By Dr. Angela Bell, 2019 – 20 CITLS Distinguished Teaching Fellow
Working with students to establish classroom guidelines can be a challenging and time-consuming endeavor, but their insight on their experiences of being a student should be acknowledged. Allowing students to develop their own classroom guidelines signals that faculty value their contributions. Collaborating on the process of working together can improve faculty-student communication and the overall experience of the course.
This process of collaboration is designed to clarify expectations around classroom participation, help students identify their responsibilities in class, and hold all members of the classroom (faculty included) accountable to the guidelines. Further, this process is intended for faculty to reach students who may not typically participate or feel empowered to interact in class.
Guideline Discussion Points:
Incorporating guidelines into syllabi and assignments:
Once created, the guidelines can supplement course syllabi by serving as a rubric for class participation or a reference for other relevant assignments (like group projects). Ask students to reference specific guidelines when they conduct peer- or self-evaluations for assignments. Ask how they worked in ways that ensured they followed the guidelines recommended by the class. When providing informal semester evaluations, ask students how the faculty member is, or can improve upon, adhering to the guidelines.
Recommended ice-breaker for collaborating on class guidelines: