Monday, December 31, 2007

First Question: What if students learn better in a course they don't like?

What if the following are BOTH true for a particular course at the same time
A. Some kind of learning outcomes assessment conducted on all students who just completed the course clearly demonstrates superior student learning when compared with similar assessments of similar courses
AND
B. Some kind of student ratings collected for the same course clearly demonstrate that the students are more dissatisfied with this course than with similar courses.

Or vice versa.

55 comments:

Katherine said...

I have a colleague who had this happen several times with a course she teaches. We attributed it in large part to the subject matter (it's an unpopular topic), the fact that it's a pre-requisite course (which non-majors think they should not have to take), and her high performance expectations (no one gets to skate through the course).

It was a great learning and professional development experience for me to see her face this situation. Ultimately, she chose to maintain the course design as it was and to look for opportunities to address student satisfaction without altering the course design in terms of level of expectation. She delivered the course online and (to our surprise) student satisfaction increased while their performance was the same. We have not been able to determine fully why the online delivery made so much difference, but it was a happy discovery.

Katherine

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