I believe that this class has been one of the most important classes that i have taken during my time here at the University of Minnesota. It hits on aspects of you intuitive and social skills that are vital in the real world such as emotional competencies, group process, leadership, problem solving, and working/ personal relationships. I once learned that to be successful in the business world relations and social interaction is more important than personal knowledge or "business intelligence." This is the first class that i have taken that really highlights to me the importance of these skills.
I believe that the classroom environment that you created was a learning envirnment that was very beneficial to me when it came to learning these skills. It was an atmosphere that was not itimidating at all and a place where i, for the first time, felt comfortable expressing myself and ideas. The discussions that we had in class helped me learn about my classmates and build interpersonal relationships with them. I have made more friends in this class than all the other classes i have taken in college combined. Also the discussions taught me to have an open mind and learn from other students opinions rather than always having the mind set of, "my way or the highway." Overall it was really interesting to just be able to see issues and to approach problems from someone elses shoes. The way the class was not structured around big MIDTERMS OR FINALS really helped me approach the class and it's material a different way. Instead of dreading the material because i knew i would see it on a test I actually enjoyed the material that we were learning which i think will help me retain the knowledge better than trying to cram the information in my brain for a test.
I believe that this class and its assignments was a great environment for learning. This was the first class that really made me reflect in blogs and i believe that the blogs was a big part of me really understanding the material. They made me regergitate what i had learned helping me understand the skills better. Also by working in groups i for once got to directly apply what i was leaning about the group process in the class. Usually the teacher will tell you that later in life when you get a job you will need to apply the skills you are learning. But in this class I got to apply what we were learning immidiately.
All of the concepts that we hit on during the duration of this class were very clear to me. Three reasons why they were so clear to me was the authors of the books we read, Gladwell, Fushjisin, etc. were very easy to read for me. The second reason was the classroom activities such as disscusions. They helped me not only express what i have work out about the concept but also i get to hear my fellow classmates opinions on the concept. The last thing that really helped me understand these ideas were working in the presentation groups. These projects just re-enforced everything we have learned and also let us experience these concepts first hand.
The most helpful or must fun project that we did was the Teach the Class presentation. This was the first time that i have ever got in front of the class and actully taught a class, ITS A LOT HARDER THAN IT LOOKS! But this assignment helped me understand the material that i was presenting better than ever before. You know what they always say, "its one thing to know it but to be able to teach it is another thing." But most of all the Teach the Class presentation was fun and i believe that if a teacher can make learning fun he/she is a great teacher.
The least helpful assignment that we did was the EI paper. I don't know but for me the thought of a paper just automatically put a overcast on the material. I guess its just from dreadful papers in the past. Plus writing the paper on emotional intelligence got boring because i feel we kind of over worked those concepts. (This is a perfect example of why i think these blogs really helped me im being honest about how i feel. It feels great to finally be able to be honest with a teacher, to have a teacher that i can talk to really has helped me excel in this class.) Anyways sorry about the tangent but it really does help me learned the material by being able to express how i feel about them.
The only change i would make to any of the projects would be to the WebQuest project. I would allow the groups to pick an individual that they can relate to that also falls under the requirements of being a leader. This way i think groups can really make connections to the person they are researching.
Overall i believe that i got something from this class that i would not get else where and it was truly a pleasure working with you and all my friends that i made in the class.