Conundrum of the Week – When at first you don’t succeed.

I read a case study recently about a student who had made a few attempts to pass a required course in her program. She just couldn’t master the basics and was getting frustrated. She is going to attempt the course again. Imagine this student enrolls in your class and tells you she is concerned about not passing again. What one piece of advice or inspiration would you give her?

2 thoughts on “Conundrum of the Week – When at first you don’t succeed.”

  1. I wonder if the appropriate strategy is to ask *her* what works well for her learning (or perhaps what didn’t work for her in the past). I was once teaching a coding course where the student told me she had tried several times to learn to code before and failed, and this was the first time she felt she had a chance at succeeding. I took the opportunity to ask her what it was about this time that gave her that confidence, and she told me. A little curiosity can go a long way.

    • I agree with Colleen. Focusing on the student’s perspective – what interests her about the course material, what challenges she anticipates, how she would like to be assessed – offers the instructor valuable information on how to help the student succeed. The advice or inspiration would be tailored to what she has already identified. A little off track, but I would probably also ask her how she would teach the course (since she has taken in a number of times). Hopefully, this would provide the instructor with insight as to how she learns.

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