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Topic 4 Case Study

Professor Ivan Independent strongly believes in independent learning—that real learning takes place when students have to complete an assignment on their own. Professor Independent was starting a unit on social stratification in the United States. He had two classroom sections, one with 75 students; the other with fifteen. Instead of a class discussion, he decided to have the students in each section do an independent exercise that consisted of a packet of worksheets. To have the students focus, Professor Independent included key questions that needed to be answered, using the textbook. The packet was to be worked on in and out of class. He knew if the students could respond effectively to those questions, they would have mastery of the topic. After a 15-minute relaxed lecture about the topic, he handed out the packets to students and explained the assignment.

Then, he returned to his desk and graded papers from the previous unit. As he sat at his desk, he occasionally glanced around the room. In his larger class, he noticed most of his students were using the textbook to complete the packet independently. Only two students were on their phones, and three students were reading books. In the smaller class, he noticed all students were working on the packet independently in class.

Most of the students did well on the independent exercise, scoring 85% or higher. A week after the assignments were turned in, Professor Independent issued a midterm exam on the topic. Many of the scores, however, were substantially lower than he had expected.

Topic 4: Facilitating

Citing two to four scholarly sources, explain what is meant by facilitation in the college classroom. (50-75 words)

Describe two examples of facilitation inside the college sociology classroom. (75-100 words)

Citing the two to four scholarly sources about facilitation, explain whether or not Professor Independent’s facilitation method was effective. (75-100 words)

Why do you think some of the students did poorly on the midterm after doing well on the independent exercise? (50-75 words)

Citing two to four additional scholarly sources, explain how Professor Independent might improve student performance for the large class and small groups in the second half of the term. (75-100 words)


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