This week’s class was dedicated to our entire class to collaboratively work on the “Final Course Statement.” The collaborative course statement unpacks a specific problem we have discussed during class, in our case Medical Voluntourism, and follows-up with a solution. During our class Monday, we went over how that project is relevant to Geneseo’s Mission, Vision and Values and the Globe. We identified how medical voluntourism can be seen as a problem. That is if the volunteer were to lack adequate training/qualifications, then they can cause more harm than good to the underprivileged communities that they work with (Zakaria, 2014).
At the end of Wednesday’s class, one can clearly tell that the flow of the conversation among our group was way more engaging than it was on Monday. There could be a number of reasons as to why that is. For starter, we could explain the lack of engagement during Monday’s class due to the fact that it was our first day back from Thanksgiving break. Everyone just came back from spending the holiday with their loved ones and dreading the fact that the remaining two and half weeks will consist of primarily handing in papers or taking exams. No fun.
Another explanation could have been on the topic we discussed. We came into class looking at the Geneseo’s Mission, Vision and Values and the Globe, trying to make connections to our goals and experience in this class. I’m pretty sure for many of you in our class that was your first time ever reading the message. Therefore, several of us might have come up with the same conclusions—like how throughout the course we have collaboratively focused on having meaningful discussions to address real-world problems (Globe). However, only one might have verbalized that connection, allowing for other students to simply agree on it.
Last but not least, since the discussion was being recorded by a scribe and impacts the entire class’s grade—not just at an individual level—contributions have more weight to them, thus causing some students to be too afraid to make a comment at the chance of it being incorrect.
On the other hand, personally, I found myself to be more engaged in today’s class than Monday’s because I felt like I had more to contribute. The prompt had more questions for us to answer and our ideas kept bouncing off each other, keeping this lasting conversation flow. I believe this is because we had more background knowledge of medical voluntourism, many of us recently wrote blog posts on this topic, and that we were prepped from Monday’s class discussion.