Collaborative guidelines

Class guidelines we worked on together

We collaborated on documents with guidelines for what we do with and for each other, to enhance learning and try to reduce things that hinder learning. There were documents for different discussion groups.

Christina collated these together, eliminating duplicates, and categorizing them a bit further, on this google doc (also embedded below). At the top of it you can find links to the original sets of suggestions students had on the documents used in the discussion groups.

Please vote on/comment on the document below

Please go to the short questionnaire on this page to give your thoughts on the class guidelines Christina put together from students’ comments.

Information on attention/distraction and device use in classes

Since I ask you to use electronic devices such as laptops, tablets and phones during class, I’m obviously not going to ask you not to use them! But consider that there are several studies that show problems with trying to “multitask” and break away from work during class to do other things.

  • “Multitasking” may not work as we might think; it’s very difficult to do effective work when you’re moving from task to task rather than concentrating on one thing for a longer period of time.
    • This article from Slate has links to several studies showing problems with multitasking while trying to learn
    • Another article from Forbes also points to problems with the idea that we can do several things at once, well.
    • This study talks about the effects of distracting use of devices on students around those who are doing it, saying that the student and the peers around them scored lower on a test compared to those who were not distracted by the device use.
    • The results of this study show that non-academic-related use of electronic devices in classes is correlated with lower academic performance, even when controlling for some other variables that might account for that result.
    • This article points to a study that suggests you learn better if you take notes by hand rather than by electronic device. The issue seems to be that when you do it by hand, you can’t write everything down (nor even really try), so you have to try to synthesize the ideas in your own mind first. But if you are using a keyboard on a laptop, for instance, you may be more likely to try to just write sentences verbatim without processing them. Note that if this is the issue, it isn’t so much about writing vs typing, but rather putting things into your own words, trying to summarize rather than writing things down verbatim.