As still somebody who attends university (Ryerson University, incredible value for money by the way…) I’ve made the decision to go into a very mind-off mode while in class. I still talk a lot in class, answer questions and the like, but I do that without any prior thinking about what my answer will be or how smart it sounds. I’m that guy.
Why? Because the value to me as a student for that participation is really minimal. I’ve learned that over time. Participation in class is never about exploring an idea, it’s about letting teachers know if students understand a specific concept. Once students have that understanding teachers then move on to the next topic in the course. It’s a real wash and repeat environment.
If you are going to participate, do it online.
Not to say that intelligent discussion or debate in class is to be avoided, just highly unlikely (Why would you ever debate someone else about online privacy when they don’t know how Cookies work?). Online comment systems on the other hand, are highly under appreciated as learning tools. It’s as if the brightest minds in the industry were writing your test questions for you. No questions about a read-and-regurgitate model or term, but an opportunity to answer questions related to high-level ideas, important trends, or personal opinions (the most important).
How many young people view participating on blogs as an learning tool? Probably not many. The perception is still as blogs as a waste of time, and they therefore don’t see how commenting can be a productive activity.
This is a problem that comes back to the perception of blogs by most young people. It’s hard to even say still how many young people know that there are professionally run blogs dedicated to serious topics and, that they can participate on them. Equally as bad is what people have become use to when leaving comments. Facebook has helping people get used to the idea of leaving comments, but mostly ones that are socially focused, humorous, or NSFW.
Do you find any value in commenting? Maybe you should take another look.