My Experience with Swarm Learning

To complete my degree at FHSU, I was required to complete a course called Tests and Measurements. When I started Tests and Measurements the first time, I was completely overwhelmed, and despite the professor telling student’s right from the beginning “Don’t drop! Give it time”, I ultimately ended up dropping the course. I thought it would be better to take this class when I have a smaller workload or less classes in another semester. However, I always take a high work load and many classes so that was not an option. I ended up re-enrolling in Tests and Measurements for the Spring 2021 semester with the determination to complete this course. Again, when starting it I felt extremely overwhelmed and wanted to drop again but I knew I had no choice and had to do it. Between Plectica, the Facebook group, the Wordpress site, the app, and what seemed like so many other things, I was lost at where to start. However, with no other options I decided to have an open mind and get through it. To my surprise, it did get much easier and I do feel that was because of Dr. Schwandt’s Swarm Learning methodology.

“Swarm Learning (SL) is a teaching philosophy and methodology where students provide continuous feedback to change a class while in progress — where the feedback changes how students learn concepts but does not change the concepts they must learn — in order to teach students how to think, not what to think — where the overarching intent is to facilitate a fast transfer of learning.”

Swarm Learning is a great tool if it is used seriously by both the instructor and the student. If the instructor is incorporating Swarm Learning into their class, it would seem that they would be willing to take it seriously and take the student’s feedback seriously, otherwise it would be a waste of their time, so the student’s also need to provide honest and realistic feedback to get the most out of any class. I’m sure many student’s have been in a class and felt if something was different, it could be better. But it might not be a good idea to email your teacher and tell them how to teach their class. Swarm learning helps in that way by keeping a constant, open line of communication between the student’s and the instructor and lets the instructor know how the student’s would benefit most from the class.

Overall, the fact that Swarm Learning was created, shows that Dr. Schwandt cares about his student’s learning and want’s it to be the best it can be for them. I do feel that Swarm Learning could be some kind of elective class where student’s can learn more about it and the book written by Dr. Schwandt. At times, it felt like the class became more about Swarm Learning than Tests and Measurements. However, I do appreciate Dr. Schwandt taking the time to read all of the student feedback from every survey and constantly make changes to benefit us. I hope that Swarm Learning can be used in the future in more classes.

Swarm Learning taught me to be more open minded to new ideas. Without Swarm Learning, I do not think myself, and many other student’s would have made it through this course successfully.

Reference

HHP 340 Tests and Measurements — Spring 2021 — Complex Adaptive Syllabus (CAS) | by Dr. Jamie Schwandt | Medium

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