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 We had the sixth session of the Competitiveness course this morning. As we passed the halfway mark(we have 11 in total), I asked each student to assess their own class contribution last Friday (roughly top third, middle third and bottom third).  My course is heavily dependent upon the class contribution and I keep track of what students say and how often they speak up in class.  Over the weekend, I tabulated my own assessment and their self assessment and e-mailed several students who assessed their own higher than mine.  It was my way of making sure that we have no misunderstanding and that I give feedback to students so that they know my expectations.

  I met with several students today and explained the gap in our assessment and what I expect them to do in the future.  It turned out to be a great opportunity to find out how students see the way the course is going.  Some said that they were very confused at the beginning and things are getting a bit better by now.  I sometimes tell them  that it is fine to be confused, as the real world is with lot of uncertainties today.   I also make some suggestions to each student as to how they can make their comment in class more relevant and understandable to the rest of us. 

 In class, today, I tried to explain what type of comment I appreciate in class, i.e. no one sentence of case fact, but more reasoning and analysis, as well as the new perspective to take the discussion to different and new level.  I also mentioned that they need to listen to what others say so that they do not repeat the same comments. (I realize they want to participate and sometimes, they become so focused on what they want to say, ignoring the flow of discussion.) 

  In order to make the point in class, picked on some students who were doing the things I did not want them to do.   I tried to make it light with some sense of humor so that the students who happened to be picked on do not feel too discouraged.  It requires a lot of thinking and attention to details to keep the excitement and high energy level of the course.  But it is so much fun and I love every minute of it.

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