I agree with Nick’s blog post, Class-Led Discussions/Research Paper. I feel that I have gained more from the discussions being led in class by students than I have in most of the class periods.
When I first heard we were supposed to lead class discussions, I did not care for the idea at all. I hate speaking in front of people, and I just hate speaking in front of people. But, when I gave my “discussion” over APA, I found that the time flew by fast, and it wasn’t that bad.
These discussions tend to be more effective in showing us how to use social media. Nick showed us how to use Twitter, and Amy showed us how to use Tumblr. Seeing how everything worked was far more effective than sitting there and being told to go out and read about them.
The class periods where we were actually learning information about social media sites were also more productive. I didn’t feel like we were just elaborating on an article to fill up time in the class; they just naturally lasted a whole class period. And although I may have known some of the information being discussed or “taught” in class, I didn’t know everything.
I do feel that if there was a clear schedule for the semester that mapped out what the lessons/class discussions would be and when, the student-led discussions would be even more productive/effective. Students could see what we’ll be learning/talking about in class and plan around that. My discussion just happened to fall in the right place at the right time. We were getting ready to start out papers, and I knew APA format from working in the Writing Center.
Overall, the student-led discussions aren’t a terrible idea, but there still needs to be some improvements.