After last week’s discussion about how Ms. Thomas wants the class to reach a new level of thinking and participation, I thought about what sort of environment allows us to express our thoughts freely (however “out there” they might seem). To me, this is a classroom where I feel very comfortable and engaged with the conversation about the topic at hand. In a sense, it doesn’t feel like a classroom setting, but instead, a group of people having an interesting debate/discussion. In a real discussion, the participants don’t have to raise their hand to speak; ideas are thrown out freely for others to receive and respond to. To measure whether “Reading Data” is more of a traditional class or a discussion, I observed the number of class responses while recording whether the participant raised a hand before contributing or just spoke out (without raising a hand). I also broke this data down further by distinguishing if the contribution was posing a question, answering a question, or commenting on another student’s answer/comment. My results are in the tables below.
|Asking Question||Answering Question||Commenting on other’s answer||Total with hand raised|
Speak Out (no hand raised)
|Asking Question||Answering Question||Commenting on other’s answer||Total without hand raised|
My results show that participation was almost three times greater without raising a hand (total: 60) than with raising a hand (total:23). This could be the result of some other variable, but it seems to demonstrate what we already know which is that the class is organized as a discussion rather than a traditional lecture. A vast majority of the hand-raised contributions were in response to a question asked by Ms. Thomas (18), which is the instinctual response of students when asked a question by the professor. Acknowledging this reinforces the idea that HON 2210 is a free/friendly atmosphere where people are comfortable with each other enough to voice their opinions without hesitation or waiting to be called on.