And finally, after six previous posts, I get to the end of the three literature based courses I’ve been describing. You can go back to the 6th post and then wormhole your way back through all of the posts via this link.
As I’ve been discussing with these courses I learned a lot from teaching face to face that I took to the online version of the class I taught later. The biggest change is that the final new unit in my online class was Mixed Genres. Using the textbook, they took a week to talk about essays and a graphic novel excerpt then the next week I linked them to other mixed genre pieces which they had to write about using a multi-media approach. I loved this assignment. I had them looking at comics that had a satirical bent, memoir pieces that used fiction type elements (like dialogue), and prose poems to name a few. The projects ranged from presentations on Prezi, Google Sites, Videos etc. I’ll actually be working the multi-media approach into my classes at UNC-Charlotte for the fall as well.
When I did this unit with my face to face classes I didn’t have examples in the text books so I did a week on non-fiction and a week on cross genre pieces. I realized that my students still struggled with telling fiction from non-fiction and the terms to use (like story versus essay) so I wanted to focus more when I worked with them in the online class. I also liked how well they responded to the graphic novels (I brought in my own examples) and quite a few students in my night class wrote their best papers of the semester on graphic novels.
One thing that came out of the face to face class though was using “Freakonomics” as an example of taking non-fiction and turning it into a film. I have since used “Freakonomics” more, and it was a good way to work on the exam (to revisit literary terms) because we could watch additional segments. My online class didn’t have an exam, but what they had to do was go back to their original literary terms write-up and reflect on how their understanding of that term changed over the course of the semester. That’s another assignment I was really happy with.
I’m spending a little time on most days working on my lesson plans for the fall. I have to take what I’ve done before and translate that to fit into a new course description. I’m having a good time with it, but I also want to finish off my posts about teaching at the community college level so next week I’m going to talk about ENG-114 (Professional Writing and Reporting). Let’s see if I can do that all in one post