June 27, 2020

From Gerald R. Lucas

Visit, Updates, and Notes covid-19: day 109 | US: GA | info

Todd and his son Alexander came for a visit today. Henry seems to play pretty well with the older boy and enjoys his company. It’s always fun to hang out with Todd, as we are both educators, travel enthusiasts, and literature buffs. We chatted about the usual and made pizza for everyone. It was a fun night.

I finally updated this site to the latest version of MediaWiki. I’m always reluctant to that, as updates with my current skin always seem to break the cite. That was true this time, too, but I managed to get everything working in short order, including the upgrade to the next version of Chameleon.

Ideas for journal posts: Lowest Common Denominator; “Children and Fools”; and Why I Don’t Use D2L. I linked them to make myself write them.

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Course Design, Fall 2020

I also have to start preparing my syllabi for the fall. Here are some on my initial thoughts.

World Literature

Use units; each unit will address a major text. Make each unit reading-intensive and writing-light. Keep multiple-choice reading quizzes. Post a response on Discourse to one of the questions for consideration in each unit. Give a short-answer exam for each major text.

This approach could be used for F2F class, too: with all work done outside of class, including quizzes and tests.

Genre Fiction

I’ll probably just run this as-is, using Discourse, as I think I have everything set up already. I can’t really think of an easier approach for this one. (For some reason, this class is very difficult to teach. I think it has to do with the weirdness of Area B in the core. It seems like a remnant of a moribund community-college approach to the core. It’s just some silliness we have to deal with, and my chair’s approach to scheduling is just recycling. Therefore, I always get the same classes over and over. I’d kind of like a bit more say.)

WritDM

8 units with specific goals. WritDM: emphasizes appropriate composition for multimodal, user-centric screens, and the secondary literacies used to achieve effective communication.

Add reading quizzes for each unit. Add exercises from Carroll to Discourse for each unit. One to two WP exercises for each unit—this is where their writing should be. Currently, there's nothing to hold students to account for not reading, and I’m pretty sure few of them do. (Many don’t even read the syllabus.) Require specific set of articles to edit on WP, like Macon stuff. A big headache for students each semester is choosing their articles, and many choose high-profile or non-notable ones, despite the training and my recommendations. WikiEdu is requiring an application for the fall. Maybe I should just do it on my own and see how it goes? I think that WikiEdu might cause more confusion than it actually helps. This could be the time to test that theory. I could probably continue using some of their training modules.