When Students Struggle, Ask Them to Show You How They Prepare

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Description: In this video, Haohsiang Liao shares how he asks stuggling students to demonstrate for him during office house how they prepare for class. This allows him to provide feedback and tips for better preparation.

Instructor: Haohsiang Liao

HAOHSIANG LIAO: Here at MIT, we usually require students to prepare for a one hour class for about an hour and a half. So that's the time that we expect students to give to this course, because it's a 12 unit course, so that's a pretty reasonable time expected. And students, they can usually do it.

But how can students, then, make the best out of those 90 minutes is a totally different field, that so far we don't have enough resources to know what do they exactly do during these 90 minutes.

Because too often, students would say that I followed every procedure that you recommended, but I feel the result is not that satisfactory. What am I supposed to do more? And in this case, we usually provide individualizations. So we have the students come into our office and tell them, show me how you prepare for class, and observe.

So I give you 10 minutes. So you do your preparations here in my office, and I observe, and based on those 10 to 15 minutes students, I give you my feedback. What I observe is A, you spend too much on this and this, and you are too silent.

You cannot be too silent when you prepare for classes, because in class it's about production. Productions are very loud, so this kind of loudness or the loud part should reflected from your preparation. And from the 10 minutes or 15 minutes, you're silent for 12 minutes, which is not the case in class.

Whenever student is say well, I do this, this, this, and this, you really don't know how much you can trust them in that way. So the best way to check is to have them here and show you how they prepare for the class.