ho) to create good rueG6alse or &ultiple Choice 0uestions' hat is )h" @ posted useful instructions and some e8amples to the electronic course s"stem /it is li7e a course
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)e$site5, assuming that it )ill $e a sufficient preparation for them' As a result, @ had plent" of terri$le 0uestions on their reading materials' Students got lo) grades after investing a lot of time and effort in this activit", and of course lost their motivation to continue this tas7' *nl" a couple of students )ho )ere rather 0uic7 to grasp the principles of good 0uestion ma7ing did the assignment throughout the )hole semester' Another e8ample of similar pro$lem )as development of students< academic essa" )riting s7ills' @ planned t)o activities improving these s7ills, )riting their o)n essa"s )ith the further revision of them and revie)ing essa"s of their peers and filling a special form for that' &an" students )rote their first essa" drafts and discovered ho) poor their s7ills )ere' he first peer+revie)s )ere also far from good, mostl" praising instead of advising ho) to improve pro$lematic places in the essa"' After a class discussion of the shortcomings of the $oth products, it )as much easier for learners to o$tain ho) to criti0ue a )or7 of another person than ho) to improve "our o)n )or7' Fo )onder, the ma?orit" of the students chose to )rite 3+A peer revie)s and not to re)rite their o)n drafts' hus, @ have no idea ho) m" assignments and detailed comments on students< drafts actuall" improved their o)n )riting s7ills' Donald 9' Schoffstall also )arns us not to “assume student<s previous 7no)ledge,! since it usuall" leads to “miscommunication,! “poor grades,! and “lo)er student motivation! /2010, :5' A lot of revelations of m" )rong assumptions happened through students< electronic ?ournal and in+class short feed$ac7s' he a$ove mentioned pro$lems could $e solved through modeling, constant practice, and immediate feed$ac7' &" first mista7e )as ?ust to provide supplementar" readings on rules of 0uestion construction' @t )ould $e much $etter if it )ere follo)ed $" a class discussion of students< first 0uestions, )ith m" e8plicit e8planations )hat is good, )hat is )rong, )h", and ho) it can $e improved' Since this activit" )as a$solutel" ne) for m" students, @ should have done such modeling 2+3 times in class' hen as an" ne) s7ill it needed to $e repeatedl" practiced' Actuall", the students )ere reall" enthusiastic and created a lot of 0uestions for each assigned chapter' And here @ made a mista7e m"self again' @ did not limit the num$er of
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0uestions the" could create, and the" created too man" for me to chec7 all of them in time' Conse0uentl", the" )ere producing a lot of $ad 0uestions )ithout an" grading and comments from me during a month' >hen @ finall" managed to return their )or7s, it )as too late, the grades )ere too lo), and students< dissatisfaction )as too great' he" ?ust stopped )riting 0uestions, and man" of them even stopped reading at all' @t )ould $e much $etter if students created onl" one 0uestion of each t"pe /trueGfalse, multiple choice, and open 0uestions5 of a good 0ualit" for ever" meeting, su$mitted them electronicall" at least several hours $efore the class, and got the )ritten comments in class )hen the read material )as discussed' @ did use the electronic su$mission of the 0uestions, $ut the deadline )as al)a"s 11 p'm' at the da" )hen )e had a class' And m" students confessed later that it )as a )ea7ness of the assignment, since some of them created the 0uestions after the class discussion and did not need to read the chapters in advance or at all' he pro$lem )as )orsened $" m" procrastination )ith grading the 0uestions' o sum up, m" )rongdoings in implementing the ne) approach to m" classes )ere as follo)s, shifting to s7ills development )ithout reduction of mandator" course readings, including too man" s7ills for improving in one course, ma7ing )rong assumptions a$out the level of students< s7ills, sparing use of modeling for all activities, even those )hich are considered traditional li7e Po)erPoint presentations