Question Time II

A short update on my previous post. Students in my comparative politics course chose option one:

Each team is required to ask at least two questions, with each question asked of a different team during its presentation. If a team does not ask two questions when presentations occur, it is disqualified from the rocket pitch competition for points. Any member of a team may ask a question.

The new procedure was quite the success — students asked so many questions of their classmates during presentations that I had to stretch the presentations over two classes.

I find it bizarre that students ask questions of each other only when required to, especially at a time when people like MIT’s president L. Rafael Reif are emphasizing the institutional and educational value of student-to-student academic engagement. Too many of our students are still yoked to the assumption that learning is passively received from professors rather than acquired through interaction with others.

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