Being Flexible in my Learning

Two courses that I am currently taking at UNC Charlotte are Adolescent Psychology and then a Liberal Studies class (Citizenship and Service) that is service learning based. These two classes differ in which the way they are taught, and also in grading method. What it takes to get a good grade in one simply does not work when it comes to getting a good grade in the other.

In Citizenship and Service we are graded on how much volunteer work that we do. We host events to raise money for causes and to bring awareness. Most classes are facilitated around readings about service and topics on things like food insecurity, poverty, violence, abuse and etc. It isn’t a class where there is homework every night, quizzes, tests and essays its more discussion based. It’s a class where your work outside of class is what really teaches you and that’s what you’re graded upon.

Then there’s Adolescent Psychology. In this class there are weekly quizzes, some exams, note taking is crucial and you have to read chapters from a textbook on your own. You are responsible for the knowledge you obtain here. The slides presented in class don’t allow you to not read and you need the slides discussed in class to better understand what you read on your own in your textbook. It’s more of a teamwork thing to learn the material.

After reading Swales article, I think that the foundation for inquiry based learning and literacy lie within a discourse community. At the beginning of the reading “The concept of discourse community” the first characteristic Swales mentions is having an agreed set of common goals. Each class at UNC Charlotte has a set of Student Learning Outcomes, but I think that each class and its professor have different goals. Secondly, swale describes mechanisms of intercommunications, which for my classes is Moodle. Thirdly, are participatory mechanisms to provide information, which can be a textbook or a syllabus outlining each weeks learning objectives. The fourth characteristic talked about having more than one genre within a discourse community. The fifth characteristic Swales describes is the acquiring of specific lexis, which deals with class vocabulary. Lastly, the final characteristic is all about members with a degree of discourse expertise. At UNCC each class is taught differently and uniquely to fit its learning objectives and ways that information can be best received. It is such a diverse place of learning, which is very helpful when it comes to acquiring knowledge.

My two classes that I mentioned take different things in order to be successful. What makes you successful in one area doesn’t always guarantee success in another. It is important to be versatile in your learning. Maximizing all skills that have been learned naturally or taught is very important in order for you to succeed here at UNCC. I’ve learned to be flexible in my learning, because it can only benefit me.


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