and essa" )riting, and postponing feed$ac7 for their )or7 due to m" $eing over)helmed' Despite all the difficulties, some of the changes )ere successful' &" $iggest successes )ere regular collection of students< feed$ac7s and use of metacognitive electronic ?ournal )riting' @ $orro)ed the first idea from the ver" resourceful $oo7 $" &ar"ellen >eimer and modified it a little' @ prepared small /AB format5 colorful sheets of paper, green E for summariDing )hat students learned in toda"<s class, red E for e8pressing their pro$lems )ith comprehension and as7ing their 0uestions a$out the course material, and different colors /$ut onl" one color for a class period5 E for reflecting on their progress and struggles as learners and
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for commenting on m" teaching st"le and techni0ues' Actuall", green and red cards dealing )ith the course content failed, since students< summariDing and in0uiring s7ills )ere poor, and @ could not add these s7ills to alread" long list of the planned s7ills' hus, @ ?ust stopped doing that' As for the cards discussing methodolog" and s7ills, the" )ere the most useful innovation in m" course, )hich @ am going to ma7e regular in all m" teaching practice' -ut in order to ma7e this activit" $eneficial, a teacher should $e honest and fle8i$le' 6irst of all @ clearl" defined the goal of this activit" for m" students, sa"ing that @ )anted to ma8imiDe their learning, create friendl" and fruitful atmosphere for them, and provide as much help as @ could' @ also admitted that @ do not 7no) ho) to do it, and their detailed and honest ans)ers and comments )ill help us $oth improve their o)n learning' he second even more important step is to 7eep "our promises' @f "ou sa" that "ou )ill ta7e their suggestions into consideration, so do itH *ther)ise, students )ill not consider such reflections serious and their )riting )ill $e short, dull, and useless' @ )ant to demonstrate ho) @ created credi$ilit" in m" course' @ made the students ta7e responsi$ilit" for trac7ing their progress in class' he" earn grades $" accumulating points for fulfilled assignments' @ decided to provide their scores for each assignment, and students had to sum them up themselves and to see )hich grade the" alread" earned and if the" need to do other tas7s for improving their grade or not if the" are satisfied )ith )hat the" have got' Participation )as one of the parts of their grade, and @ told them the" )ill evaluate their o)n participation in each class' Students )ere not happ" )ith the situation, as the" had a$solutel" no e8perience in this sphere' *ne of the students, let<s call him Fur$e7, e8pressed his concern and e8plained )h" this evaluation should $e done $" the teacher and not the students' @n the ne8t class, @ told them the good ne)s, that Fur$e7 persuaded me, and participation evaluation )ill $e done $" me' he students )ere happ", and since then all their feed$ac7s and reflections )ere detailed, argumentative, and sincere' >e esta$lished close relations through these cards' And @ did a lot of ad?ustments suggested in these cards during the )hole semester' &oreover, man" students said that it )ould $e great if other teachers as7ed learners< opinion during the semester instead of
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usual collecting student evaluations of the course at the end of the semester, )hen it is useless for the students' Another activit" valua$le for me and $eneficial for students )as electronic ?ournal' @t )as optional li7e all other assignments in this course' @ tried to use a ?ournal $efore $ut not electronic and onl" for the content= all the 0uestions )ere connected to their mandator" or supplemental readings or films )atched in class or outside, or )ith the ne)s from the US politics' &ar"ellen >eimer shared all her 22 “%earning %og Intries! in her $oo7 /203+2125' @ used it as a $asis for developing m" o)n ?ournal 0uestions' 6irst, @ planned it to $e mostl" metacognitive and to include 20 entries /C points for each5' During the course @ discovered that some entries could chec7 students< understanding of supplementar" video materials, and some )ere assigned for research' @n order to motivate students to do more rigorous ?o$, anal"tical entries cost 10 points each' -esides, @ )as read" to give even more points if the )riting )as reall" ela$orative' hus )e ended )ith onl" 1B ?ournal entries totaling the same 100 points' @ did not provide all the entries to the students from the ver" $eginning of the course' An additional handout for the s"lla$us included onl" the first five entries' All the rest of them )ere created during the course and some of them mirrored the pro$lems )e uncounted in class, li7e .ournal Intr" 1C' Jou ma" find m" s"lla$us )ith all ?ournal 0uestions in the Appendi8' he last thing )hich )as a success is using students< 0uestions on the readings in their midterm and final e8aminations' *n the one hand, it feeds their motivation to read= the more of their 0uestions )ill $e selected for an e8am, the $etter their performance )ill $e' And creating important and good e8am 0uestions provided purpose for students< careful reading te8ts' 6inall", if "ou find "ourself interested in learner+centered teaching, remem$er that the center of this approach is real life needs and values of the learners' 6igure out )hat "our audience )ill reall" need after graduating from the universit", and tr" to contri$ute to satisf"ing those needs' Ista$lish clear goals of "our course in terms of learners< development, and start changing "our teaching' Start small= if "ou introduce gradual changes in "our courses, it
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eventuall" )ill change "ou as a personalit"' -e courageous $ut not am$itious= tr" an"thing "ou are interested in, $ut $e read" for failures' he" are inevita$le= ho)ever, do not forget that ever" cloud has a silver lining' And al)a"s 7eep in contact )ith "our audience, e8change feed$ac7, as7 for their advice ho) to improve their learning process, and $e fle8i$le and )illing to em$race their suggestions' @ have got some of m" $est )or7ing techni0ues through the students< recommendations' And @ )ould love to finish )ith the )ords of the American $as7et$all pla"er, coach, and author of numerous $oo7s, .ohn #o$ert >ooden, “See7 opportunities to sho) "ou care' he smallest gestures often ma7e the $iggest difference'! Sho) "our students "ou care a$out their progress, and the" )ill $e happ" to cooperate )ith "ou in the educational process'

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Appendi8
Syllabus of American Political Parties Course Spring 2013 Course, A&S 322 /022205 3 credits &onda", hursda" 1A,10 E 1C,2C @nstructor, %ana Shamanaeva shamanaevaKsLmail'auca'7g

Course escription and !b"ecti#es he course focuses on American political parties and their historical development, structure and activities' @t also covers the patterns of voting and the role of mass media in election campaigns $oth presidential and congressional' he course aims at developing students< a)areness of US political parties and their role in American life as )ell as developing their learning s7ills such as )riting, reading, anal"Ding and communicating "our thoughts orall" and in )riting' A special attention )ill $e given to development of students< responsi$ilit"' Course Assignments @n this course, students have discretion to choose assignments to fulfill' Jou should ma7e "our o)n plan of studies, )hich "ou )ill descri$e in the .ournal Intr" 1' Jou don<t have to fulfill all the assignments= "ou ?ust need to o$tain the necessar" score for the desired grade' -ut 7eep in mind that though "ou define ma?orit" of deadlines for "our assignments, once the due date for an assignment has passed, "ou can<t complete it an"more' here )ill $e no specific tas7s for earing $onus points at the end of the course, $ut "ou ma" $e given additional points for "our e8tra active and creative participation during the course' And ever" student should ma7e at least one presentation /either individual or team5' Attendance Since students are e8pected to do a lot of )or7 in class, attendance is ver" important' Jou )on<t $e credited for "our good attendance, $ut "ou )ill definitel" $e punished for the poor one' *ne missed class )ill cost "ou 10 points and one