QCQ 1 – Johnson/CLA

QCQ for “DS106: Enabling Open, Public, Participatory Learning” 


“In Groom’s opinion, ‘there’s no reason why a chemist or biologist or literature professor couldn’t come up with real-world exciting assignments and examples from the student’s own perspective that integrate principles of their own discipline. I think it’s hard, but not impossible, and that’s part of the common challenge of real teaching’ … Making other subjects as exciting as pop culture is no easy challenge, but Groom doesn’t think that should be an insurmountable obstacle” (4). 


What made this quote stick out to me was the mention of integrating the students’ own perspectives into creating exciting real-world assignments in fields such as biology and chemistry. Groom’s optimistic outlook that it is possible to make these subjects comparable to the excitement of pop culture is intriguing, although I do not believe I could be as optimistic as Groom. However, I do like the idea of it if it were fully possible. 

Many times, in the hard sciences, there is a lot of regurgitation of information that has been already passed on from the professor. While this is necessary – since they are in the field of hard sciences – I believe that it is true that professors may see much more engagement and interest in the subject if they are able to find a way to utilize social media to attack a difficult subject from a new angle. For example, instead of solely focusing on students individually learning and reading from the textbook, it could be helpful for them to create a blog together about a topic from the class they are interested in. This may be very helpful before college as well, in order to help students feel less intimidated by the material and encourage more engagement. I believe that this could be a tool that is not only helpful to liberal arts students who engage in discussion regularly, but also for those of the hard sciences and for professors to achieve greater engagement from their students in the class who have plenty of ideas, but no time to investigate them due to the nature of the lecturer-student classroom and relationship. 


Is it possible to utilize social media in a hard science class to help integrate the students’ perspectives and promote engagement? Could you personally benefit from something like this, if it were possible?