As British expats in the United States, my family provides a unique perspective for exchange students. The students come to the United States to learn the American way of life, but staying with a British family changes the experience.
Coming into college, it’s safe to assume you’ll have a group assignment or two. They can go in many directions: some nice, others painful. In my experience, everyone just wants to get the work done as quickly as possible — with as few conflicts as possible. More motivated members pick up the slack for the less motivated ones, and so the vicious cycle of disdain toward group projects begins. Last year when an assignment in one of my classes called for pair work, we would switch partners throughout the semester to get to know all the people in the class.
In the United States, I feel a sense of comfort and detachment, as if these sad realities are far away from home and the things that I hear about on the news from time to time. But being in France, in a place where extremist attacks are becoming too often an occurrence, the gravity of the situation became so much more real.
Members of the University’s Senate Assembly focused on the University’s transition to Canvas at Monday’s meeting, during which guests from the University’s Information and Technology Services, the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching and the faculty at large were in attendence. The Senate Assembly raised concerns about the transition to Canvas, a learning system through which teachers can interact with students and post syllabi, assignments and information about their classes. The University has been transitioning from Ctools to Canvas since fall 2015.
In the fall of 2016, a new tool will be available for students choosing their courses and professors. Based on guidance from the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs and Central Student Government, University Provost Martha Pollack has approved the release of course evaluations for the upcoming fall semester.