Student Projects

Char A Bezanson bezanson at STOLAF.EDU
Fri Jan 31 21:11:59 EST 1997

I think you're right on about breaking the mindset that the 
teacher/student relationship is the only one that matters in the 
classroom.  While it may not be appropriate for  all types of projects or 
for large classes, I've had students post essays dealing with a class 
problem or topic to a class email alias, and have required them to read 
and respond to a certain number of their classmates' essays.  This does 
several things, including the following:

*Since it's a "public" forum, students have more at stake than a grade.  
Some students actually care more about their reputations than their 
grades, and will put more into the assignment.

*Students get to see examples of others' work, and can often figure out for 
themselves what might need improvement in their own.

*Introverted students, who often don't offer much to oral class 
discussion, often open up in this format

*The discussion can really take off.  I've had students ask if they're 
"allowed" to respond to the the responses, or if they can respond to more 
essays than assigned

*Students get feedback (one kind of "assessment") from more than one 

Char A. Bezanson (bezanson at
School Nature Area Project
St. Olaf College
Northfield,  MN  55057

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