Teaching as an adjunct can be a lot of fun. It is also challenging. As I have encountered a number of situations, I realize such a blog can be helpful, both to me and to others.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Extra Credit

A couple of years ago I was talking with a student after class and he started telling me his thoughts on fallacies in argumentation and persuasion. The textbook I use covers that material as part of a chapter. I asked him if, for extra credit, he would like to teach the class that portion of the material and he agreed. He was a good student and did an adequate job. Honestly, I thought he would do more with it, but he handled himself fine.

Since that time I have always toyed with the idea of making this mandatory. This is a public speaking class and what better exposure than to teach the class so material that they should use when preparing a speech and will need to know for the test. On the other hand, if the student does not do a good job, the remaining people in the class could suffer. Also, if I teach the material and someone gets a test question wrong, I can handle my own should the student challenge that it was not covered appropriately. If a student says the other student who taught this material did not do so adequately, it actually creates an awkward situation.

This is almost a catch 22 situation, but I have always erred on the side of caution and taught the material myself. As the semester will get underway in less than a month, once again I find myself wrestling with this issue. I will probably end up just leaving things the way it has been, but it would be nice to change it. Maybe I will allow students to pick certain topics and present them for extra credit.