Creating A Community Of Learners – Working Towards A Common Goal

September 30, 2010 at 5:22 am 1 comment

This Wednesday I gave my Intermediate Algebra a review on radical expressions and equations to prepare for Monday’s exam. As opposed to the “traditional review sheet” with a corresponding solution key, I left it up to the class to create the answer key on our Facebook group page.

I told the class that if they were able as a class to post correct answers to all 26 problems that I would allow the class to skip a problem of their individual choice on Monday’s exam. I restricted individual students to only being able to answer a maximum of 2 questions to encourage a more collaborative effort. I also set a deadline of Saturday at midnight.

They seemed really excited about the reward. Hopefully this leads to a complete answer key that the class has “ownership” of, as well as leading to a strong performance on one of the more difficult exams in the course. I’ll report back next week.

Facebook is an ideal tool for this exercise – it’s easy to post answers, and it’s easy for other students to read and comment on those answers. I anticipate that some of my students will take a photo of their work and post that.


Do you have any innovative strategies for test reviews? Do you have any classroom strategies that you use that encourage the creation of a community of learners? If so, please leave a comment or reach me through the contact page at my web site –


I am a math instructor at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, CA. Each Thursday I will be blogging about the importance of community in the classroom. If there’s a particular topic you’d like me to address, or if you have a question or a comment, please let me know. You can reach me through the contact page on my website –


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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Blair  |  September 30, 2010 at 6:00 am

    I like this idea. Definitely think it creates a sense of shared purpose. Just the other day, I was listening to CBC Radio’s ‘Ideas’ program and they had Dr. Alex Haslam from Exeter University on talking about leadership. One of the important qualities of leaders was creating a sense of ‘we-ness’ or group identity in order to motivate members of the group to work toward the group’s goals. I thought that was a really important point for teachers to think about in the classroom and put out a tweet wondering what other’s due to create that class identity. Your idea seems directed toward this. Thanks for sharing.


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