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Rights and Responsibilities

August 29, 2012

Today was the first day of class and I decided to do a rights and responsibilities activity. I was impressed by how well the rights and responsibilities activity at IRISE seemed to set the stage for developing class norms and class culture so I decided to try it in my class. Some of the things students came up with in my two classes…


  • Instructor is available in and out of class
  • Class ends on time
  • Tests reflect class activities and ideas
  • Stay on task
  • Voice your opinion
  • Ask questions and receive helpful responses
  • Welcoming class and happy instructor
  • Teach each other


  • Equal contributions from everyone in group
  • Clean up table
  • Help each other
  • Value others’ opinions
  • Teach each other
  • Participate in activities and discussions
  • Stay on task
  • Respect what others don’t know
  • Be on time (mentally and physically)
  • Respect others (listen, don’t reject others’ ideas)
  • Get to know your group
  • Don’t let a negative mood affect class (students and instructors)

Overall I like how this activity went. Similar to IRISE, I had groups write up lists on their own whiteboards and then we compiled a master list on the front board. Now I need to make sure that we return to these periodically and really allow them to influence how the class operates.

In both classes students came up with more responsibilities than rights. In some ways this is OK because the there are items on the responsibilities list that apply to both students and the instructors. Still, I can’t help but fee a little bit bothered by this. I can’t really put it into words but I feel like for some reason I would like students to have more rights than responsibilities. Maybe I’ll bring this up with the class when we revisit these in a few weeks.


From → Teaching

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  1. Rights & Responsibilities revisited « Exploring PER

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