Talks and Ideas to Consider


Link to our course calendar here.

Google +

We’ll use G+ to share ideas about readings, course design, and other things that interest us: Link

Month: March 2020

Week of March 30: Best Laid Plans…

Week of March 30: Best Laid Plans…

Hello awesome humans,

Hope y’all are doing okay or finding moments where you’re doing okay. I’ve decided that the optional Zoom check-in for this Tuesday is bad timing. We really should take the holiday off given all the things in the world. Or, you may need that day to get other things completed. We’ll start our optional Zoom check-ins (and perhaps meet with your partners for feedback in small break out rooms) Tuesday, April 7, at 5:00pm. You are always welcome to email me questions or ask for help with course design materials!

As promised, here is a suggested plan for this week:

  • Partner Assignment: Your writing response with feedback to your partner is due Sunday, March 29 (remember: you’re sharing these two things (your writing and your feedback to the teacher on how things went) in a comment on their G+ post)
  • Course Design: Your main goal this week (and until April 27) is to create your Course Design: 1) overview of the course with your teaching philosophy, 2) syllabus, 3) assignment sequence with rationale, 4) calendar, and weekly plans with rationale.
    • This week: I would suggest working on your assignment sequence and rationale (number 3 above), but you could start in any way that makes sense to you.
    • Your resources for this:
      • my English 130 website (check out the syllabus and assignments page), and the Example TA Syllabi page (Catherine Wilcox is recent and really good, but all of them should be helpful for seeing how this Course Design is organized.)
      • Hoping you got some feedback from your partner; ideally, you can use the assignment you created for each other as one of assignments in your sequence.
      • You could also look back over your G+ posts to see the kinds of ideas we talked about.
      • If you are creating a course for English 130, you can find the Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) on the English 130 Course Design Resource page.  You can copy & paste those or the ones from my site into your syllabus. If you are creating a course for another context, you could refer to Common Core (Jazz & Jesse) or create your own goals for students.
  • Sharing Drafts: Let’s share these drafts in Google Docs so we can easily give feedback. Please set the share settings to “anyone with the link can comment.” We’ll work with consistent partners for the rest of the semester for feedback loops.
    • By Sunday, April 5: Post the Google Doc link in our G+ community under “Course Design Links.”
      • Jo & Alondra
      • Jasmine & Jenna
      • Jesse & Isaiah
      • Carolyn & William
      • Sophy & Jazz
  • Sharing Memos on Sundays: For the next few Sundays, we’ll write a memo on our Course Design drafts (as a comment at the top of the Google Doc or perhaps in another font color at the top of the draft, which tells your partner where you are in the process, what feedback you need, where you’re stuck, etc.

Here is a kind of template if it’s useful. 

    • Feedback: With your partner, decide when you will give feedback: by Wednesdays? Thursdays? Decide what works for you both given your drafting timelines. Please leave feedback in the Google Docs (do not resolve comments yet), so that I can help support this process too.

In a nutshell:

  • Progress on the course design by Sundays with a memo on the Google Doc
  • Feedback to your partner soon after that week (based on what the two of you decide). Leave comments in Google Doc
  • Repeat.
  • Optional Zoom chats starting Tuesday, April 7

Video explanation of this post here too:

We begin again…

We begin again…

Hi all,

Hope you are finding some Zen moments in this new, strange normal. I do miss you all and look forward to finding some footing again in our community.

My plan going forward is to post the week’s goals/tasks on Monday morning with due dates for those tasks on Sundays. You can work on things when it makes sense to you that week. Our main goal: design and revise your writing intensive courses. Each week, we’ll try to focus on a new part of the course design (I’ll offer you a lens/suggestion each week to frame your design work and help coordinate ways to give feedback to each other). I’ll share the weekly plan in an email AND post to the front of our website each week too. We’ll use G+ and Google Docs for the most part for sharing our work.

I would also like to plan to meet via Zoom on Tuesdays at 5:00 for 30-45 minutes to check in on plans and set goals for our work/feedback. This will give you a chance to get comfortable with Zoom since we’ll be using that platform to do the TA interviews in early May. But…

We do have one potential dilemma that I need your help solving: our class should have met today (Tuesday), but of course, classes are cancelled so faculty can prep for distance learning. Next Tuesday is César Chávez day, so again, class would not be scheduled to meet. I can not imagine how we’ll miss three weeks together and still be able to design courses. Would you be able/interested in a quick check in this week (Thursday, the 26th) and/or meeting in small groups next week for support, or even as a whole class on Tuesday, March 31, at 5:00 for an hour?

I have a quick Google Form for feedback; if you could fill it out soon that would be really helpful for planning.

I also want to assure you that Zoom meetings are optional for those of you who have any issues with getting connected. For example, I can create some FAQ’s from the Zoom meetings and share with anyone who might not be able to make a Zoom meeting work. Please know that I have no intention to contribute to stress: you should please ask me for support or direct me to what it helpful for you right now. I will be completely flexible.

Here is a plan for this week (week of March 25):

  • Soon hopefully: Fill out Google Form. Potential check in on Zoom, Thursday, March 26 (see Google Form and give input on time)
  • By Sunday, March 29: Your Partner’s Assignment (was originally due today, March 24). Share your response to your partner’s assignment: the actual writing you did based on their assignment AND feedback to the “instructor”:
    • Questions for feedback: What worked well for you as a writer? What was confusing about the assignment? What suggestions might you make to revise or scaffold the assignment for undergraduates?
    • Share these two things (the assignment response/writing itself and the feedback on the assignment) in our G+ community. Comment under their assignment post.
      • You can link to a Google Doc in the comment area (important: set share settings for Google Doc to “anyone can view”) OR simply copy and paste your response as a comment. Or, share the writing you did in response to their assignment as a Google Doc link (in the comment area) and put the feedback to their assignment in a second comment.
  • Hope to have whole class or small group check-ins next week. Again, options on the Google Form.
  • Here is a link to a Zoom tutorial. But really, I can help everyone. The first time you get a link, it will prompt you to download the app.
  • New plan shared on Mondays for week’s tasks. Watch for new update March 30.


Hello. Again.

Hello. Again.

Just wanted to say hi to y’all. Hope you are safe and healthy. I’m working on the revised calendar for us. Hope to share by Tuesday, March 24 (Wednesday at the latest). Take good care. Kim