The Weekly Teaching Note

From the Cal Poly Pomona Faculty Center for Professional Development

A Student’s Perspective

Posted by weeklyteachingnote on February 24, 2009

This Weekly Teaching Note is contributed by a first-year student (not at this university).

“A truly worthwhile assignment allows the student to be creative and invites the student to draw from personal experiences and interests. Every student is different. A student is more likely to even attempt an assignment if it can be related to his or her personal life. Characteristics such as the major/minor, hobbies, and extracurricular activities can all play a role in the excitement one might feel about an assignment. I am more likely to have fun with an assignment and get much more out of it if it can relate it to my individual interests.

“An assignment I had in the past that I consider worthwhile was to create a cognitive map of [the university town]. Beyond creating the map, I had to describe the various locations I depicted and why those places were important to me. I felt this assignment involved a lot of imagination and serious concentration. I am not originally from the city the university is located in, and the city is much larger than my hometown. I had to be selective in which locations I wanted to show: I knew I could not logically draw half the city on a single sheet of paper (I didn’t know what was located in half the city anyway), so I drew areas that held the most importance in my life at the time. With this assignment, the professor expected every student’s map to be different, and was able to learn about each student as an individual.

“Some assignments can be enticing to a student even if there is no actual credit involved for doing them. It has a lot to do with how the assignment is presented. One assignment I received a while back involved listening to everyday conversations, the radio, TV, and any other form of communication to record similes, metaphors, and clichés. The assignment, though only offered for extra credit, was completed by the majority of the class simply because it was something they could so easily fit in their busy lives. It was not hard to jot down the different sayings one heard from day to day, and most didn’t even need the extra credit. The assignment was worth the time and energy because the students could learn about grammar and have fun at the same time.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: