Collaborative Tech
Kellen

Hello friends!

This is the end for me! I’m so sad to depart because you’ve all taught me so much about using technology in the classroom. You’ve all been such incredible wellsprings of knowledge and experience that I can’t possibly express my gratitude for your blogs, comments, and conversations. All of this brings me to the thematic ligament that connects each of my blogs: Collaboration via Technology.

Over the course of this semester, I have been experimenting with different online learning platforms that foster collaboration in virtual classrooms. I’ve been actively trying to find informal lessons that incorporate technology in order to build communities and encourage students to work together. In many ways, the possibilities for collaboration are a lot stronger in virtual environments than F2F ones, and programs such as Perusall and Google Docs have highlighted. Finally, technology allows us to empower our students to find, evaluate, and share readings that can be incorporate into course. Throughout this experience, I’ve really appreciated how y’all have encouraged collaborating with students to shape the directions of the class. As educators, we must collaborate with our colleagues and our students in order to cultivate curiosity and discovery.

Godspeed, comrades!

 

Accessing Accessibility Online
Kellen

As Scott Warnock covered the variety of texts we could incorporate into our OWC, I was most struck by his reminder to “think about the accessibility of the texts you choose” (59). While Warnock largely discusses strategies for making texts available to students, I wondered how we could use online programs to make content accessible to students. In this blog, I want to think about accessibility from an intersectional perspective that tries to take into account social issues like class, sexuality, and learning ability.

ACCESSIBILITY STRATEGY #1: ZERO-COST TEXTBOOKS

In all of Warnock’s discussions of online reading options, I was a bit surprised to see no mention of the ways in which we can minimize how much our course costs students. The prevalence of online writing, library databases, and open-access resources allows us to reduce the cost of our courses for students. To be sure, I understand the attachment to hardcopies of books. Physical books involve different kinds of thinking and reading, but digital texts do as well. Both are valuable. Transitioning our reading materials to more digital formats allows us to engage with primary sources on an unprecedented scale. For example, in my composition class, students can use InternetArchive to explore the New England Primer (1690). Students can interact with a copy of seventeenth-century text, noticing the similarities and differences in styles from now and then.

I’ve also envisioned entire courses where I ask students to locate all the readings on their own. I have mostly seen this as a literary survey course (pre-1900) where all the materials are in the public domain. Rather than having students buy an anthology, I will have them make their own by using Google Books, InternetArchive, and other online databases to find particular versions of a work such as Moby-Dick or Frankenstein. Not only does this eliminate the need to purchase a $50 book, but it teaches students to use research techniques that they can apply to this and other classes.

ACCESSIBILITY STRATEGY #2: STUDENT-SELECTED READINGS

Building on the last point, I also envision a composition course where students do the bulk work of finding reading materials that are relevant to them. For example, MiraCosta’s library has access to a really wonderful LGBT Archive. I’ve mused about a “Queer Composition” course where I would organize the semester into various themes (like I do already). At the beginning of the semester, I would teach students how to access and use this database while also providing them different kinds of readings. Over the course of the semester, I would increasingly ask students to choose weeks where they will do research and find relevant articles that the entire class will read. These can be fictional, nonfictional, published, audio, visuals, etc. In the end, I would compile everything together into an Online Education Resource that I would share with students and make available to future students. As the course continues, we will develop our own working archive of queer composition.

As Warnock indicates, we have access to a variety of materials on the web, and, as educators, we need to make information literacy accessible to our students in ways that are culturally relevant and empowering. Through this assignment, I hope to introduce students to strategies for locating and verifying information published in digital formats. In addition to reducing costs, it aims to familiarize students more with research and reading strategies that they will need as more information migrates to virtual ecosystems.

ACCESSIBILITY STRATEGY #3: ALT-READING PROGRAMS

Finally, as we think about accessibility, we can’t lose sight of whether the content we select is actually comprehensible and user-friendly. Programs like Perusall, Hypothesis, and Voyant open up access to a text in ways that traditional reading don’t. The first two highlight collaborative reading practices that demonstrate students are reading and engaging with course materials, and the latter breaks down complicated texts into a numerical information and graphs. In the past (but I’m doing more again this semester), I would have students use Voyant to identify keywords in a novel (like Huck Finn), poems (Angel Island ones), or essays (I just did this one with students last week). Using this information, I have students attempt to infer what the reading may be about. I also ask them to find keywords that interest them and identify where they are concentrated in the text. This gives them a rough blueprint of what they may expect, and, of course, when they get something different, we can use that as a discussion opportunity. Rather than signaling the death of the book or reading, I think these programs can breath new life into it.

