My first-year introduction to the EU class continues to test my creativity.
Last week’s lecture didn’t see a pick-up in attendance – but also didn’t drop further – so I’m working through my plans to entice students in by the quality of what happens in the classroom.
As I discussed before, I’m trying to make more of the flipped format by getting students to create collaborative work on the go, as I discussed in my post.
The first attempt went alright, but pointed up some issues:
Firstly, it’s important to be very clear about what you want students to do. I under-specified a bit with my first title, and got more of a range of responses than I’d thought I would, but also a fair few that missed what I was looking for. So that’s on me, to think more carefully about how a title might be read by students.
Secondly, Google Docs might be simple to set up, but they’re not great for graphic content: Students ended up uploading photos and JPGs into the document which is OK, but not super easy. My hunt for a better option continues.
Thirdly, I’d asked for a graphic representation of the factors important in explaining European integration. I got some of those, but I also got a bunch of memes (all very negatively EU, but that’s another post) too.
I did ask at the end whether they’d rather meme than create graphics: they said yes.
I’m torn on this one, since memes might well be more engaging (see my former colleague Jack’s work on this), but I’m not sure I can see how it’ll allow them to pull together the various elements that I would like them to cover.
But let’s see. Maybe I try it one week and see if it produces useful outputs. If you’ve experience of this, I’d love to hear it.