Monday, November 13, 2006

College Education--So much more than in the Classroom

As someone who has been on the "teaching side" of a college classroom now for 15 years, I often wish students devoted more time to studying than they often do. There is so much to be learned from reading textbooks (boring as they may seem) and actually working on class assignments in a focused, determined way rather than just whipping something out the day (or hour!) before they are due.

However, I also must say that some students get even MORE from university life than they would be hitting the books...these are the students who find the delicate balance between getting the most from the classroom/textbooks/assignments and the out of class activities that are still learning and academically based.

Most of today's colleges and universities realize that experiential learning is key to really making knowledge stick. Students often ask me if I should have an internship. The answer is, of course, an enthusiastic "YES".

But, it's so much more than internships. Find a club that is related to your intersts. Radio...how about WIUX? Television...how about WTIU or IU Student Television.

Or, there is the Business Careers in Entertainment Club

Or...you could always contact one of your favorite professors and find out what research they are working on OUTSIDE the classroom and whether they are in need of any help. Chances are, if you are willing to be committed and want to learn, they can find a place for you.

And...it's helpful to your learning. Don't believe me, check out a just released report by the National Survey of Student Engagement:

Here's the intro to that report's press release:

Findings from a national survey released today show that while student
engagement helps all learners, those who come to college less well prepared
academically or are from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds
tend to benefit even more. Being involved in educationally purposeful activities such as
interacting with faculty members and working with peers on projects inside and outside
of class has positive effects on grades and increases the odds that students will return
to college for a second year

1 comment:

C. Shank said...

I stumbled on your blog while looking around for some mentions of WIUX on blogs since I'm the music director there.

It does often seem like students don't understand the value of dedicating time to academics. I often hear other students discussing what they haven't been doing with what seems like a certain degree pride. Granted, sometimes I'm guilty of not putting forth as much effort as I should, but I try to recognize problems that I have and improve on them. There's something very rewarding about being able to motivate yourself to complete tasks, or find ways to help you complete tasks in the future.

I also think its important for people to get involved in activities outside of class. WIUX has been great for me because I have been able to get experience in a field that I hope to work in after college, and I also get to meet new people with similar interests and help them develop their skills and confidence as well.

Anyways, I'm glad I stumbled on this blog. I'm sure I'll be taking a class with you eventually. I still have two and a half years left here at IU! Anyways, I'll be checking in on this blog on occaision. Take care.

-Craig Shank