coming late $ points' *nl" (#II medical records are accepted or other three important reasons if @<m informed $eforehand' Participation %1$&' Jour participation and enthusiasm are essential' Al)a"s+silent, $ac7+corner students )ill get no points' -e )ell prepared for class and read assigned material in advance' Jour participation /even if "our ans)er is not correct5 )ill never lo)er "our grade' Participation also includes active listening to "our groupmates and as7ing 0uestions to them as )ell as to "our teacher' ()am *uestions %2$&' @n this class, instead of having 0uiDDed made $" "our professor, "ou<ll create "our o)n 0uestions on the readings, presentations, de$ates, films, and an" other material from the course' Jou are supposed to upload to the e+course and $ring to class trueGfalse, open, andGor multiple choice 0uestions for each chapter and article )hich )e<ll read' Jou can ma7e up as man" 0uestions as "ou li7e, $ut the" must $e of good 0ualit" and test important information' Jour 0uestions )ill $e used in the midterm and final e8ams' *ne trueGfalse and open 0uestion is 2 points, and multiple choice 0uestion costs A points' -ut if the" are too simple or not appropriate, the"<ll get no credit' And please include the correct ans)er' +idterm and ,inal ()ams %10& each' I8ams )ill $e partl" compiled from "our o)n 0uestions and done through the I+Course S"stem' he e8am )ill $e open for a )ee7, so if "ou miss an e8am, it<s "our o)n pro$lem, no ma7e+ups )ill $e allo)ed' Short (ssays %-& each' During the course "ou ma" )rite 2 short essa"s, )hich )ill $e peer+revie)ed and then have to $e significantl" revised' he topics, guidelines, and ru$rics for their evaluation )ill $e provided later' All the essa"s must $e uploaded to the I+Course' Don<t forget that @<ll have schedules )ith all the due dates for
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each assignment of ever" student' %ate assignments )ill $e accepted $ut punished, 10M reduction of the grade for ever" e8tra da"' hus, it<s "our responsi$ilit" to su$mit "our papers in time' Peer-.e#ie/s %3& each' Jou ma" revie) an essa" or an individual presentation of "our peer students and get 1C points for each good revie)' Jou )ill $e provided the peer+revie) sheets and the ru$rics for evaluation' he goal of the revie) is to help the author to improve hisGher )or7 and get a higher grade for it' Jou ma" choose to do up to A revie)s, $ut the" must $e detailed and constructive= other)ise, "ou<ll get no credit for them' Jou can revie) papers of the same student or of different ones' 0ndi#idual Presentation %10&' Students have to choose a topic for a Po)erPoint presentation on political parties )ithin the first )ee7 of the semester' Jour presentation )ill $e scheduled most li7el" on the da" )hen )e are going to discuss that topic' Jou have to present )hen "ou are scheduled' Postponements are possi$le onl" in e8ceptional cases' @t has to $e settled )ith me in advance' @f "ou are late )ith "our presentation, "ou still ma" do it, $ut "our grade )ill $e reduced $" 10M for each class period' Jour presentation must $e a result of a research, and $e organiDed around a thesis statement' hus, it must not include all the information a$out the part" or politician, )hich "ou have found' -e selective' A simple >i7ipedia description of a political part" )ill get 0 points' he presentation must $e 1C minutes long and C+10 minutes for 0uestions' Jou are supposed to spea7 not read "our slides' 1ournal %20&' Students )ill )rite a ?ournal in the I+Course' he ?ournal )ill mostl" focus on "our learning s7ills' Jou ma" )rite as man" entries as "ou choose out of the given 20, $ut the minimum num$er must $e C' @f during the course, "ou su$mit less than C entries, "ou<ll get 0 points for the ?ournal' All the entries )ill have a deadline, and once it passed the entr" )ill not $e accepted' he entries should $e thoughtful responses to the provided 0uestions' *ne entr" of good 0ualit" costs C points' Team Presentation %1$&' Jou should ma7e a team )ithin the first )ee7 and choose a topic for "our presentation )ithin the first 2 )ee7s of the semester' he presentation should $e 20+2C minutes long )ith 