Students Take Over Teaching

An organizational behavioral management course has been challenged with creating e-lessons to be taught in the coming school year.

The intent behind these e-lessons is to create supplemental material for a course that will soon have more students than previous years with the same amount of teaching time as previous classes. The solution is to have current students create e-lessons.

The students tasked to create e-lessons are Jon Pacella, a senior in business management, Jack Brainard, a senior in management, Sam Verbeke, a senior in finance, Katie Stuhlmueller, a senior in management, and Adam Russell, a senior in business management.

The upcoming class will have 60 students, with half taught one day and the other half another day, with all students then using the e-lessons to supplement class time.

The students who are creating these e-lessons said creating e-lessons has been hard and time consuming, their material aims to be relatable and interesting.

Some of the group members had chapters with different steps outlined to be used as a guideline for their e-lessons. Others were more philosophical texts “making it more difficult to get to the concrete ideas,” Russell said.

Some texts were lengthy being as long as 300 pages, where teachable lessons were pulled and formatted into a PowerPoint lecture with voice over, Stumeller said.

Textbooks are not common in the current course. The students making the e-lessons each read a separate text and summarized it into lessons, keeping the no textbook format of the course.

To ensure students are learning, the e-lessons come with a podcast and a retention check.

Tim O. Peterson, the course’s management and marketing professor, wanted to separate material that didn’t necessarily need to be covered inside the classroom to put more focus on complex ideas within the classroom, this split allows smaller class sizes and more focus on students during their time in the classroom with their teacher.

This is the first time something like this is happening and Peterson decided to put his students to the test, taking an interest in the project.

“People will be hearing our voices for years to come,” Pacella said, also stating that if these e-lessons create a lasting impact there may be a new model going forward.

The group mentioned that Peterson wants to change the way teachers are teaching and become more efficient in how they teach. Stuhlmueller said this is “a unique project, it’s important because we never would have experienced it without this class.”

The group said they know what it is like to be in student’s shoes. They said they provide a different tone than a professor, a little humor, which faculty are more detached from students’ wants and needs, and that students understand better how to split up work.

Russell said the accessibility towards students intends to draw students in.

Brainard said he believes the faculty will be skeptical. He said they’ll think nobody else can teach but these lessons can serve as a new way of teaching aspects of courses and can build credibility over time.

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