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Initial Project Questions

This post could be more accurately described as “project ramblings” as I still have to think this project through quite a bit more. In other words, this is a “low stakes” post. However, I did want to forward a couple of ideas which I have yet to formulate in concrete terms. First, I am very interested in teaching college-level writing in the context of linked courses or interdisciplinary learning communities. To this end,  how could online course management systems be designed to facilitate interdisciplinary learning through linked courses? How might courses geared toward students at different levels–from developmental writing through capstone courses–be productively linked through technology? The hunch that I’m working from here is that the remote accessibility of digital technology might really assist in interdisciplinary teaching and learning.

I am also, and this probably suggests a much different project, interested in how best to use the web to publish and archive polished student work. As we have discussed in class, this is deeply problematic for privacy (among many other reasons), but I remain struck by Richard Miller’s point that there is “no real audience for student writing,” and that the only significant web archive of student papers is, an anti-plagiarism site designed not to publish, but rather to police, student work.  My weird, unformulated utopic idea is for the development of a transinstitutional online ‘writer’s house’ for undergraduate academic writing. However, this seems incredibly fantastic, and, as I wrote earlier, I haven’t really thought this through. As an actual project, I think  Iwill move toward formulating more specific ideas about interdisciplinary and linked course management systems.

Posted in Project Concepts.

One Response

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  1. Christopher Stein says

    Both of your ideas are interesting. The second one, about creating an online “writer’s house” is more difficult in the sense that to fully complete it you have to involve the participation of a lot of other people. Because of this and you’re own statement that you’re more likely to pursue the interdisciplinary learning communities, I’ll comment on that one.

    This is an area I would suggest you explore more. You’re interested in this idea of linking courses together, but what is it that is interesting about it to you? How is it going to increase student learning? Is it tied to any kind of pedagogy of learning?

    Here the question to explore is what does “linked” mean? Are they linked through themes, specific projects? Practically what does it mean. Will there be a location where you can go to see projects that are linked together? One thought that comes to mind is to give students each blogs and then link their posts to each other.

    You mention students from developmental writing through capstone courses. Are there students or particular courses you have in mind to start out? Also who are the faculty member who would be involved?

    It seems as though you are looking for it to be deployed online. Let us know if you have other ideas.

    This depends of course on further clarifying what it is you want to do exactly. As I mentioned earlier, one possible solution is blogs with aggregation through RSS.

    Perhaps you’re looking at something like what Jim Groom describes here:

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