Cite this article as: Arunrangsiwed, P. (2020). Active Learning and Absent Students Problems: Thailand Case. Retrieved from https://sw-eden.net/2020/01/01/active-learning-problems/
Active Learning and Absent Students Problems
The current semester, as well as the previous semesters that I have a chance to teach students in Public Relation and Advertising major, I found that they could pay attention to the class very well. There were few drop-off students who had less responsibility at the end of the semester. If I would evaluate my own satisfaction of teaching these students, I could say that I have a high level of it.
I ran active learning activities for the entire semester. These could pull the students into the lesson very well. At the beginning of class period, I normally have a short traditional lecture. This period is about 30 minutes before getting into the active learning activities. If the students came to class late, they would miss the lecture part. This might cause a lower grade on their assignment if active learning of the particular class. This is because the topic or lesson of the lecture part and active learning part are the same in the same day.
When I attended a seminar arranged by Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University regarding, “active learning,” I had a question and I asked the expert. I said, “the active learning activities would be hard to be conduct if the students did not come on time, like, when I asked them to do a group work and someone in the group came after all other members completed the work.” The expert in that seminar answered that I had to be very serious in checking students’ class attendance, like, checked them the lower point if they came late.
In fact, in both previous semester and the current semester, I check the students’ class attendance very seriously. If they came to class on time, they would get 1 point. If they came to class late 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes late, they would get only 0.7, 0.5, 0.3, or 0.1 respectively. However, some students did not care much about the points or grade. The active learning wall never be smoothly completed if there are only few late students.
I think the way to solve the particular problem is to start the class not too early. The university I am working in is in Bangkok metropolitan area. There is often heavy traffic especially in the morning. In my opinion, all classes should begin at 10 AM or at least 9:30.
My opinion may sound like, I do not want to improve my students’ responsibility. The truth is that if the students could come to exactly 8:00 AM, they have to wake up at 5AM. That is not reasonable. On the other hand, if the students start the class at 10 AM, they could wake up at 9 AM, have breakfast, and come to class on time.
These students generally do not have cars and only some of them have motorbikes. If they have to come to class at 8:00 AM, they need to ride the “pack” bus. They do not only have no seats to sit, but they also have no space to stand.
I would recommend that the classes of next semester should begin at 9:30 AM or 10:00 AM. Students would have better grades both in attendance and in active learning part.