As I’m listening to my 35th presentation of learning (POL) this week, I have to remind myself that it’s probably the first presentation of the week (if not the only one) for this student and reset my mind to be open to what they have to tell me. “Be present, Bacon!”
So many students (at least 75%) have chosen to demonstrate their learning by creating a POL instead of write a comprehensive exam and, for the most part, it’s a positive and rewarding experience for both of us.
When I ask them why they chose a presentation over the exam and/or what their biggest take away is I get some surprising and revealing responses. Here are some quotes and representations from some of my students.
“I have learned a lot from taking this course. This course isn’t for everyone and there are a lot of people who say Sustainable Resources is easy but it’s not. It’s not a course where you sit around and hope you “just pass” (Like me). I have learned multiple things and some of them are that if you want something you have to get up and do something about it. Also that fish can be a fertilizer for plants and you could grow plants with their poop . Also I learned that gardening is pretty hard and you have to maintain your garden and take care of it almost everyday.
I’ve learned that a lot of things aren’t given to you like if you plant something it’s not gonna magically grow like you want it to, I’ve also learned that this course is a good one to show you who you really are and that you can become someone better. I have now made a garden at my house since I started this course and my garden now is growing strawberries and turnips and it’s booming and i couldn’t have done it without the knowledge of sustainable resources. ” V.S.
“Learning how to grow plants has helped me grow as a person.” V.S.
” The reason I chose a presentation of learning was because I believe education is only valuable when you can interpret it and use it to your needs. By connecting my learning to the outside world and problems today, I could figure out how education can be a solution. If you are just learning or memorizing without connections, I don’t think it can be later used for real problems.
This semester, I learned that my interest was chemistry out of the three sciences. I found chemistry the easiest for me, and I was really glad that I could narrow down the path to what I want to become. However, I chose to present on biology and physics instead because I wanted to challenge myself since I felt like I didn’t understand these two subjects as much as chemistry. I thought of my presentation as an opportunity to dig deeper into these subjects. I’m quite pleased with the results because I feel like I’ve gotten closer to these subjects through my presentation.” S.J.
” When I chose POL, aside from the initial thought that it was easier I also knew it was an opportunity to present what I know. To prove that I took something away from this course, rather than simply receiving a grade on an exam to show I understood the material, I want to expand on that by displaying what I knew but also reflecting on how I felt, the challenges I faced and how I overcame them or maybe I still struggle with them. In closing, I felt the Presentation of Learning was overall a better experience for me, over sitting in an exam room and writing an exam for an hour or two. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did making it.” A.M.