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Rights and Responsibilities

August 29, 2011

Today we discussed our rights and responsibilities as students and instructors.  In 2-3 weeks, we’ll revisit our list to both assess how we are doing and decide if any changes needs to be made.

Below is the full list of what they came up with, but my two favorite are rights they gave me.

“To change the curriculum and steer the class in productive directions”

“To reject unacceptable work”

Students Rights:

To get help–either from peers or the instructor
To share ideas and opinions and to feel comfortable doing so
To know and understand what’s expected of them
To have constructive criticism
To be treated fairly­–both in how we treat each other in class and with grading
To know of changes to class or class policies in a timely manner
To ask questions
To be yourself

Student Responsibilities:

To be respectful of others and their ideas
To be prepared and engaged­–to be in attendance, to have work completed, and to listen
To be come to class with an open-mind and willingness to learn
To ask questions when you don’t understand or are unsure
To participate and function well in groups
To come in with a good attitude
To contribute to a safe learning environment–both emotionally and physically

Teacher Rights:

To change the curriculum and steer the class in productive directions
To have the class’ attention and participation
To be respected
To expect that students will do good work
To reject unacceptable work

Teacher Responsibility:

To be available
To make class fun and engaging
To maintain a safe learning environment–both emotionally and physically
To help prepare students to be successful in ways they are expected to be
To teach ideas that are useful and/or meaningful
To encourage students
To give feedback in a timely manner
To treat students as adults and as individuals
To be on time and to not let class go over the scheduled time

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 30, 2011 2:29 am

    Brian,

    How did you frame the generation of these? I have found with first-year students that I have had trouble getting them to generate such a full list.

  2. August 30, 2011 11:37 am

    This is mostly Juniors and Seniors, so there’s difference. But I do it near the end of the first class, after I’ve done a lesson involving exploring, working in small groups, and a large class discussion. It puts it in a context. I first ask them to quietly write for 2-3 minutes, then share in small groups, and then I listen and write on the board. I will say that the most important thing I do is ask, “Can you give me an example?” when they say something like be respectful, or ask, “How can you tell whether someone is ___? if they say something like listening. Making them more specific, at least in our discussion, really starts to get the ball rolling. Then, asking them for instructors’ rights help fill in gaps. Like, they asked me to maintain a safe learning environment– that allowed me to say that they have to contribute to it as well.

    • August 30, 2011 9:39 pm

      Very nice. Facilitating whole class discussions is on my list of things to really work on and you have some very nice techniques in there.

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