10 minutes for 0uestions, and ever" mem$er must contri$ute orall"' All the other re0uirements are the same as for individual presentations' Team Pro"ect %1$&' Jou should ma7e a team )ithin the first 2 )ee7s of the semester and during the semester create an advertisement for an election campaign' @t can $e a ne)spaper article, a video clip, a poster, a )e$site, or )hatever "ou choose' he ma?or thing a$out this pro?ect is creativit"H -esides, it should $e persuasive and attractive' Neep in mind, it should $e informative and short= the advertising time is precious' @f "ou choose this tas7, the details )ill $e discussed later during the appointment' Jour team )ill determine the deadline for this pro?ect "ourself' 2rading 6or the purposes of planning, highlight the assignments "ou are considering, and then total the points possi$le' -e realistic' @t<s highl" unli7el" that "ou )ill get all the points possi$le for the tas7s' Chec7 "our total )ith point totals needed for each grade' -e sure that "ou are planning to do enough assignments to get the grade "ou desire in the course' Neep trac7 of "our points as the course goes on /a points grid sheet )ill $e provided later5 so that "ou )ill 7no) if "ou need to add more assignments' Calculating "our scores is completel" your responsibility' @f "ou miscalculate and discover it too late, "ou<ll suffer all the conse0uences of that' @<ll accept no additional )or7 )hich is after the due dateH Jou are also responsi$le for setting the deadlines for part of "our assignments' @ndividual and team presentations )ill $e scheduled according to the topics in the s"lla$us' Jou<ll have freedom in determining due dates for "our essa"s and team pro?ect so that "ou distri$ute the )or7 more e0uall" during the )hole semester' Participation I8am Ouestions / G6, open E 2 points, m'ch' E A points each5 1CM /;C points5 2CM /12C points5
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&idterm I8am 6inal I8am Short Issa"s /2 essa" P 30 points5 Peer #evie)s /A revie)s P 1C points5 @ndividual Presentation .ournal /20 entries P C points5 eam Presentation eam Pro?ect

10M /C0 points5 10M /C0 points5 12M /B0 points5 12M /B0 points5 10M /C0 points5 20M /100 points5 1CM /;C points5 1CM /;C points5 132& %420 points' T!TAL

9rades for the course )ill $e given according to the follo)ing scale, a$ove A;B A A;C E ACB A+ ACC E A2B -Q A2C E A01 A00 E 3;B -+ 3;C E 3CB CQ 3CC E 32B C 32C E 301 C+ 300 E 242;C E $elo) 6 2C E 100M 20 E 2AM :C E :2M :0 E :AM ;C E ;2M ;0 E ;AM BC E B2M B0 E BAM $$ E C2M 0 E CAM

Plagiarism 5! Plagiarism /ill be tolerated at all6 An" plagiarism /even so+called unintended5 )ill result in immediate failure of the course, not ?ust an assignmentH Jou are not freshmen, thus it<s a$solutel" your responsibility to find out )hat plagiarism is /as7 me if "ou are unsure5 and to do "our $est to avoid it' 07ll ha#e no mercy for cheaters6 8elie#e me6 .eadings 1' 9ershey, &ar?orie #andon' Party Politics in America. Fe) Jor7, PearsonG%ongman' 13th edition' 2002' 2' :ayne, Stephen .' The Road to the White House 2008: The Politics of Presidential Elections. -oston, homsonG>ads)orth' 200:' 3' &cNenna, 9eorge and Stanle" 6eingold' Taking Sides: Clashing ie!s on Political "ssues. Fe) Jor7, &c9ra) (ill' 2012' A' DiClerico, #o$ert I' and Allan S' (ammoc7' Points of View: Readings in American #o$ernment and Politics. -oston, &c9ra) (ill' 2002' C' Loomis, -urdett A' and >end" .' Schiller' The Contem%orary Congress. Canada, homsonG>ads)orth' 200B' B' .eichley, A' .ames' The &ife of the Parties. Fe) Jor7, #o)man and %ittlefield Pu$lishers' 1222' ;' 8ibby, .ohn 6' Politics' Parties' and Elections in America. Chicago, Felson+(all Pu$lishers' 122B' Ilectronic Course S"stem http;<<e-course=auca=>g aily Syllabus 1A dail" calendar of all classes )ith dates, topics, and assignments follo)s'4 1ournal (ntries Intr" 1
