About this video: In the latest COM242 class on Scientific Research Methods (wheee!), students prepared a little “half-time” surprise. Watch for the girls in the center row… (full 1hr class video here)
As most college professors will attest, one and a half hours isn’t a lot of class time (my grad classes can stretch 4hrs!). In the local context though, it might be a little different… Singaporean students want breaks. I’m not against the idea, so long as students learn better, which is the point. The only thing I’d need to do as an instructor is to make sure I can fit boat-loads of class material under the clock.
This was where I thought we’d have some fun…
Since I’d tend to forget about giving breaks in class, I made a deal with the students. If they got creative with the way they asked for breaks, I’d give them longer ones. Now before you start thinking, “oh boy, there goes the class”, I’ve found that I could still talk about the week’s class topic in an “un-lecture” fashion. While it appears to be a diversion, class conversation can continue casually, with other materials projected on screen (e.g. possibly relevant YouTube videos). Since SIM gives out tea/coffee and pastries (does feel like kindergarden… to which I’d ask, “when’s nap time?”), students can munch and yak openly about class, ask strange questions and essentially break the linearity that is the sin of lectures.
In summary, break time = no lecture time, but it doesn’t mean learning needs to stop.