So I’ve just completed my first week in university, and I just can’t my head around this “class participation” component that is present in most courses and modules. In essence, students are graded by their involvement within the classroom, in terms of: quality (the value of the questions and answers) and quantity (the frequency of the various responses). Different professors and lecturers have dissimilar styles, but the general intent would be to render sessions less didactic, and to encourage participants to be more engaged with the content. I’m not sure if this is a new phenomenon, but back in high school – under the Integrated Programme – there was also a pedagogical “oral participation” element in grading exercises.
I appreciate its significance, but the administration is making the assumption that this oratorical capacity – especially within the business faculty – is necessarily crucial for students in the future. The presumption is that most careers and professions would require prospective employees to be active articulators, which automatically discriminates against students who might be more reticent.
Most are cognisant of on-the-ground observations, on how some over-zealous students venture to maximise their personal air-time, reducing teaching-learning sessions into meaningless chatter and blabber. With the obligation to score, have I crossed the line? Throughout those two or three seminars, I felt more self-conscious and wary, because I didn’t want to raise something for the sake of doing so; in retrospect, did I? The key – I suppose – would be to strike equilibrium between one’s principles and the importance of doing well. If so, is the current mechanism the most effective? I don’t know, and I don’t think so.
My head throbs.