Research Papers: Traditional VS Digital

When thinking of traditional research papers this is what I picture students feeling:

A meme showcasing how students are bored of research papers

There are many different options for us teachers to explore when thinking about assigning a new project for our students. You can always go with the traditional route and have them write a standard, 5 paragraph essay on your topic, but put yourself in their shoes for a moment. Think about how many papers just like this they’ve already written. Will they actually learn anything from this? Perhaps more importantly, will they enjoy doing this?

Group of bored teenagers sitting in a classroom

On the flip side, you could test your students’ creativity by assigning something a little more interactive, such as a social media campaign! Have them choose a site of their choice, such as Twitter or Facebook, and let them run wild. You’ll probably notice a change in engagement, and have some more fun yourself! Have students create a hashtag that people can use to express their concern about the issue the student has posed and let the creative energy flow!

Jon Stickland teaches his sustainable systems analysis class in the R.E.A.L classroom in McDonel Hall on Friday March 29, 2013.

The social media campaign could look something like this:

A social media campaign example.

So let’s encourage creativity and involvement in class!

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