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student success

Guiding Student Performance

My first week of simulating the IF process via my facilitation and notetaking for the class discussion went OK. It is a large group (around 40), and I made students responsible for taking turns speaking, building on each others' comments, and making sure everyone...

What Impact Does the IF Approach Have on Faculty?

The Perspectives articles exploring IF in the classroom have, thus far, largely articulated the benefits of our student-centered approach on student learning, interaction, retention, and skill development (leadership, communication, etc.).  It is important that we...

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...

Why Bring IF Into the Classroom?

If you have not been to a university campus since the 1960s or 1970s, you might be surprised to find how similar the classroom environment is to that which you might remember from forty or more years ago.  While technology has transformed the average classroom into...

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 my freshmen think about the IF Process…

This week I asked my freshman class to continue discussing "the public value of higher education."  I told them to focus on their college experience to present -- activities they had attended (required by the University) & courses in general: "What were they...

Lauren’s Story

The entry below is another story from my colleague Jack Byrd about student experiences with a student-centered discussion class. It might help you think about the ways that discussion facilitation differs from making an oral presentation. You might also think about...

Diversifying Social Skills, Ryan’s Story

Here's another story about student experiences with discussion facilitation from my colleague Jack Byrd (you can find his first entry on developing social confidence here). This story focuses on some of the ways students might expand their social skills by...