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.

Summary

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 – georgewoodbury.com.

-George

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 – http://georgewoodbury.com.

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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.

    Reply

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