Backrow trouble maker

October 14, 2007

I have always sat in the back of the class, throughout high school all the way through my graduate classes I have been in the group that sits in the back of the room. I had not considered the implications of this until jsarnett got me wondering about my choices in classroom seating placement.

So what does research say about my seating choice? I found this article that found a relationships that backs up the assumption that many teachers posses, students in the back do not perform as well. So what does this mean?Have I been a bad student all of these years? I would like to invoke the idea of reliability versus validity but I should probably admit that I feel that when I have sat in the front of the class I have gotten more from the class.

So how does this translate to distance education? I feel as though the reason that I performed better in classes where I sat and/or was forced to sit closer to the front is probably due to interaction. When students sit in the back the teacher can sometimes let the students in the back “slide”.

So will this be a problem that we must also address in distance education? I think that it may be easier to solve this problem of interaction  in a distance setting. Many students sit in the back of the room due to shyness and don’t like to be called out in front of the class.  The internet offers some anonymity and some shy students are more likely to participate and take part in the class discussions.  And since learning is tied to participating in the learning situation distance education may be more beneficial for some students than a traditional class would be.

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2 Responses to “Backrow trouble maker”

  1. Joe McConda Says:

    That’s a very good point about the shy student being more able to express him/herself online as opposed to the classroom. It is true that online, some students may feel more free to express themselves.

  2. dancingnancy533 Says:

    The internet does offer some anonymity for students who are a little shy and timid to ask questions. In the physical realm of the classroom, those students can come closer to the front and become more engaged in the learning process.


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