In the end, I feel like the proliferation of databases and online reading platforms has given us a stronger arsenal than ever before to teach writing, reading, and literature. The book isn’t dead. Reading isn’t dead. They are evolving and adapting and so must we.

 

Well-Contented Students
Kellen

Hello comrades!

So aside from come punny wordplay in the title, I wanna get all simulacrum today by first quoting the quote that Tony quoted from Jim:


“We will not be defined by our online learning spaces. We are shapers of space, the masters of innovation. And whatever damn system the American higher education consumer market imposes upon us—we shall rise above and create something engaging and empowering for students.”

Boom!

Broad City Crying GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY



Given the theme of this week’s lesson, I couldn’t help thinking about the pronoun “we” and its relationship to students. While I love being the shaper of space and the master of innovation, this unit has me wondering how I can help students shape their own intellectual space while mastering innovative learning environments (or compositional environments). How do we (teachers and students) collectively create something engaging and empowering for everyone? How do we make sure that students define their online learning spaces rather than letting these spaces define them?

Warnock provides a lot of solid suggestions that allow us to leverage online technologies with student-created content, and we’ve proposed many excellent ones. Canvas, Google Docs, WordPress, Instagram, and other platforms all provide outlets for us to encourage students to create and share content in online spaces. Honestly, the idea of student generating content feels a bit easier in OWcourses than f2f—BUT I stand to be proven wrong! When it comes to student-created content in an OWcourse, I’ve been thinking about doing the exact reverse of what we do here.

Spongebob Squarepants Internet GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

 

(Big shout-out to Yolanda’s post from last week that kind inspired what follows): Rather than posting a blog and then sharing it on a discussion board where we chat about it, I am thinking about using Canvas Discussions as a place to brainstorm and WordPress as a place to publish. Discussion boards will act as a semi-private space where students can explore and revise ideas while being in conversation with their peers. The WordPress is a student-shaped space where they are free to demonstrate their mastery over innovative digital technologies. Students can create and cultivate their own unique blogs where they can post polished writing in public venues. This enables them not only to share their work with broader audiences, but it also allows them to think about the transformation of learning material into live content. Moreover, these blogs can act as digital portfolios that highlight the evolution of a students’ work over the course. Students can also freely personalize their blogs to reflect their own goals for their site.

 

To be sure, while Google Docs and Course Discussions are vital tools in an OWCourse, I want to find outlets that encourage “individual students to make individual decisions” that enhance their composition (quote from Tony), and I feel like having them design an online writing presence can facilitate that. All together, I want students to recognize that they too are shapers of space and masters of innovation who can also learn to create something engaging and empowering for themselves and others.

Peruse All This Post
Kellen

Greetings everyone!

So I’m gonna be like everyone else and mostly be chill with Canvas at the moment. Throughout my time as a student and instructor, I’ve used Blackboard, Canvas, and another one that I can’t totally remember the name of… I’ve honestly found Canvas to be the most intuitive and adaptable of any LMS that I’ve used so far. While there are definitely limitations to it that I’ll probably become more frustrated with as I migrate more to OWC, I agree with Erica that I don’t want my students to have to juggle too many different LMS or websites. Requiring students to familiarize and refamiliarize themselves with different LMS seems like it could detrimentally affect their investment in my course because it requires so much preliminary work. For this reason, I’ll probably stick with this and with tools that can easily be learned or integrated into Canvas.

In past courses and teaching workshops, I’ve experimented with different programs for publishing student writing (TimelineJS/StoryMapJS) and mining documents for word frequencies and placements (Voyant). I do incorporate Voyant into my teaching to help teach students pre-reading strategies, and it’s been received pretty well. Voyant is just a website that reads PDFs, websites, and Word Docs and organizes that data into various kinds of interactive graphs. In particular, students like the word clouds (which helps identify main points) and word location charts (which helps relocate passages). The transformation of textual information into visual representations also helps students who are not as success at reading texts linearly. This program can give them new in-roads to help orient them to the course material. I don’t try to overburden students with this tool, but I definitely use it when we are reading complicated, dense material.

