“Your People”
“Your People” avatar

When I look back at teachers and classrooms that I felt the most connected to, there are a few charateristics that they shared.  The intructor/teacher: never stood behind a desk or a podium, the desks were almost never in perfect rows, and student did more talking than the teachers.  I was very sure that I wanted to be the kind of instructor that had no barrriers. I struggled at first to find the balance of being a part of the learning environment and being the person assigning grades, but I seem to be more ocmfortable with the balance each semester.  I once had a review at another school and the report said, egaged, passionate instructor, but she should not wear converse because her students will not respect her position and they will think she is a student.  I was thrilled. 

An example of a community based assignmnet we use is the sharing of resources.  When we work on a common theme or share a video and then discuss it together, I ask students to post a source on out blog.  Currently our 100 class is reading a memoir and I ask that each group post a discussion to the blog with a theme that stands out to them in the assigned pages.  Additinally, they are asked to loceate an outside source that might be helpful in supporting the assertions they make,  By the time we are finished with the memoir, our blog has dozens of posts with discssions, responses, possible outside sources, and really in depth conversations.   Warnock discusses this when he asserts, ” He would warm up with easy questions, building our confidence and creatiing a classroom energy before delving into the difficult issues that were the objective of the class lesson” (31).  I have not used this in my online classes, but I have employed it successfully in my hybrid classes because we can then discuss the results in a face to face group setting.  I am fearful of trying this in my fully online classes, and even Warnock discusses concerns, “Truth be told, group assignments in fully online classes can go aery” (33) The sharing of the information with low or nostakes assignments seems to be working well.  What I am eager to learn is how to help my students find “Their People”  (What I say in class when they have each other’s back during prep and research). Below is an example of a group that decided to write about police brutality. 

Police Brutality

Title One: Police shot and killed an unarmed black man in his own backyard. All he was holding was a cellphone.

P.R. Lockhart

https://www.vox.com/identities/2018/3/21/17149092/stephon-clark-police-shooting-sacramento (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

            This particularly website will help us learn about the past cases where African Americans had been wrongly accused and then had been violated by white Policeman. This one case is one of many, and it help to shed light on multiple cases where African Americans were wrongly shot or wrongly accused to be holding “weapons”  and after, most were wrongly handled by white police  officers.


Title Two: The Root// All Black People Are Victims of Police Brutality

Michael Harriot

https://www.theroot.com/all-black-people-are-victims-of-police-brutality-1827141932 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

              This newspaper is very useful because this news’ article lets readers know that African Americans are the almost always the only ones affected when a case of police brutality is involved. Where does one see white people wrongly Affected by Police brutality? You don’t. One only sees on the news how many African Americans did something wrong, even if they were innocent. They wanna make it look like African Americans did do something, to mask over what was really done. They have put a bad name on them because of the past. There doings back then are not what it is now. Police should not carry those past details and past situations on to the future. Police should have an equal thinking about everyone.

Technology and Online Tools
Technology and Online Tools avatar

This chapter is near and dear to me.  I taught my first hybrid class via BB, and I worked with another professor who was really tech savy.  We created linked videos, zoom lesson plans, imbeded elements, blog, discussion boards, and I felt really relevant and “cool” with our fnished product.  The only element I did not take into consideration was the ability level of my class and my ability to maintain and keep all the moving parts going after my savy friend  moved on to her class. My frustatration level during that semester (and no doubt that of my students, was terrible. Warnock says, “don’t be any more complicated  technologically tha yo uhave to be,”  and “[make] sure that all participants have the necessary skill level with the communication tools that will be used during your course” (19). My live Zoom office hours were dark and silent, I have dozens of panicked emails, and 1/3 of the class dropped.  I was so sure that I was being cool. 

Communication: The table on page 20 is brilliant, expecially the parts that say, “Im not sure yet how I will do this.”  I eventually did away with (for a bit) live videos and replaced them with recorded desktop recording of me discussing elements of a paper and replaced Zoom office hours with email meeting and sharing google docs (we were both on the Doc at one time).  This was so much less stressful, my students were comfortable with the format, and I relaxed and concentrated on their writting and not on how impressive my site was.   I learned than the online classes are made up of an even more diverse group of students than the f2f classes, and I went back to the basics and built my way up over the next few semesters. 

Now, I try to implement one new tool per semester or replace one tech with another, so I can keep my concentration on the students.  I am still sooooo impressed with what I see on other’s online classes or when I take a class myself, I have started emailing the professor and asking what the process was to get to the product I see, and I can add this information to my table.   I now use a module system (based on assignments) and each module is self contained with instructions, links, upload sites, and imbed videos (both mine and others), and I am happy with the content, but I am looking to change up the format and am really excited about moving what I have fully to the canvas system. I fully embrace the idea that I should, “learn only the tools you know you will need” (23).   But I also dont know what I need (and I love new stuff) until I see it. 

