Here comes to the second week of teaching. Class #2 is also the last day to add/drop the class. After this class, I want to make sure we can lock down the number, so that I can begin group project assignments.
I had 2 new students joining the class. A few coordinations I had to do with them prior to the class because we have our first class assignment due — The Service Safari! Students have 2 deliverables: 1) Journal Entry on Medium and 2) In-class Presentation. I wanted them to practice telling the story in different platforms, to different audiences, but still able to get their points across. To my surprise, most students do a much better job Presenting vs. in Writing. Interesting learning for sure! Also to my surprise ... most students submit their work VERY VERY LAST MINUTE... like literally within 30 mins of the submission deadline.
For a brief moment, I thought maybe Medium was too complicated to use and perhaps I need to pick a different platform... but as the time came close to submission deadline, all the posts came in. Another interesting fact I noticed is just because someone submitted the work first, doesn't mean the work is the best which is another surprising learning for me. There are students just wanted to get the assignment out of the way without paying too much attention to the details of their work. There are also students who are very confident in their work but the quality of work isn't on part with their perceived image.
For week 2, I started the class with guest speaker from Design for America (DFA). I invited Som to come in and speak about what DFA is about and how students can get involved to gain hands-on experience. I for one... am very thankful for the experience at DFA. In fact, I say this people all the time. DFA is the best thing that happened to me in grad school and the only place actually learned something useful! NYU is a big school. It might not be as big as a state school but there are a lot of resources which students might be aware of. My goal is to bring in as many community resources to students as possible, so that at least.... they have an opportunity to learn about it and decide if they want to be a part of it. I know I've done a ton back in IU but there were still opportunities I wish I had known better or earlier.
Coming up with "Warm Up" idea is really something I want to focus on in the next few lessons. For some reason, I miss the noise students make before class starts. I miss the time that I'm trying to get attention from students so that we can begin class. Now whenever we start our classes, the room is quiet and I certainly for one ... misses the chit chats. After doing some research on ice-breaker ideas, I decided to ask students to start the class by drawing their comfort food (i.e. their choice of topic for their Service Safari). From this comfort food map, we started identifying who the next speaker is. It's relatively fun (I think).
Seeing how students present their comfort good is very fulfilling. They got the assignment and understood the point of observing Touch Points. Through the exercise, I also noticed who pay attentions to details and who want to take their learning to the next level. It's like reading comprehension... you don't want to simply read, you want to understand the material and think about how you can apply it or come up with your own perspective. Similarly, some students are able to have a higher level of comprehension and you can see that from their presentation because they're thinking and interpreting their observations with topics they're interested in or existing knowledge they're familiar with.
As promised since the first class, I asked students to make sure we reflect together. I hope by doing so, I can ensure I hear everyone's voice and make sure they're learning. I've repeatedly seeing students want to have longer and more shareout session. I need to figure out how to design an engagement model for students to feel comfortable speaking. I know how intimidated to unmute and talk, especially they don't know each other THAT WELL just yet. I also want to make sure students read ... and come in and share with their aha moments. I know what it's like to be students ... you don't want to read but reading is really the source of knowledge and a habit that everyone should obtain. Let me design a class that will encourage conversations! Stay tuned.