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Develop a game plan for the course indicating )hich assignments "ou plan to complete and )hen "ou )ould li7e to su$mit each assignment' >h" have "ou selected these options3 >hat do "ou thin7 "our choices indicate a$out "our learning preferences3 >h" do "ou thin7 a teacher )ould give students a choice a$out assignments3 (o) do "ou thin7 this strateg" )ill affect "our performance in the class3 Intr" 2 >hich learning s7ills do "ou need to develop3 -e specific' “>riting s7ills! is too general' >hich )riting s7ills e8actl", summariDing, forming a strong thesis statement, incorporating 0uotes into "our argument, organiDing a paragraph around one single idea, telling the difference $et)een introduction and conclusion /)hich info to include in the intro and )hich in the conclusion5, finding "our o)n position among all those scholars, etc'3 @f there are too man", prioritiDe them' >hich 2+3 s7ills "ou )ould li7e to focus on in this class3 >h" have "ou chosen them3 >hat did "ou do $efore to improve these s7ills3 (o) successful )ere those strategies3 >hich assignments in this class )ill help "ou to develop these s7ills3 (o) can @ as a teacher help "ou to improve in chosen areas3 Intr" 3 >rite a$out "our class participation in universit" courses' >hat role should student participation pla" in the college classroom3 (o) much do "ou participate3 >hat do "ou usuall" do in class3 @s that as much as "ou<d li7e to contri$ute3 @f it<s not as much, )hat 7eeps "ou from sa"ing more in class3 @f "ou are active in class discussions, could "ou someho) help other more silent and sh" students to participate more3 >hat e8actl" can "ou do in our classes to involve more students to discussions3 Intr" A hin7 a$out "our e8periences )or7ing in groups' >hat made those group e8periences effective or ineffective3 >hat responsi$ilities do individuals have )hen the" participate in groups3 Can individual mem$ers do an"thing to encourage other mem$ers to fulfill these responsi$ilities3 (o) can people contri$ute to group )or73 Do some research if "ou need' >hat roles do "ou t"picall" fill in groups3 hin7 a$out tr"ing ne), more challenging roles' Are there an" s7ills "ou<d li7e to develop further3 Intr" C >hat topic have "ou chosen for "our individual or team presentation3 >h" have "ou chosen it3 >hich materials have "ou alread" found for it3 >hat particular aspect a$out this topic are "ou going to focus on3 >hat can $e the preliminar" thesis statement around )hich "ou )ill organiDe "our research3 (o) can @ or "our classmates help "ou )ith "our presentation at this stage3 Intr" B >e donRt have much discussion a$out the material "ou are reading' (o) much have "ou got so far3 Are there an" particular topics )e have covered, )hich "ou are totall" confused a$out and need to clarif"3 -e specific so that @ can help "ou' Intr" ; Do some research /not ver" e8tensive5 and sa" )hat "ouRve learned a$out the US health care s"stem' (o) does it )or73 >hat are advantages and disadvantages of it3 >h" is so )idel" discussed in ever" election during the last 20 "ears3 And @ )ant "ou to share this information )ith the )hole class, thus, cop" "our response to the 6orum 1 /on health care5' @f "ou find some interesting advertising a$out it, share the lin7s )ith us' Intr" : Do some research /not ver" e8tensive5 and sa" )hat "ouRve learned a$out election campaigns of (illar" Clinton' >hat positions did she campaign for3 (o) much mone" did she spend3 >here did it mostl"
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come from3 >hat issues did she focus on during her campaigns3 @f "ou find some interesting advertising a$out her, share the lin7s' Jou can also share this info )ith the )hole class through 6orum 2 on (illar" Clinton' Intr" 2 After )atching the film (ic)o $" &ichael &oore, ans)er the follo)ing 0uestions, 1' >hat are the pro$lems the US has )ith health care s"stem3 2' >hat in the film struc7 "ou the most3 3' >here does all the mone" spent on health care $" the US government and citiDens go3 A' >h" cannot the US solve these pro$lems for such a long time3 Intr" 10 /10 points5 >atch the 1st and 2nd 2012 presidential de$ates and discuss in detail the strateg" used $" each candidate in the de$ate' >hat the" focused on ans)ering a 0uestion3 Did the" ?ust descri$e the situation, offer a solution in general terms or provided a more or less detailed plan for future improvements, or criticiDed the opponent3 (o) did the" do