Student Roles in a Course: More Than One Hat to Choose From

I believe that there is more than one role students take on in any course.

As a learner, students engage in high quality discussions and activities where they are challenged and pushed to search for information about a subject. Their motivation is driven by their desire to know more and understand the content rather than assuming the student role to obtain a grade.

Given the opportunity to do so, students will swap roles with the teacher and ask insightful questions for other students to answer. Students on the receiving end are seeing the same type of thing that the actual teacher would do with questions geared towards them. Also, the student may teach themselves content in their studies as they look at content.

Students can offer encouragement to other students in the course to keep their self-esteem up with positive feedback. I have seen it done in discussion boards on Blackboard from other people in the course who may like something they read from someone else and offer praise to them.

We have all done this one looking up information we are curious about to write in our blogs and the same can be said for the students we teach. They have many questions to ask us and will do the research to find topics to bring up in class or one on one with a teacher.

There are probably more roles than the ones I have mentioned here, but one thing is very clear: students assume more than role in the classroom and are not simply sponges of knowledges.


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