The first week of the collaborative course design project is finished. Last week we focused on some theoretical underpinnings of the project, and then began to work in our teams. Thursday we broke into teams for an hour to begin sketching out the class. On Friday teams worked one-on-one.
One thing the three of us (S. Raley, B. Trader, and myself) noted was that the students are not picking the “easiest” route. My two students said they really wanted an “in-depth” research paper, but we’ve yet to haggle on length. But they were excited to think about doing significant research and then present that information in the form of a written argument. They have even chosen potential topics!! Much more has to be decided for the course itself, including more readings, assignments, and the role our museum trip will be. But they have incredibly interesting insights. As upper level students (all of them are juniors or seniors), they really do bring a wealth of information that is helpful for faculty to know.
This afternoon we meet in the whole group again to present the “best” assignment. Faculty will present the best assignment they have given in the past, and explain why it worked so well. Students will also present the best assignment from their perspective, including some contextual information on the class size, level, and whether or not it was in their major. Should be interesting and I’ll update with another post soon!