Tuesday Teaching Question

All kinds of research points to the importance of students being “involved” on campus as a major predictor of their success in college, especially for non-traditional students. One thing that is definitely different about Harold Washington now, compared to, say, 10 years ago, is that there is now a plethora of events for students to attend any given semester. There is something going on at the school–a lecture, a performance, a workshop, etc.–almost daily, and often more than one.

Posters in the lobby, flyers near the escalators, and email announcements are all good as far as they go, but I’ve noticed that when I announce these events in class, there are inevitably students who write down the information (as if interested AND unaware). I’ve never settled on a procedure for sharing event information with my students though. I hate to use up those first or last five minutes of class given their importance for teaching, but, given the research, maybe I should.

Today’s teaching question is in regard to these events: Do you announce things, like the upcoming production of Bus Stop (along with student and group discount information) to your classes, and if so–all of them, some of them, or only rare occasions? And when you do announce them, how do you go about it and why?

Do you promote make use of events?

4 thoughts on “Tuesday Teaching Question

  1. I announce stuff that I think is related to what we are talking about in class. I also post announcements on my Blackboard sites especially for scholarship information and the like. I haven’t announced other activities like the plays and films…maybe I should, but I am a bit greedy about every minute of class time. i think I will try to write things on the board before class begins so the information is there and students can write it down in class if interested. Kind of old fashioned, but it just might work!

  2. I do not make announcements for reasons similar to Carrie. I also consider the fact that the students are receiving CCC emails regarding these activities so I leave it in their hands to be active in their college activities.

    To be honest, I walk into the classroom and the overwhelming urge to teach/instruct/guide takes over to the point that I forget about announcements that do not pertain to the curriculum.
    Every now and then, I have taken a flyer from my mailbox and circulated it during class.
    What to do? I guess, I should ask students if they’ve read their emails and make an effort to promote more of our activities. It’s good to see our college hosting so many events.

  3. I actually had a discussion with my students about this on Monday (03/08/2010) because when I asked my students if they had considered attending any of the Women’s History Month at HWC events as an option for their extra credit, they announced that not only did they not know that these events were taking place, they didn’t know *how* to find out when/where they were taking place!
    I found this totally shocking! Not only have I seen weekly events posted in the elevators, but I suppose I assumed that the students were receiving the same, or similar, announcements that I receive in my CCC email account.
    They informed me that the best option for them was me personally sending them announcements by email (the already established standard for me informing them about outside extra credit events) and also requested that we start a special thread on Blackboard so that they could notify each other about relevant events.
    With the recognition that at least the first request could take a significant time commitment for faculty with already overburdened schedules- I thought I would just throw it out there that this is what the students believed would be most effective….
    Of course, as a HWC novice, I must follow that statement up with acknowledgement that 1) Obviously my students would prefer I do the extra leg work to get them this information 🙂 and 2) It is entirely possible that as itejeda mentioned- they are in fact already receiving email announcements and haven’t paid them attention thus far.
    —Finally, if I may insert a comment as a relatively recent former HWC student- I never paid attention to the events taking place at HWC when I was a student in the same way that I was constantly aware of events at my university. …which I now feel terrible admitting… I think that it was simply a product of me having different intentions/a different mindset as a community college student. My intended objective was to get in and get out with my pre-requisite credits and then move on (I, of course, got more out my experience than my intentions would suggest), whereas during my time at the university I was committed to establishing/finding/developing a sense of community and peer-engagement. I don’t know exactly what direction to take this insight, but I hope it is productive for the dialogue at hand!

  4. I usually remind them of activities related to our course (a movie in Spanish, an OLAS event, etc.), and anything going on in the city. As someone mentioned before, they receive emails with the info about SGA stuff and other events (maybe).

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