For today’s blog, I continued exploring my interest in how digital platforms can enhance reading practices by playing with Perusall. OMG! Y’ALL! I’m like so obsessed with this program, and I highly recommend everyone try it out! This is an incredibly user-friendly platform that lets you have reading groups collectively read and annotate PDFs! You basically just have to register (with the option of linking it to your Canvas site, which I didn’t do but probably will for future courses). It provides a really quick and easy guided-tour of how to use the platform. You can upload the PDFs for your class. Organize students into different groups. Mark PDFs with highlighter or comments. You can had hashtags and tag other people. In short, it very much feels like a combination of Abode Reader, Twitter, and Canvas.

I haven’t used this platform before, but I think I’m going to try to use it in class in the next coming weeks. I’ve been trying to think of more interactive and more collaborative forms of reading for the last few years (because I’ve always been an Elle Woods searching for a study group), and I really think this is it. In my class this semester, I’ve teased them with the prospect of this program, so I’m going to schedule in some time next week to introduce it to them and try to make it a regular part of our class this semester. I will keep everyone posted on how it goes!! (Also, as far as I can tell, it doesn’t cost money…)

Also, not sure if anyone else thinks it might be fun to try. But I’d be happy to try to make a Perusall group for us where we can collaboratively read! 😀

Migrating My Teaching Style
Kellen

Hello comrades!

I really liked thinking about some of the ways of migrating our teaching principles to online formats. I have four principles that I’ve been thinking a lot about this semester, as I pilot some online teaching principles in my f2f course.

  • Intuitive & Interactive Access:
    • Last semester, students expressed some difficulty navigating my Canvas site. I initially provided all the readings for the whole semester at once in the modules section (also I didn’t delete ANY of the side links… Major oops!). The combination of these circumstances, left students slightly unsure of when do what readings until I walked them through the process a few times. This semester, I have adapted my Canvas page to take advantage of a more intuitive and interactive style that uses a combination of pages and buttons (like curry’s course). Links to each week’s readings, discussion board, educational resource, and looming assignment are posted each week on the front page, so students see them immediately when they access Canvas. Rather than requiring students to guess where to find the materials, I make try to make it super duper obvious and easy.
  • Community-Building & Collaborative Learning:
    • Building a tight-knit and collegial classroom is a core element of my f2f courses. In order to translate this to online courses, I want to engage with more digital platforms that enable students to read and write collectively. In the “Writing with Machines” workshop, we briefly discussed the possibility of organizing students into reading groups using platforms like Hypothesis. Rather than having students experience reading as an isolated, individual experience, I want to give them the tools to support each other. Additionally, I want to give them tools that they can use in other classes or even in their careers. While I haven’t yet introduced this tool into my course yet, I am considering doing so around week 8 after I am able to introduce students to the software.
  • Productive Redundancy:
    • In f2f courses, scaffolding redundancy happens every day in implicit and explicit ways. I feel like OWCourses are actually incredibly well suited to productive redundancy. Not only can we encourage students to engage with our course material in set pathways (while giving them some degree of freedom as curry highlighted), but we can also ensure that they see the same material multiple times, in multiple ways. This semester, I’ve begun trying to scaffold this redundancy into my Canvas site more, as I’ll explain in the video. I don’t know if I’ve reached 100% efficacy. JK I can still do better.
  • Multicultural Responsiveness:
    • So I usually design my courses to celebrate the intersectional experiences of students by countering deficit messaging in course readings and visual images. While I think my readings and visuals in my f2f course meet this threshold, I’m not sure my actual Canvas site does. It wasn’t until today that I thought about how I don’t include cartoons with characters of color in the ‘buttons.’ Additionally, I think I could even expand this moving forward by inviting students to recommends objects (clips, images, texts, etc.) that exemplify issues raised in each weeks’ readings. This ‘show and tell’ would give them a chance to write about a found object from their lives using the course material. In short, maybe I could use Jim’s portfolio-oriented blogs to give students space to make the course site responsive to their own cultural perspectives.

Screencast-o-Canvas: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/cqnXrN3s4s

Crafting a Dream Class
Kellen

Hey gang,

I’m gonna think about my dream OWcourse, which is currently just a translation of my current f2f one. My course examines popular and scholarly essays about children’s literature, toys, cartoons, and games to teach students how to critically analyze cultural artifacts using class readings and their own experiences. My thinking is to take seemingly transparent or superficial objects and dive deeply into them, empowering students to repeat this process on their own. As I think about this course in an online format, I envision four guiding principles: be redundant, be collaborative, be intersectional, and be responsive.

