Pizza Forums: Connecting with Students

Pizza Forums: Connecting with Students


CATHERINE DRENNAN: The
idea was in a big class of like 300 students,
most of the students are not going to have
an opportunity really to meet the professors. They may go to office hours,
but even then, the office hours, you can’t schedule your
office hours at a time where all 300 people in
the class are available. So you’ll just get
to know maybe a few. But with the pizza
forums, they’re every few weeks
during the semester, and we encourage
at least one person from each recitation to come. And it’s just a way
for the students to get to know the
faculty and vice versa. And sometimes we discuss things
about chemistry, you know, especially if people
have suggestions of what they like and don’t like. But a lot of times, they’re just
talking about their experiences at MIT. And there have been some
really useful things, I think, for the course
that have come out of it, like learning,
for example, that we had our problems
sets due at the same time as pretty much all of
their other classes. So we moved it to a different
day because that made no sense. And also, kind of some of
the educational ways– what clickers they’re using,
how they like them. We heard some horrible
things about clickers that had been used in physics. And so then they
started to change them. And when we looked
at clickers, we learned from the
physics experience. But it really came through
knowing that from the students, rather than talking
to the other faculty. We had sort of heard what
worked and didn’t work. So having those kind of
direct conversations. And they feel like they’re
representing the student body in saying, oh
we like this, or we don’t like that,
or have you thought about doing something this way. And it’s just also a lot of fun. And everyone goes around
and says where they’re from. I love to ask them, what
is one thing about MIT that is exactly
what you expected and what’s one thing
that really surprised you when you got here? And I just find it
really interesting to see what people said. And I often get, I expected
everyone to be smart, everybody is smart. I expected everyone to
be just more serious, but people are fun
and nice and silly and they’re kind of
like normal people and that sort of surprised me. So that is always a
lot of fun to hear that and get to know them.

Danny Hutson

1 thought on “Pizza Forums: Connecting with Students

  1. Pizza Forums, promoting a healthy life style is should be a gaol of schools a salad forum (no dressing ) is healthier and cheaper choice although a chocolate forum may attract more punters

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