Some faculty are allowing their students to set the ground rules for conduct in the classroom as well as the consequences for breaking these rules. The thought behind this approach is that the students are more likely to engage in behaviors that they themselves have established as important in the classroom setting.
Dr. Lisa Rodriguez notes that the faculty member can also insert his/her own additional rules after getting the students' input. Here is her list of typical ground rules that students might agree upon:
- Start and end class on time
- One speaker at a time
- Everyone participates
- Keep an open mind
- No "zingers" or put downs
- No one dominates discussions/Share "air time"
- Be an active listener
- Stay on track/topic
Dr. Rodriguez goes on to say that, "For those instructors who might feel anxious about this process living up to the tried (but sometimes not true) statement of conduct dictated by the instructor in the syllabus, we suggest having all students verbally agree upon and/or sign a final list that is duplicated and distributed for future reference...Also, let students know that you are ultimately responsible for maintaining a fair learning environment."
I'm curious if others have tried this...