  • Be Redundant: I want to bombard students with the syllabus, while also structuring the class through reiterative, weekly assignments that build into essays (I also talk about it here). Taking a cue from many of my esteemed peers, I want to send out a weekly schedule on Sunday morning that would provide a list of what to read, what to do, and when to do it. When students access the Canvas site, they will be shown the same information (which they’ll also find on their syllabus, in the “To Do” column, and in the calendar). Each week, students will be asked to write short response papers to that week’s reading and to comment on two of their peers. These short writing assignments will help students brainstorm potential ideas for their essays, while also enabling me to intervene at multiple points to help them with their writing.
  • Be Collaborative: One project will require students to work in groups to create a website (like a WordPress of maybe a Wiki), and I want to use Canvas and Zoom to help students work asynchronously and synchronously to think through collaborative writing and work habits. I want students to explore the possibilities (and limitations) of collaborative, multimodal projects such as designing class-curated webpages, wikis, course blogs, and other forms of “public writing” that require students to think about and write for a wide range of audiences. Moreover, I want to encourage students to work together to improve their own writing through intensive, recursive peer review. To tie back to point (1), I want collaboration to become a redundant part of my class.
  • Be Intersectional: This principle applies more immediately to me in my course design. As Dr. Woods encourages, my courses need to be explicitly and critically conscious of representation in order to ensure that my students are being exposed to a variety of viewpoints, particularly from marginalized populations. This begins at the bottom with course readings and examples that guarantee that I incorporate positive, empowering representations of different groups. Moreover, that I turn these selections into moments to dwell on intersectionality and to use our own lived experiences as lenses through which to interpret cultural objects (like this one that I just bought to teach next semester).
  • Be Responsive: Finally, I want to continue to explore the best practices of responding to my students. In addition to developing reiterative writing assignments, I want to establish grading practices that best reach students and help them to succeed. In my f2f course, I’ve started experimenting with Screencast-O-Matic and have received pretty positive reviews from students thus far. My feedback on their most recent essays was more in-depth and personalized, and, while I feel weird that I have little written trace of it, I think this approach has benefited students. On more accurately, I’ll see if it benefits students when they turn in their final two essays. But if not, back to the drawing board! In short, I want to find ways that reach students and ensure that they aren’t being left behind.

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/americanhorrorstory/images/0/09/8x03_Cordelia_Goode_Vitalum_Vitalis.gif/revision/latest?cb=20181002015522

In the end, these online platforms have really expanded how we can teach writing and reading at the college level, and I’m excited to continue exploring the possibilities next semester!

For the sake of redundancy… Also because literally almost everything I’m currently watching is about witches. I should just make my class about witches. haha

Be Intersectional
Kellen

To start, Dr. Woods outlined five pillars that must absolutely structure our course design and interactions with students. I feel pretty confident in floating the hypothesis that none of disagree that we need to be intrusive, relational, relevant, community centric, and race conscious. However, after watching the video and reading the “NCTE Principles for Online Writing Instruction,” I feel like a sixth pillar is needed: be intersectional. As feminists, queer theorists, and Black studies scholars have stated, “intersectionality” refers to the idea that we need to attend to the multiple, intersectioning dimensions of a person’s identity (i.e. gender, class, race, sexuality, religious identity, ethnicity, etc.). As this post unfolds, I’m gonna use just a few of Dr. Woods’s pillars to imagine strategies that push us to be intersectional—at least I hope.

Be Relevant:

When discussing course texts, Woods implores us to make them inclusive of students of color. Every syllabus needs to have Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous writers that are integrated throughout the course rather than segregated to specific sections. This is, of course, a substantive issue that we must to tackle in the early stages of conceiving our OWCourse. However, I think there are some important day-to-day ways that I will take to ensure that I remain culturally relevant.

  1. Proactively Countering Deficit Messages: As Woods suggests, we need to actively push against negative stereotypes that our students encounter. However, as we do this, I need to be sure to think about how these messages differ according to race, class, gender, sexuality, immigration status, age, ability, etc. As we select course texts and images, we must think about the broad range of student identities. Can our course be truly relevant if there are no texts by ciswomen? What if there are no texts by queer authors? What about writers from the working class? If we have gaps in our syllabus, how do we turn these into teachable moments?
  2. Proactively Developing Writing Methods: I think we need to develop assignments and strategies that encourage students to think critically about Standard American English (SAE) AND NON-Standard forms of American English. As we include pieces of writing from various backgrounds, we notice that the grammar, syntax, mechanics, organization, and evidence can change in small and large ways (Borderlands/La Frontera, for example). As we incorporate more perspectives, we need to develop strategies for making our modes of evaluation relevant and responsive while still preparing students to write SAE. What might assignments that critically analyze alternative grammatical forms look like? How might we develop alternative rubrics for various styles of English? What do those look like? How could we get students involved in that process to teach them about the variety and values of English comp?

