Today I assigned students to their respetive research groups based on their fields of study. I've always found this to be beneficial for the students, because it provides them with a space to discuss the content of their work for the class and, a lot of time, their work for the class. It also gives them an opportunity to position themselves as experts and display their knowledge on the topic, which is something graduate students are supposed to do. Today they were to share the topic that they are writing on and solicit feedback from the other group members. As I observed the business group, I noticed that the members of the group were very supportive of what the others were sharing. They often showed this support with cries of "wow!". In the music group, they exchanged their topic worksheets, read them and provided oral feedback. Students in the group often asked clarifying questions about the topics presented. The use of research groups in the class seem to be not only beneficial in the class but also outside the class. Students from previous quarters have maintained the relationships they developed in these groups to go on and co-present and publish.
One thing I observed in regards to keeping this blog this quarter is how I'm always looking for something interesting in my classes to blog about. It seems that knowing that I want to write something interesting to share who others who might be reading my blog shapes the lens I use to focus on what's going on in the classroom.