February 5, 2008
Getting Students to Take Responsibility for Learning
One of the embarrassing parts of doing The Teaching Professor newsletter is discovering how much good material I miss even though it seems as though I’m always reading. Just yesterday I was reading a book for which I’ve agreed to write a foreword, and there was a reference to an article I should not have missed. It’s in a journal I regularly read, but apparently I was asleep at the wheel or reading with very dirty glasses.
It’s a short piece but it contains a great list of “ten strategies for getting students to take responsibility for learning.” Here’s the list. Read the article for some pithy commentary on how and why each one works.
- Ask your students why they are taking the course.
- Get your students to come to class prepared (yes, she proposes how).
- Help your student attain the proper mindset for class.
- Make participation and interaction integral parts of the course.
- Make your students responsible for each other.
- Teach your students to behave responsibly in groups.
- Model higher cognitive skills.
- Have student analyze their learning experiences.
- End class in a meaningful way.
- Don’t try to save your students.
Reference: Coffman, S. J. (2003). Ten strategies for getting students to take responsibility for their learning. College Teaching, 51 (1), 2-4.