this semester i'm teaching intro to media studies. i teach two sections - one in the morning on lone mountain with forty students and one in the afternoon in the education building with thirty students.
the first week or so i tried to keep both sections at the exact same pace. i would give the same lecture, discuss the same examples, assign the same homework. the students appeared engaged but for me it felt extremely limited and limiting. too uptight.
during the second week of classes, i ran into jeffrey paris and over lunch he mentioned that when teaching two sections of the same class he significantly mixes them up. he said it was better for his students and better for him - it kept things fresh.
i took his advice and - ahhhh! in the short term, it makes more work (more prep time) for me. in the long term, though, it makes both classes more independent, more dynamic, more organic.