Strategies for Designing and Implementing LxC into a Course
1. LxC work replaces some regular course assignment
This is original format of LxC and several faculty members continue to use it.
Pro: It recognizes students’ outside work, and can integrate the LxC experience by asking students to reflect on the connections between LxC and the materials assigned for the parent course. Student commitment throughout the semester is high.
Con: Often faculty do not ask student to integrate their experiences, and LxC is more of a free-floating add on with little faculty engagement.
2. LxC work substitutes for portion of the final exam
Students LxC grade substitutes as the grade for the designated portion of the exam.
Pro: Students tend to respond really well to this option since it rewards their extra work and also provides some relief for them at the end of the term. Can be used an a way to integrate LxC with the larger course themes by asking students to reflect on their LxC experience as part of the exam. Student retention during the semester is high.
Con: Integration of LxC, if it happens at all, is left until the end of the course.
3. LxC work serves as extra credit
This is often used by faculty who want to have nearly full participation from their students in LxC. Still, the faculty member must create some alternative assignment in the event a student is unable to participate in LxC.
Pro: Easy for faculty to implement with virtually no work on their part until grading period.
Con: Easy for faculty to implement with virtually no work on their part until grading period. Once students have the percentage of extra credit they want, or they realize they don’t need the extra credit; they often stop attending their study group. Commitment to LxC fades. This is the model least likely to integrate LxC materials into the larger course experience.
4. LxC helps students complete an assigned project
Some faculty see LxC as integrated with their course projects. Students are able to use the LxC study group to explore research ideas and sources for their class projects. This model is often referred to as the “piggy-backing approach” to LxC.
Pro: Well integrated with the parent course materials; easy for students to see connections. Good student retention.
Con: While this format integrates the LxC work of for a subset of students, there are few chances to share the experiences with the rest of the class especially if the project turns out to be the final paper.