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mgettings

Two Hurdles

After teaching a first year seminar using the IF method for a second time, I'm reflecting on the usefulness of student-centered discussion for this population of students.  My classes have faced two hurdles which have been very difficult to clear: the abstract...

The Culmination of Their Learning

At the end of the semester, my students have the opportunity to make a presentation to the rest of the first year seminars, as a means of sharing what they have learned in the course.  We call this event "Extravaganza", and it is held in a large lecture hall.  Last...

Big Lessons for First-Year Students

IF Blog Posting Nov 2010 After passing the midway point of my first year seminar this fall, I have had a chance to pause and reflect.  Last fall I taught an IF course for the first time, and doing this a second time has had its rewards.  I have thirteen students...

My IF course v. 2.0

Well, I’m back to teaching an IF-course, and for some reason, the same one I taught last year, a first-year seminar.  Last fall wasn’t a complete failure, but I did a lot of re-tooling midstream, given that things didn’t always go to plan.  This time out, I’ve made...

Integrating Discussion into a New Course

The blog has really come alive in the last month and a half, and I must admit I have a hard time keeping up with everyone's posts, but they've been very helpful as I think about trying more discussion in class. This semester I'm teaching a 300-level seminar in the...

A Sense of Relief

Now that it's been well over a month since my last post, it's hard to know how to sum up all the things that have happened.  I'll start at the conclusion: Thursday was the last day of my IF course.  All 15 of our first-year seminars are invited to participate in...

Discussions, Round Two

Since my last post, several things have happened.  My students finished their first round of discussions, so everyone has tried their hand at facilitating.  It went reasonably well, although I'm changing some small things to make the next round better.  I also had...

What Next?

After reading Maria's recent post about what she will do next with her IF class now that they are not in their original groups, I realize that I feel I'm at a bit of a crossroads with my class as well.  Tomorrow is our last small group discussion on the question...

Syllabus Overhaul

This week is a short week in my IF class, Art: I Know It When I See It.  We had only one class meeting, since it's fall break, so I had to make the most of it.  First, I've already had to overhaul my syllabus - the groups' progress has been slower than I had...

Unexpected Hurdles

This week in my IF-supported course, I struggled with getting my small groups underway.  Our class took a day-long trip to Washington, DC last weekend, and we toured the National Gallery of Art, and several other Smithsonian museums.  It was a whirlwind tour, but...