A new classroom paradigm

Enhancing student productivity is a challenge in most classrooms of the 21st century.

It is especially difficult for students at the collegiate level when they are working to find the right balance among academics, professional development
and social engagement.

At St. John’s, there have been instances where the learning environment has lacked proper
student engagement.

Many students have been ingrained with the notion that test scores measure productivity. The belief is that the higher the test scores, the higher a student’s level of productivity should be.

This should not be true. Exams are designed to test students’ familiarity with the material, not how well they work on particular tasks. In order to correct this misconception, there is a need to engage students in a new form of learning.

Some professors give their students incentives to do better in class, but these are not usually the most beneficial to the overall
learning experience.

For example, professors drop the lowest grade on exams, grade exams on a curve, or make extra credit assignments. They only put the focus on the tests, but offer no real value in the student’s productivity.

The focus should be less on how well the students are going to score, but how much they can contribute to a cause.

Honestly, that is what the real test is going to be in life and in the workplace. Playing the role as a student in a school can sometimes be subservient. The role of being a student should be worth more than just memorizing.

If students have no passion for their work or no real ideas to contribute other than how to answer a multiple choice question, then life after college is going to be quite challenging for them.

To enhance the productivity of the student body, the barriers between professor and student need to be broken down.

At the very least, students and professors should be discussing the material and learning from each other. With the high cost of tuition, the curriculum should be more discussion-oriented, rather than based on tests, where the information is forgotten afterwards.

Schools should think about integrating a customized program for each major. For example, students could be given an opportunity to compete with their peers in solving a problem faced by a local business as a term project.

This is just one example that the University could consider to be proactive in
redefining the curriculum.

Education and productivity should not be based solely on test scores. In order for students to really learn something meaningful, they must be actively
engaged in class.