Recently, I’ve been writing about reality intruding on my First Year Seminar, where students are beginning to worry about their grade in the course rather than their learning, and where I fear some students may be using the freedom the course affords to study for other courses and not this one. I had an opportunity over Fall Break to think about this and have come to at least some conclusions.
A leader shouldn’t ask anything of those he is trying to lead that he isn’t willing to do himself. By that standard, I haven’t been a very good role model of late. I haven’t been blogging very frequently, so why should I expect them to. Okay, I’ve been posting on the class blog rather than my personal (class) blog, but I feel like I haven’t been doing my part as a member of the learning community that I want this course to be. Additionally, I haven’t been reading widely for the class. I have been hoping that the students would pick up the slack I was creating. My excuse is that I’ve been busy with other things, other classes, other projects. But isn’t that what the students would say?
I’m not (too) worried about the situation. The first thing I need to do is catch up: I have added a number of blog postings in the last few days. I need to add some structure to the course, to make it a bit more directed. We’re now ready to do that.
I have a research topic that I will be exploring in parallel with the research projects of the students. I plan to model the process used by economists through a series of blog postings. That should be a start.