Thursday, August 20, 2009

First Class - August 24

1. Icebreaker. Need to get the class relaxed and willing to open up.
2. Learning. Do informal data collection by getting students to talk about their own experiences. Make a point of noting whether the students concur on their assessment or if there is a difference of opinion. Use data collection as a launch point for asking about implications and for a way to get harder data on the issues.
3. Taking pulse. What if any of the books did students read this summer?
4. Administrivia. Make sure the students are aware of class the Web site and are up to speed on the immediate next things they must do to get on track for the class.

1. Icebreaker. Rearrange furniture in the room so we can see each of us can see all other's face. Remind them we have to get the furniture back to how it was at the end of class. Talk about having a break about 50 minutes in. Indicate whether the restrooms and vending machines are. Ask students if their parents went to the U of I. Among those who said yes find out if any had me as their teacher for intermediate micro. Do another survey of the students to identify which colleges they are in. Ask whether they know each other. Do my mea culpa about having little formal education on the topics of the course.
2. Learning. Mention that you like to start in the middle when discussing issues and then iterate toward the beginning and then end. Use as the focus question: How do other students on Campus compare with CHP students? In essence are they the same or are there noticeable differences? Ask what experience they base this on. Try to get everyone to give an opinion on this. Ask about ethical behavior. Then begin to draw out implications of what they've said. If there are differences, can they hypothesize as to the cause. If there are no differences, can they hypothesize as to why the CHP program exists? If there is some disagreement in the responses, can that be explained, perhaps by the colleges where the students major? Only near the end of this should I mention my own prior held beliefs.
3. Taking pulse. Talk about student impressions from the reading. What are the lessons learned? Ask if they read my post on Schon and Gawande.
4. Administrivia. Show course site. Implore students to create a blog if they haven't done so already. Encourage them to make comments on the course blog and on other students blogs. Mention the site in Compass. Cover the parts of the syllabus where students receive course credit. Mention that for the next class they should be ready with Yunus and that they need to have their first reflection done for Friday at 5 PM. Tell them that in the next class we'll assign students to teams and then we'll have a discussion about grading. Talk about using some of the class time for office hours.

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