 

Be Community Centric:

Woods suggests a few strategies for developing a sense of community in our online courses. These range from making introduction forums to sharing reflection essays/videos. Are there ways that we can make these practices self-reflexively intersectional? When thinking about potential answers to this, I recalled an idea proposed by a friend who studies digital media (and something that reminds me very much of Karla’s fantastic post from two weeks ago):

  1. Introductory Tumblrs (or Instagram) Mirror Assignments: To start the class, I will ask all my students to create and curate a Tumblr page that will give the entire class an idea of who they are. They will need to choose a theme. They will need to find and share images that they like or think are interesting. With these images, they will need to write captions that explain why they chose what they chose and create hash-tags to link them to other conversations. I’ll probably get into some pretty heavy restrictions too (ya know, be respectful/appropriate kinda stuff). But I hope this project can teach students about how we carefully and consciously craft digital personalities that respond to various parts of our identity, even when we might just think that we are sharing a meme. I hope this kind of assignment would be a low-stakes and playful way to introduce mirror assignments—assignments where students are asked to reflect critically on their own self.

 

Be Race Conscious:

Representation matters. Woods rightly implores us to embrace race discourse (Black minds matter) and to address microaggressions seriously and immediately. Additionally, we need to ensure that our stock images are racially sensitive and diverse. 100% agree. I think we need to go even farther though to be not only race conscious but gender conscious, sexuality conscious, class conscious and then think about how these different identities link up in an online format.

  1. Monitoring Microaggressions Online: How do we most monitor for microaggressions related to race and to gender? In my f2f course, I have been conscious of making sure that my women students and students of color get to speak in class, that they are not interrupted, and that their perspectives are heard. I challenge myself to ensure that I have gender parity in my course readings and am working to have better racial representation as well. While I’m pretty attentive to gender dynamics IRL, I have to wonder how these might manifest in online formats. Are these issues that are diminished or exacerbated by an online format? How do we ensure that students engage equally with posts by women? How do we ensure that our diction does not cross the line into hostility? How do we ensure that we don’t erase students who do not subscribe to the gender binary? How do we ensure that we don’t erase trans students without forcing them to out themselves?
  2. Analyze EVERYTHING: When selecting “stock” images for our course, I think we might consider how to turn every image into a teachable moment. I’ve been trying to put this into practice more and more in my class as students become increasingly comfortable calling out the gaps in cultural representation. This has been an expected problem this unit, which focuses on children’s toy advertisement (which are disproportionately feature white kids). Because of that, I’ve been working on developing ways of turning gaps into productive moments of teaching that I think lend themselves to online formats!
    1. Follow up example: In my comp class, we talk about race and Barbie (a lot). We discuss the traditional gendered, classed, and racial dimensions of Barbie and how they erase particular groups of people. In particular, we think about the exclusion or Black dolls. However, this semester, students also began pushing on the absence of Asian, Latina, and Native American dolls. In migrating this course, I feel like this assignment could lend itself to having students think about the intersection of race and gender. Students would find an example of a doll and discuss how its representations of femininity are influenced by race (or vice versa). Students will write up their responses and share them with the class to see the variability in answers (especially if they do Ken dolls). By doing assignments like this, I hope to teach students to identify gaps and absence and to think about what those gaps might signify.

 

 

Be Intersectional.

            I feel like I’m rambling so I’m gonna wind down. In the end, intersectionality, taking a kaleidoscopic inventory of a student, is an unacknowledged sixth pillar that must necessarily inform our approach to online course design.

Blurring the Line between Group Work and Group Projects
Kellen

We must see group work as a component of a group project. The two are not necessarily distinct or different in my mind. Effective group work grows into a group project. In Janette Larson’s video, she distinguishes between group work and group projects in a helpful way, but one that I think I’m gonna push against ever so slightly. Whereas group work consists of low-stakes assignments that can be done quickly and in class, group projects are high-stakes assignments that require outside meetings and work. In my own classroom, this is largely how I have treated them up to this point, but, in OWcourses, I want to begin scaffolding major group projects through group work that adds pebbles to the bucket across the semester. Group work-projects, if you will. To help you imagine this, I want to brainstorm you through this collaborative work-project that I’ve been chomping at the bit to do: the Canonizing Climate Fiction working site.

