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(Belated) Linked Course Project Update

My fellow auditor, Caroline, has agreed to collaborate with me in shaping this project. The original idea emerged from two linked Learning Communities first-year writing courses that I taught at Brooklyn College–one with music and the other with computer science. I found the idea compelling, as I appreciated the discipline-specific inquiry that the content course gave to my selection of readings and design of assignments. However, constructing truly meaningful connections between the courses remained elusive. For this project, I will work with Caroline (to construct compelling assignments that use the asynchronous environment of the course site to connect the work of two different, but related, courses.  Now for the questions:


This research needs to be filled in–the project idea emerged from the practical need to make linked courses in Learning Communities more meaningful. My own allegiance to the effectiveness of these courses for student learning is essentially hunch-based–I believe that inquiry-based courses are effective for teaching writing and, conversely, that ‘writing to learn’ makes the content of the other course more meaningful. So there are two layers to this question for me, the basic being that I want to better structure the linked courses in programs that exist to make them reach the outcomes of the program. The second needs more research to fill in why these connections are important for student learning beyond my hunches.


Chris suggested a series of student blogs linked together. This is one idea we can explore. Another might be using the course site to construct related assignments in both classes that students can develop and/or present on the site.

Caroline as a Sociology instructor shapes this a bit more. We are thinking of constructing these assignments for a cohort of first-year students taking both Intro. to Sociology and first-year writing together at different times (as in the Block program at Hunter or the Learning Communities program at Brooklyn).

This will be deployed online as a connection between our asynchronous face-to-face courses.

The aggregated blog idea is one option. Another is co-designed assignments that are developed and/or published on a shared course blog.

Posted in Project Concepts.

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