Okay, I admit to being an optimist, perhaps even an incorrigible one. Today I ran across one of my first year seminar students and I asked her: How is our class really going? She said, “fine.” But then when I pressed her, she indicated that some students are finding it hard to do everything they would like to do for the course, given the work load in their other courses.
This seminar has been predicated so far on students taking responsibility for their own learning for the course. Should I begin to worry about their willingness to do this? If other courses have “required” assignments with deadlines, will those grab my students’ attention and effort instead of working on the seminar? If so, what would be an effective response on my part that wouldn’t violate the culture of the course?