The assignment is a semester long project that results in a class-curated website on climate fiction, or literature about climate change. This course website will do three things (which correspond to three/four assignments). I want it to be populated with critical blogs and essays written by students about the novels, poems, short stories, and films that we analyze in class. I want it to act like a Wikipedia on climate fiction. I want it to have multimodal presentations that introduce readers to critical issues/keywords in climate fiction in an entertaining and educational way. I currently envision each one of these components as an assignment or series of assignments that students will perform throughout the semester both independently and collaboratively.

To start, I need to cultivate student buy-in. That’s where the website fits in, at least in my mind. Rather than having an assignment that is written for me and read by me, I want to develop assignments that students recognize will be read by others, strangers, potential employers, future friends, longstanding enemies, and perhaps other scholars in the field. While these seem like high stakes, I want to make it feel more doable through lower stake assignments.

Critical blogs would be my first step. These feel like the most natural assignment to migrate first, considering so many instructors already do them online. In the first few weeks, I want students generating and responding to content a lot. Similar to what we are doing here, I will ask them to respond to an open-ended prompt and then ask them to respond to a set number of people. These will be short: 1-2 pages. Furthermore, I will help students to recognize that these are the beginnings of their critical essays. Therefore, I can use this as a way to get students to start writing early and to set them on the path for revising later.

Transforming these blogs into critical essays would be my next turn. In order to do this, I will divide the class into working groups based on their interest. These groups will be in charge of identifying and generating content for the website by working together to revise blog posts into more formal essays that they are used to writing/reading. I want this to be done via groups because I want students to collaborate to decide what blog posts are most successful. Rather than having me act as an editor, I want every student in the class to assume that role to some degree. Additionally, I see this as a reiterative assignment. That is, students will be asked to send their essay through multiple rounds of revision with multiple people in their group at different stages. I want to really use this as a time to highlight the repetitive process of good revision, and I really want students to have time to develop something that they are really proud of, especially since it will be publicly available (with exceptions).

While working on this, I’ll also assign these groups various texts for which they will be in charge of creating Wikipedia pages. Students will either work in partners (or in triplets) on a single author or text. I will ask that they to essentially reproduce a Wikipedia page about their subject in form and content. I will task them with deciding what kind of information is most critical and how they want to organize it. At the same time, I’ll assign another two groups the job of peer reviewing their Wiki post. Much like Wikipedia, all students in the class will act as experts and will be in charge of correcting and refining their peers’ ideas.

Finally, I want all of these different elements to converge with a multimodal presentation in which the different groups work together to combine their thoughts into a coherent project with a clear thesis and strong, well-analyzed support that is visually/aurally interesting. For example, if one of the groups is organized around “Race and Colonialism,” then they might discuss how a novel, a poem, and a film work together to explore how narratives of climate change can illuminate the sovereignty of indigenous communities in the United States. For here, students can combine their own ideas from their blog posts, their essays, and their Wikipedia posts into a project with even bigger stakes—projects that they would be incapable of doing independently within the same constraints. Importantly here, I would also want to introduce them to new publishing formats such as StoryMapJS or TimelineJS that can give them new ways of thinking about the assignment/their argument/organization/publication.

When it comes to collaborative assignments, I think Janette hits the nail on the head. Without student buy-in and clear expectations, it won’t meet your own goals. Through these scaffolded assignments, I hope to teach students about the process of crafting, drafting, and publishing information in ways that can prepare them for future classes/careers. Additionally, I hope that these kinds of group work-projects can introduce students to collaboration in non-threatening ways. Most of these can be done independently to some degree, but to full completion. In this way, I also hope to show students that working fully independently is a myth. Good writing rarely happens in isolation, and I hope is work-project assignments can begin transforming how students think about composition more broadly.

I’d actually love to hear people’s thoughts on this. I’m not gonna lie. This is a massive project. I actually kinda see it as an on-going project that last for multiple years and multiple semesters. In this way, I hope that students can recognize how collaborative work is not limited to their current semester. Rather, they are still in collaboration with students from the past and with the students who will take this class and revise upon their work.

Sorry that got long… 🙂