it3 (o) did the" control the conversation3 (o) did the" tr" to improve their o)n image and damage the image of the opponent3 >ho of the candidates loo7ed $etter and )h"3 Intr" 11 /10 points5 >atch the 200: presidential de$ate $et)een the ma?or part" candidates and $et)een the minor part" candidates' (o) are these de$ates different from each other3 >ere their rules different3 (o) and )h"3 >hat )ere the candidates tal7ing a$out3 Did the minor part" candidates loo7 $etter than ma?or part" candidates3 Intr" 12 >e have covered t)o thirds of the course so far' Jou should calculate "our grades "ourself' >here are "ou right no)3 >ill "ou $e a$le to get the grade "ou planned3 @f not, )h" did it happen3 >hat "ou can do to improve "our grade $efore the course is over3 Jou still have a chance to ma7e short $onus presentations /even )ithout Po)erPoint5 a$out some details ?ust mentioned in the te8t to improve "our participation grade' Intr" 13 /10 points5 >atch the film *r. (mith #oes to Washington, and get as much as "ou can from this film a$out the rules and procedures of Senate )or7' he $etter and more detailed anal"sis "ou ma7e, the $etter "our grade )ill $e /ma"$e even more than 10 points5' Intr" 1A Anal"De the presidential de$ates )e had in class' >ho )as the most persuasive3 >h"3 >hat )ere the mista7es of each candidate3 (o) much the candidatesR programs and performance influenced "our final choice3 >ould "ou choose the same candidate /Democrat, #epu$lican, independent5 if "ou hadnRt seen this de$ate3 >h" "es3 *r )h" no3 Intr" 1C >atch -egai"mRs presentation a$out Ann #ichards again and ans)er the follo)ing 0uestions' he purpose of the presentation )as to sho) ho) governors, as part of the e8ecutive $ranch, deal )ith political parties' And donRt forget that the class is American Political Parties' 1' >hich information from -egai"mRs presentation "ou )ould 7eep3 2' >hat should $e eliminated3 3' >hat 7ind of information should $e added3 A' Do "ou have an" 0uestions a$out her, )hich "ou )ould li7e to have ans)ered3
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@f "ou )ish, "ou ma" redo her presentation and upload it to the e+course' Since there )ill $e no oral presentation of it, put "our actual speech into the notes area' he grade /ma8imum A0 points5 )ill $e added to "our total score' Intr" 1B /10 points5 #eflect on "our learning in this course' Ivaluate 15 improvement of "our s7ills /reading, )riting, research, anal"sis, preparing presentations, oral performance, evaluating other essa"s, time+management, tracing "our progress in class, etc'5 -e specific did an" of "our s7ills improved3 >hat helped "ou to do so3 >hich course activities )ere useful, and )hich )ere useless for developing "our s7ills3 25 ho) much content "ouRve learned in this class' >hich activities helped "ou to ac0uire the information $etter /reading the course reader, doing research for "our presentationGessa", listening to m" lectures, )atching the presentations in class, class discussionsGde$ates, revie)ing essa"s of peers, short videos in class, long videos out of class, etc'53 @f m" lectures )ere supported )ith Po)erPoint regularl", )ould it help "ou to learn the information $etter3 >h"3

#eferences -on)ell, Charles C' 1122134 Acti$e &earning: Creating E+citement in the Classroom' PD6' Purdue Agriculture. Accessed &a" 10, 2013' http,GG)))'"dae'purdue'eduGlctGh$cuGdocumentsGActiveK%earningKCreatingKI8citeme ntKinKtheKClassroom'pdf Chic7ering, Arthur >', and Stephen C' Ihrmann' 122B' S@mplementing the Seven Principles, echnolog" as %ever'S AAHE ,ulletin *cto$er, 3+B' Accessed &a" 2, 2013' http,GG)))'tltgroup'orgGprogramsGseven'html' Schoffstall, Donald 9' 2010' “Don<t Assume a Student<s Previous Nno)ledge'! -aculty -ocus (%ecial Re%ort: Teaching *ista)es from the College Classroom &arch, ;+:' Accessed &a" 2, 2013' http,GG)))'facult"focus'comGfree+reportsGteaching+mista7es+from+the+ college+classroomG' >eimer, &ar"ellen' 2002' &earner.Centered Teaching: -i$e /ey Changes to Practice. San 6rancisco, .osse"+-ass' Accessed &a" 10, 2013' http,GGfreepdfd$'comGpdfGlearner+ centered+teaching+$oo7

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