I’ve really enjoyed crafting the syllabus for English 130, but it really is an act of construction. I feel like I’m building a skyscraper (which is a good thing).
I’m using film as a springboard for 3 or 4 big composition projects. I say “big” because each project has as many as 12 writing/research assignments embedded within the larger process. The final project takes various different forms, one is a digital portfolio, another is an iMovie and I’m trying to figure out how to make a Tumbler journal blog assignment as well. Each of these projects is composed of many smaller assignments, many which will be done in-class. They each address compositional tasks such as summarization, research methods, annotation, paraphrasing, citation, proposals/abstracts, digital literacy and of course, the academic essay.
In this class we’ll begin by watching a film and writing observations based on individual student interests within a bounded framework, such as gender performance in Fight Club or Thelma and Louise. Then we’ll develop those observations into inquiries. Then we’ll look into what others are saying about our inquiry through a course packet of scholarly writing that I provide. Next we’ll move on to outside research. Next we’ll apply the academic conversation about our inquiry to the original question, re-evaltuing it through the new perspectives brought about by our research. All the while we’ll be annotating our sources. Finally, we’ll move on to a project proposal/abstract and an essay. We’ll spend time in class working with different compositional methods, but we’re moving towards a 5 page MLA university level paper. This process takes into account and even supports the inherent messiness of research/composition and scaffolds the writing-as-process methodology. Each of the assignments in this project are bounded by my guidelines and in the end, a sample of every assignment is posted to a digital portfolio along with the final paper that will be graded. We’ll spend a month on this project.
So, that’s a lot of stuff and organizing this has been a labor of love. It’s great, but it’s intense. Seems like there’s never enough hours in the day but I’m getting it done. (:
How/what are you guys doing?