“4th year students aren’t able to write a cohesive paper”

A faculty member comes to my office and says his fourth year Commerce students aren’t able to write a cohesive paper.

We talked about this one doing a combination of role play (with the two parts), with ‘goldfish bowl theatre sports’, where others could come up, tap them on the shoulder and replace them if they wanted to now take on that role, and also with ‘bubble over my head’ where each role also had someone standing behind them thinking out loud what they thought the person was thinking when they were speaking.

The kinds of things that we came up were for the educational developer to listen attentively and validate what is said, and the sentiments, because that is real. The faculty member may not have been fully thinking through all the reasons why they felt students were not succeeding, noting that they used the same material for the past many years. The educational developer asked non-threatening questions to the instructor, trying to see if there might be a way to tease out the factors, or have the instructor come up with a solution on their own (or think they had.)

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