The Musubi Murder
The Student Retention Office had come in to refurbish the classroom, but they didn’t repaint it or replace the rotted ceiling tiles or fix the broken blinds. What they did was transform the classroom into a “learning center” by removing all of the desks and installing round tables in their place. The idea was that there should be no single focal point in the room from which a professor could lecture. We were no longer to play the role of “Sage on the Stage,” but instead we were to be “Guides on the Side,” moving around the room to facilitate student discussion.
A few weeks after the Student Retention Office remodel was finished, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Engagement attended an ed-tech conference. Upon his return, we were directed to record our class sessions and post them online, so that students could watch them at their leisure. The problem was that we were “guides on the side” now, and the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Engagement didn’t want to post hour-long videos of students sitting in circles talking. So we all had to go back to being “sages on the stage,” lecturing to the video camera, but this time we were cautioned to act as “facilitators of experience” rather than “providers of knowledge.”
We’re still stuck with the immovable round tables.
The Musubi Murder is available on these platforms