These courses, both introductory Research & Writing courses, challenged me in rewarding ways, and responses from students suggest they experienced similar feelings during the course.
The earlier, spring semester course demonstrates the evolution of my teaching as I maintained the points system of assessment (a kind of gamified assessment) that I’d deployed in semesters past, but the day-to-day practice itself integrated more of a valuing of reflection and metacognition. The later, fall semester moves away from gamified assessment, relying on dialoguing with students as they self-assess as a means of cultivating in them an awareness of revising practice and the relationship between what they are doing and their understanding of why they’re doing it for each project. The fall semester projects also move closer to Berthovian praxis. The sequence of moving from physical notebook reflection to blog-space notebook reflection was especially interesting to me. Although I did not have a computer classroom to teach in, students were able to compose interesting websites and gain a sense of composing with images and blocks of text as a way of making meaning.
In hindsight, I think the final work in both courses, although less in-depth as I’d hoped, reflects experience with the kinds of concepts useful for research in any course. This is reassuring to me, as I am just now getting comfortable beginning with invention and enrolling techniques typically associated with more developed thinking into being, conceptually, part of the meaning-making process, not just part of the “writing for school” process.
For students willing and able to stick with me throughout all of this experimentation, I think it’s worked quite well.
Fall 2018 English 1101 Syllabus and Course Site http://f18.pdarrington.net.
Spring 2018 English 1101 Syllabus and Course Site http://s18.pdarrington.net.