Tuesday, May 17, 2016

One Year Later - What is the memory/consequence of our discussion group?

It's now the summer session 2016.  Our discussion group concluded at the end of the spring 2015.  Then each of you went on your merry way.  By coincidence I hooked up with Duk Young today and we had a nice chat over coffee.  Part of that was simply to catch up.  Near the end of the conversation, however, I started to ask whether he could see any consequences from our discussion group.  He said he could, but as I'm hoping each of you will respond with a comment to this post, I'll let him elaborate in his comment.

If you could,  in addition to whatever else you write about, I'd like you to give an opinion about the benefit of such a discussion group, with no grades and no credit, versus something of this sort that might arise in a course setting.  If, for example, our group had been done as a 299 course and given 1 hour of course credit, would that have fundamentally changed things?  And if so, how?

I know my behavior is a little different when I don't have to give a grade.  I can joke around more in that instance.  Some years ago I did have a student who was doing an independent study with me, but I was critical of his early performance.  (He didn't understand an article he was writing about.)  So I make some sharp remarks about that and then he dropped the class.  That might not have happened with you had our group been for credit.  But I still believe it was a more relaxed experienced as we did it.

Professor Arvan