December 6th, 2019
Changes at West Chester University
All throughout college many students are forced to sit through gen-ed’s and lectures that easily cause the student to become distracted and unfocused. Even with classes that deal with one’s major, students are prone to zone out in class and retain less information. I believe that one major change that would be beneficial to the overall education community at West Chester would be for the school to enforce more interactive classes as well as bringing the reverse classroom method into action. By allowing classrooms to be more interactive and hands on with the major, students can stay in tune with a class and achieve a higher level of learning.
A benefit to the interactive classrooms is that students would be able to constantly be kept involved in the class, not allowing students to zone out or lose focus from the class as commonly done in classes that are lectures. A good example of what interaction in classes per major would look like is maybe requiring students to perform a certain amount of hours for some type of mock field work. A more specific example would be for a criminal justice major in pursuit of being a police officer or detective being required to do a internships or ride alongs at the local police departments. Not only would this be a great change from a standard lecture class, but students would also be gaining experience and information on what their desired major would be.
With the ability to interact directly with the major, student can receive the best and most realistic learning experience. As some majors do have this, such as nursing programs in the hospital, and practice teaching in real-life classrooms, but almost all the other major are left in the dust. With these interactive hands-on classes students can get a taste what it is really like in the field, and if they really want to pursue said career. Not only will they be graded based on hours worked, but the student would be graded on weekly reports on what they did for job. This allows for students who can’t pay attention to lectures and normal class setting to learn in a way they can retain the information being taught.
A common struggle for students with ADHD and ADD is that information is not being taught in an appropriate method for their minds to be absorbing any of the information. Alongside this, it is also extremely difficult for students with these disorders to pay attention in classes when the professors are constantly just giving lectures every class. By allowing students to take part in the reverse classroom methods, these students that have different learning styles will be able to teach themselves information in ways that are beneficial to themselves, seeing that every student has different learning styles and the standard lecture class is not fit for every learning style. By having reverse classroom styles and expanding the interaction in classrooms, Percy and Freire’s educational theories are being supported in the fact that students at West Chester University would now have more of an opportunity to take charge of their own education.
Not only does this new improvement benefit the students, it would create a style of teaching for professors. Every week the students will hold a discussion style class directed by the Professor, where they talk about what they did in their hours worked and what they did and did not like. Since many students are nervous and conflicted to speak in open groups, the professor will be required to meet with students periodically and catch up face-to-face. This benefits both professor and student allowing to interact and see how the student is doing in class and being able to make sure the student is grasping the information being taught. Doing this would create a new style of teaching that strays away from traditional lectures and create a new space for students to connect to their professor about the work they’re doing.
I believe that this newly proposed idea would reflect much more significantly on the student’s academic scores. As a direct result of this new method, students will not only have a deeper understanding for classes under a specific major but will have significantly increased scores on tests and projects. For many classes students are unable to understand the information due to the fact that they may not be paying attention in lectures or simply cannot understand, and as a result, will produce poor test marks. Even students that are able to pay full attention to the lecture still have problems with test taking which reflects negatively on their grade. As everyone can agree, students should not be graded on how well they are at taking tests, but how well they received the information being taught. Having a class of students who do not understand the topic fully may also cause distress for professors, as it is a struggle to tend to every student’s needs in the classroom. The University would benefit also from the higher grades and GPAs being produced in said major, and knowing the students are getting the best learning experience. This change can convince upcoming freshman, and students enrolled at other schools to enroll at WCU to learn this new style of teaching. With the interactive classrooms, students will be able to produce higher grades and deeper understandings for the topics overall.
In the end, working with a company to help further your education would create many opportunities for students looking to excel in school. Not only will the students get to see what they’re going to school for first hand, they will also have the ability to stay away from the normal classroom setting. The many affected by learning disorders such as ADD ADHD will get to learn in a way that helps them instead of hurts them. With these changes WCU and many colleges alike can change the way students learn.