Today’s Classhack is a gift from Donna Lamprecht, Professor of Computer & Information Technology. Lamprecht enlivens her CIT classes with a unique take on group work. After assigning students randomly to small groups, Donna spreads a buffet of interesting topics…subjects like “wardriving,” “phablets,” and “in-vehicle infotainment.” Each group must work quickly to research its topic and design a short presentation for the rest of the class. Lamprecht deliberately keeps the instructions for the assignment rather nonspecific, believing that students think more creatively when given broader parameters.
Student groups submit their work with the names of all team members who worked on the project. Lamprecht notes that not everyone needs to be a presenter, and she encourages more reserved students to make valuable contributions as timekeepers, recorders, and researchers.
Lamprecht sees several benefits from this activity:
- Students learn to work together and to value the roles of different team contributors. (=Belonging to a group.)
- Students gain information and research strategies that they can use in real-life situations. (=Owning something of value)
- Students collaborate to construct an interesting presentation in a short period of time. (=Achievable challenge)
- Students make their own decisions about the best way to present their findings to colleagues. (=Autonomy)