Each Tuesday, pleasureinlearning brings you Tech Tuesday. Come back each week for more ways to become efficient and effective in your use of technology.
Last night, I was reminded how far an achievable challenge goes–the key word being achievable. I had the privilege of teaching the first of a four-part Intro to Computers class at my church. When I say “Intro to Computers”, I mean INTRODUCTORY. As in “This is a mouse. Here is the power button.”
Three students attended, all approximately my grandmother’s age. Each of them walked into class looking so nervous, but each walked out with confidence and promised to come back next week. What made the difference? We presented them with an achievable challenge. They’ve been intimated by computers many times before, but by targeting the course content to a level that would challenge them, yet still be attainable, they were successful. Dare I say that they also experienced some pleasure in learning?
None of this happened by accident, though. When I first started working with this program at my church, the instructors had selected course materials that were not accessible to the students. As a result, they truly struggled in the class. I came in and, over time, was able to help them see how much more successful the students could be by targeting the curriculum to their needs.
How does this apply to our classrooms? We always have to hurry to meet the competencies of the class! I would offer that beginning at a place where students can rise to the achievable challenge is the best place to start. For example, in a remedial college math class, multiplication tables may not be required. However, the time spent on reviewing multiplication tables would be made up for by students’ attitudes and aptitudes as they proceed in the course. The former because they surmounted an obstacle and the latter because they learn much better in an environment where they know they can succeed.
Do you need to get Back to Basics in one of your courses?