Usually, at this time in the semester, students start losing steam. It’s hard to keep them interested or even awake. In education, we call it “the midterm slump,” and it’s soul-crushing because no matter how great your material is, discussions are sluggish and there’s constant yawning going on in class.
This semester is different, however. The interest has never been higher. Participation is so active that I don’t even have to prepare discussion questions. All I have to say is, “please discuss,” and they go right at it. I’m beseiged by students after class, asking how they can improve and what else they can read and sharing their insights into the material. It’s like I’m suddenly in a world I always wanted to inhabit.
Mine is the only face-to-face class they are taking. People teaching online are saying that the midterm slump is a lot worse this year. I haven’t come across a student yet who doesn’t passionately hate online learning.
It’s time to recognize that this isn’t working and head back to the classroom.