Monday, September 10, 2018

Dr. Faulkner: My Time as an Undercover Student

This past Thursday I gave up my coat and tie for a casual shirt, blue jeans, walking shoes and a cap.  I spent almost the whole day as a student attending class and doing other things a student would do.  Thanks to Carol Bucy, Deb Moore, Carol Topping, and Theresa Johnson for letting me be incognito in their classes.

Here are some observations from an undercover student:

The online application to Vol State is easily completed.

I only saw one student using a cell phone during class.  This was in a math class so I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt that she was using the calculator on her phone.

Desks are no longer contoured to my contours.

On what should have been the second day of class there were a number of students without books, even when there were reading assignments due.

Our faculty are making good use of eLearn.

There was more give and take between the students and the faculty than I remember happening in my classes more than 10 years ago.

I can still eat a whole hamburger while walking from Wood to Thigpen. (Thanks to Campus Kickoff event for the burger.)

Four back to back classes is a pretty brutal schedule.  (I did have five classes scheduled but an important appointment became available and like a student I cut class.  But I did notify my instructor.)

There was more emphasis on understanding the “”why” and less about memorizing facts.

Students don’t talk to you unless you make the first connection.

Almost no students recognized me until I introduced myself at the end of the period.

Lots of interdisciplinary connections were being made.  In world literature we spent a great deal of time looking at maps of the world and exploring how maps can distort our view of the earth.

Students were engaged, involved and polite.

I learned something new in every class.

We have the greatest faculty in the world!

This was a great experience and something I will definitely do again.

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