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Archive for September, 2012

 


Analysis Phase Reflection

September 26th, 2012 Comments off

Analysis Phase Reflection

This phase was and always is one of the most difficult phases for me. It forces me to think about what I want to teach as well as why I need to teach it. I’ve always struggled with this phase of the design process. Delving into what is really the objective of a learning task is quite complex. I’ve created learning task maps, TOABs, problem analysis and everything else before for both my job and previous coursework, but never on the scale of an entire course. It’s always been on a unit or a small lesson. The task was overwhelming and difficult to start, but once I started, I found the process to go quite smooth. It’s a matter of thought. Once I got into the frame of mind needed to dig deep and analyze what it was that I wanted to teach and how to go about the process, the rest fell in line. The TOAB was especially difficult. Many of these skills that I want to teach are so ingrained in me that the sub skill required did not come to mind easily. This was challenging and I believe the rest of the design document will be as well.

 


Project Plan (Tentative)

September 11th, 2012 Comments off

Project Plan (Tentative)

I’ve always wanted to teach creative writing. The process that a writer goes through is both unique and predictable. I find it fascinating to see how young writers create and what they seem to come up with. I also am fascinated by the genre of creative non-fiction. It blends the lines between non-fiction and fiction in such a way that is mesmerizing. I want to explore this topic in more detail and expose young writers to this wonderful field. To these ends, and as an assignment for my online course design project for my master’s program, I’ve decided to create a course for high school seniors that delves into this genre both in the study of creative non-fiction and the craft of creating memoir. I hope to track my progress through reflection and rumination as I create this course. I will post entries here often.

The course will be called, “Creative Writing: Memoir, Blending the Lines Between What Happened and Imagination”. As I stated before, the course will be designed for high school seniors in an online environment. I feel that it is a perfect time in their lives to begin thinking about their own life experiences and delving into them. It will strengthen them as they begin to move on to new things like college and adulthood. I envision this course as a workshop / discussion course and should be between 10-15 students. With any fewer, the workshop aspect falls apart and with any more, it becomes difficult to give adequate time to every student.

The main purpose of the course is to examine how creative non-fiction functions, how it is crafted, and to delve into our own pasts to inform our present and future. Maybe that sounds like too much, but that is really what writing is about. Much of the writing in college courses require the student to delve into their past while writing. It will be good practice for them to start now.

The course will be facilitated. It is a workshop so there will be deadlines and peer discussions of writing and readings. Also, speaking from experience, most writers need a deadline to produce. The course will be a semester long course and will have weekly readings and discussions with two major writing projects and several smaller ones throughout the course. I expect, that the total time spent on this course to be around 10 hours per week.

Currently there are no content standards for this type of course in Idaho or Wyoming (where I’ve taught) but the general writing standards could be applied. I would have to create objectives and standards for this course from those as well as new ones.

I plan to host this course through Moodle for organization of materials and assignments. I have an implementation of Moodle on my own web space that will host the course (guest passwords are guest). Assignment will be turned in and readings will be distributed via Moodle. I’m not sure if I’ll use Moodle’s built-in tools for discussion or another platform. I’m considering Facebook for some synchronous workshop discussions or possibly Google+. Both of these platforms have the tools that I would need to facilitated a synchronous discussion and possibly even a video conference. I need to look more into it. There are other tools out there too that offer these capabilities, but with Facebook, in particular, the students taking this course would, most likely, already be familiar with how to use it and the interface. I would have to spend less time teaching them how to use the tool. Anyway, I don’t have a final decision yet on all of the online tools that I will use. I need to do more research.

I’ve never taught this course before. I have taught creative writing but it has never been specific or aimed at any topic or genre. I’ve always been intrigued by this genre and it’s potential and I’m intrigued by the possibility of using social network applications like Facebook in an educational setting. I’m looking forward to designing this course and hopefully, I will be able to use it one day.

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