©Marva A. Barnett

Whose Course Is It? Promoting Student Responsibility and Engagement
Workshop Abstract
Marva A. Barnett, Founding Director and Professor, Teaching Resource Center, University of Virginia
Faculty, Department of French

In this workshop, participants learn how to create an environment that encourages students to take responsibility for learning, thus working harder and contributing and learning more. They see how collaboration between teacher and students, as well as teachers' recognizing what students can contribute, promotes student responsibility. Participants discuss the value of teaching in an explicit fashion, experience effective techniques that engage students in learning, and hear what students think about the approach.

Participants gain proven techniques for engaging their students not only in learning but also in taking some responsibility for their own learning, for the progress of their classmates, and for the success of the course. Specific tools useful in promoting students' taking responsibility include, for instance, cooperative learning, peer-editing, discussion directed by students' questions, projects published on the web, classroom assessment techniques. For details, see this article. To the extent that time will allow, participants experience these techniques and adapt them to their own courses. Other methods are shared as examples, with reference to further reading and viewing.