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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Community Chatter: What’s the word on the street about gen-ed discussions?

Q: How do you feel about the participation system in general education discussion classes?

“I have a class that does the point system where every time you participate you get a point, and it’s a little weird ‘cause we’re not little kids anymore. But at the same time, everyone is quiet so the instructor has to give a little more for everyone to get involved with the class. Some are just like ‘You’re here. I don’t care, just follow what I’m saying and do your work’ kind of thing. So it just depends on the class.” –veterinary science sophomore Stephanie Flores.

“I don’t know if I agree with this teaching method. I think students interact with the class in different ways, and it puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on non vocal students to speak up in class. I don’t know if it’s good pressure for them to have, and it would distract from them learning the material that they need and getting the full experience of the class. I’m a very non-vocal student when I participate in discussions. I do speak up, but when I do, it’s only rarely and I feel like by requiring students to speak in class, you’re encouraging not as well thought-out answers or people to throw out answers just for the sake of getting points and not really engaging with the material in a real or meaningful way.” –psychology freshman Andrew Ayon.

“I had a class last semester where we had to show up to the discussion to get participation points, which were a large part of our grade. I don’t think it’s a bad thing, especially for discussions early in the morning, because no one is going to show up if you don’t make it worth participation, so I think it’s a good way of trying to enforce class and it’s an easy way to get points towards your grade. All you have to do is sit down and discuss what you should have done for homework or what you should have read.” –Natalie Impraim, a sophomore studying business and marketing.

“In my classes, basically, it’s like if you show up, you get credit for the day as long as you use the clicker. So I mean it’s kind of—I mean it works to get people to show up, but like some philosophy, you could totally get the answer wrong and get points for that day, so people will just sit there on their phones and zone out for an hour and get points. So it’s kind of annoying, but I can’t see a system that works better, so I don’t know.” –economics freshman Nathan Clark.

“The fact that you get points for showing up, because some people will just skip classes and do fine on a test because it’s easy, is beneficial. I can see how it would annoy people to raise their hand for participation points because some teachers want to pick on certain people because they have better ideas or something. So for some of us who don’t get called on, we don’t have the opportunity to get those extra points. But if there’s a lot of people coming to class anyway, it’s like a thorn in a rose sort of situation.” –undeclared sophomore Aimee Hall.

Follow Justice Amarillas on Twitter.

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