College Courses Should be Student-Refined

Most teachers in our society are very well-versed in their areas of focus and have long forgotten what it’s like to learn the material for the first time.  Even when they are careful, they often introduce lexicon before they explain it, focus inordinately long on easier topics, and inadvertently breeze over more difficult topics.  This is all understandable, but it impedes student learning comprehension.

Here is a possible solution: Assign 2-5 lessons per student over the course of a semester with multiple students covering any given lesson where they have an obligation to take detailed notes of how they think the lesson material can be taught better. Then, have them submit their curriculum adjustments within a couple of days after class.  To help students take this seriously, 5-20% of the course grade can rest on putting energy into sending in detailed, adjusted lessons.  With these corrections, the instructor can better decide how they will teach the class again.

This sort of work may or may not be useful for the student making the updated lesson, but it should be useful for future classes’ students.  This could be studied empirically by seeing how student course ratings change from semester to semester, and how grades change on standardized tests between semesters in classes taught by the same teacher.