Course Portfolio Course

Just as the word “portfolio” is book-ended with the word “course” in my blog title for today, I find that I am working toward this goal with my summer strategies to develop my own teaching portfolio while I work toward my publication goals. That is, Writer Teacher Writer, seems to be an apropos way to conceptualize what it is that I am doing. The two concepts are holding hands and are becoming increasingly intertwined. To help me visualize an end-goal (or at least reasonable segues among the parts), I am going to take another summer workshop at the Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology at ISU so that I may document my instructional progress with my English 145 course for the fall term. This seems like a prudent choice in order to document my course design development as I implement my Genre Studies model for this course.

I’ll post a synthesis of what I learned and how I intend to flesh out my course portfolio skeleton as I gather reading and assignment materials for my students: the majority of whom appear to be psychology majors. Fun!

Idea Brainstorming

The Bureau of Labor statistics might be a useful site for my students to analyze and determine just what it is that they are going to be doing and/or earning as future professionals in their field of choice. The site features international as well as domestic projections for earnings potential as well as overall labor statistics. Hello, real world! http://www.bls.gov/

Pedagogy Review

I am going back to look at my notes and progress during English 402. I took this pedagogy course last fall and deepened my understanding of teaching and learning along with my cohort. At the time, a lot of the work felt redundant and tedious. Now, I am quite grateful to have had this introductory course because I can go back to it to design and build a new course on my own. Having the support of colleagues is nice, but I can do this one more independently, which has advantages and drawbacks.

Course Design

As I continue to develop my English 145 curriculum for the Fall 2012 term, I decided to ask some of my friends what it is that they do in their 145 course to see what kinds of strategies work the best for students. Because the course is “Writing in the Disciplines,” I will be working across disciplinary boundaries–some of which I will know nothing about. That’s the fun part; I will learn so much from my students.

I haven’t done a great deal with ReggieNet (Sakai), yet. I am getting some great advice from my peer, and I am hoping to take a CTLT workshop on working with primary source materials from the Library of Congress. I want students to do a module on historic aspects of their individual disciplines. I imagine it to be a kind of ethical foray into some problematic or problematizable notion pertaining to different academic disciplines. For example, if one is going into the medical profession, one has to understand the idea of the Hippocratic oath and why it is important. A student could investigate the idea of “Snake Oil Salespersons” of the past in order to understand why their are ethics rules for medical professionals. I’m sure many academic disciplines have a shady side that could be explored. I think it could be a really interesting and fun module to help students understand why their discipline has evolved the way that it has.

Welcome to The Edventure!

I have been working with other teachers in Illinois State University’s Writing Program to develop my English 145 curriculum for the Fall 2012 term. Now that I have developed and implemented a few English 101 courses, I am looking forward to working on a new course. I will be working with students who are farther along in their academic studies. The course is “Writing in the Disciplines.” I plan to build some “real-world” experiences into my course design including student-to-professional interviews, primary source research, and peer-to-peer exchange and presentations.

Last week, in order to begin to prepare to deliver some of the course content to my students, I began ReggieNet (Sakai) training at the Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology in order to migrate content I had created in Blackboard over the past few years. Of course, a transition always entails unexpected mishaps and delights. I am really happy with some of the features of ReggieNet, including the grade book and communication features. I am not so happy with the file migration, but I can work around that. It was time to re-organize my file structure anyway, so this was the kick I needed.