Need a Better Hook
Need a Better Hook avatar


Hello Canvas Mates, 

I am so happy to be back in this class.  Since I finished the first segment, I have been teaching online at Grossmont and City, but I need to be more engaging and organize my canvas in a more inviting way.   My traditional class is very active and “butts out of the seat,” but I have been unable to translate my online class to reflect how excited I am to teach or how much I respect and admire my students.  I know i have too many points of entry, and it must surely frustrate my students.  I have attached a clip of my current/traditional English 202 class, and I will be gratefull for any and all comments 

Accessibility and User Friendly Design
Accessibility and User Friendly Design avatar


Where to begin?   It is as if this chapter was written just for me and the struggles I had (have) with my online and Hybrid classes.

First of all, thank you for the great links and resources (I have bookmarked them and plan to refer to them often.

There are several sections of this week’s reading that I feel failry confident I present in a user friendly ( for all of our students) such as: Flexible Methods and Materials, Timely Progress Monitoring, and proactive planning.   I feel like these elements, with trial and error, have settled into an effective format.

However, I find great comfort knowing that the elements of online learning that I still struggle with and constantly stress over, are common in our community. I am a huge fan of Zoom, but it does not allow subtitles, and I am forced to upload to Youtube, which is less than ideal.  I plan to investigate some of the other options until I find a system that works better.

Some changes that I plan to make now:

No folders inside of folders – this makes so much sense; I do not know why I did not identityfy this potential struggle/frustration for our students

Chunk Videos – I will limit my videos (both white board and screen shots) to 20 minutes each with short specific/clear instructions (rather than one long video).  I will indicate more clearly to watch the lesson all the way through and then give detailed/organized request both before and after the video.

Also, Canvas has taught me to break down units by week and present and imbed all necessary items (handouts/videos) within this week, rather than placing all documents in a folder of their own.

Honestly, this week’s material was a bit overwhelming, and I plan to revisit the sections in more detail.  There is so much important stuff here, I feel like I need to breakdown the readings and re abosorb them


Collaborative Magazine
Collaborative Magazine avatar

One current collaborative assignment presented to my students is a Zine.   Each group (assigned at the beginning of the semester work together all semester) choose a thesis (based on their social justice essays) to present a visual rhetorical argument.

The basics for the assignment is as follows: The group chooses a thesis (such as global warming is caused by man)

Everyone is asked to choose a topic to support the thesis. Each student is responsible for 4 pages (and evaluated on their four pages) to support their topic.

There is a collaborative magazine cover, index, and work cited page

Evidence is chosen to visually support their topic (such as: murals, videos, poems, charts, political cartoons, headlines, et.)

Finally, they present the magazine (visual rhetoric) and what they say about their evidence represents their analysis.

It has become a pretty popular assignment with my students.  They really get into it and work well with each other.   The presentation portion is in person with my hybrid classes, and via Zoom form my fully online students.   I plan to migrate this to my canvas classes for online, traditional, and hybrid. The online version does change the assignment only in that there is not the excitement and party atmosphere that we feel in the traditional classes. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sgFF16Lvztpw8_gDxdYcpMKEytJritbLyUIAvb2jK6I/edit?usp=sharing

Where is the Love?
Where is the Love? avatar

Wow, where to begin.  This is my first semester teaching fully online (City College); the transition from traditional to hybrid was fairly painless, however, the jump to fully online has been a challenge.   I often miss the relationship with my students, and I have become hyper aware of how I may come across with only   text and video and how my comments if presented in a conference or in a casual remark on a paper paired with a “you’ve got this!” can seem more like I am cheering for success, rather than judging.

Traditionally, I use rubrics more for a guide than to evaluate.   I attach the rubric to each prompt, and we use it as we scaffold the assignment both in groups, on discussion boards, and face to face.  I created an outline template that identifies where the elements of the rubric might appear. (Kind of like the game Operation) 😊 This visual with color seems to connect well.  I make minimal marks in the margins and on the text, and then write (hopefully legibly) a personal comment reflecting struggles, but also success since the last version.

Another element I use to prior to comments is the color coding.  I ask students, during the first draft to final draft process, to highlight certain elements of the paper using colors.  For instance, highlight all topic sentences blue, textual evidence green, analysis/discussion yellow and so on.  The colors connect to a rubric, and this allows me to use colors if a portion of the paper needs more attention.

Google Docs have served me well for both online and traditional paper conferences.   We can both log in (or groups can share for peer discussions) and we can look at the paper in real time.   I make suggestions and ask my student to re work a sentence or offer more clarity with an assertion.

For some reason, I feel like online is so much more formal, and my traditional classes are less formal’ they are more of a safe space for ideas, challenges, and even celebrations.  The perceived formality of the online class seems to amplify the Teacher/Student line. I am experimenting with ways to change my feedback or feedback philosophies in order to comment, connect, and celebrate my online students in more of a learning community.  I want them to feel we are in this together

Finally, Zoom seems to be a path I will continue down.   I love the options of desk top, or white board. Also, I hold my office hours using meetings.  I am playing with changing the way I comment by using more of these types of response, and I loved the section titled, Audiovisual Response. This might be what I am looking for to create a less formal, personal way to respond.  My goal is to make my online classroom more inviting and collaborative, and providing personal, not canned responses seems the only way.  But. . .  it is so time consuming.