inferentialkid

Mid-Semester Feedback

In Uncategorized on February 26, 2014 at 11:06 am

According to Queens’ University, “Informal written feedback can help inform your teaching and to help you critically think about how the course is progressing.” So help me get informed and critically thinking about the progression of our course by dropping some anonymous feedback as a comment to this post (it becomes anonymous when you don’t log-in with your usual name/e-mail). Please respond to the following queries:

  • What has been, in your estimation, working well about the course thus far?
  • What has not been, in your estimation, working well about the course thus far?
  • What can we do, that we haven’t been doing, that would improve the value of the course?
  • Is there a burning question or theme in our subject matter that you think has not been adequately addressed in the course at this point?
  • Which of our texts have you found most valuable and which one have you found to be least valuable?
  • How you would describe our course in five words or less?
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  1. 1. I have enjoyed your breakdown of the texts and how they connect together. I think that this approach has helped to round out the responses and the presentation.
    2. I would like to see some of the digital aspects of our readings explored and worked on. I realize this is a large request, but it would be interesting to see us apply some of the theory or explore the theory.
    3. Again, attempting to work through, say Rice’s suggestions as a class together, or producing hyperlinked digital narratives and how that would play out, what that would produce, how it would change our perceptions of the text/theory would be interesting.
    4. For my research, Bellar, Dienst, Stiegler/Derrida, and Hayles.
    5. Interactive mixtures hyperlinking rhetorical ruminations

  2. I think the organization of the class has worked well thus far. It’s very helpful to get a debriefing of the readings before we read our responses. It helps to foreground what we’re reading on a larger scale. I can’t think of anything that could be improved about the course, really, because I think it’s good as it is. I would have liked to be able to discuss Technics and Time more simply because it’s so dense and I find it interesting especially for my area of study. However, I do understand the time constraints so I think we did the best we could. I found that text, Bank’s text, and (we haven’t read it yet for class) Nealon’s Foucault Beyond Foucault. I had a hard time relating to Digital Dialectic because it is so mired in the past, but I understand its worth for the foundation of the course. That has been my least favorite book thus far. Beller’s book was also difficult to digest.

    Five words or less: techologica-riffic! (that’s two words, right?)

  3. 1. Really enjoy the author Q&A sessions–fun! Nice to put faces with names/books. Also, I like that each week we can choose our tasks (response, question for author, presentation…)
    2. I would like to work a bit more on connecting the readings to practical aspects of technology, both in and outside of the classroom. Theory-practice connection could be stronger for me (I get both separately, just not as much what the relationship between them is…)
    3. Maybe do some peer review on our digital portfolio sites? I’m working on mine…but I’d like feedback perhaps before final presentations.
    4. It’s all pretty novel and interesting so far. Maybe just more of the theory/practice bridging.
    5. I got a lot of out both Pender and Reid. Rice was interesting, but I felt like that one (though I made connections because of the specific places he referenced) was the least applicable.
    6. a good time.

  4. What has been, in your estimation, working well about the course thus far?

    I’ve really enjoyed all of the project demos using digital tools. I think that is really helpful, especially as we are building our digital teaching portfolios. I’ve heard lots of great ideas from people in the class, and have even been able to come up with some of my own. I like the fact that this course is designed to help make us marketable, since it is so hard to get a tenure-track job in the field currently.

    The interviews with the authors is also a really great aspect of this course. Hearing them flesh out their ideas further has been edifying to my understanding of their work.

    What has not been, in your estimation, working well about the course thus far?

    I usually spend several days reading the main text for the week, but I feel like we often don’t talk about it enough in the classroom setting. It seems like a lot of work for not a lot of payoff, especially when I NEED discussion to help me make sense of the ideas that I wasn’t able to fully understand.

    Also, my marks on my reading responses have not been stellar (mostly checks) which concerns me. I am trying to make them better week by week, but I’m having a hard time figuring out what “better” is because there is no feedback on any of my responses telling me what was wrong with them. Sometimes there are even positive comments, but still just a check. So a little more feedback would be really helpful.

    What can we do, that we haven’t been doing, that would improve the value of the course?

    I guess just discuss the actual concepts in the readings more.

    Is there a burning question or theme in our subject matter that you think has not been adequately addressed in the course at this point?

    Not really. There is more about the digital humanities that could be discussed, but this isn’t really a DH class, specifically.

    Which of our texts have you found most valuable and which one have you found to be least valuable?

    I thought Pender and Reid were most valuable, as they specifically spent some time with pedagogical issues. That is what I am most interested in.

    How you would describe our course in five words or less?

  5. What has been, in your estimation, working well about the course thus far?

    The presentations and discussions of the various platforms and how they can be brought into the classroom has been, in my opinion, the most valuable part of the course so far.

    What has not been, in your estimation, working well about the course thus far?

    It has seemed to me, that while we have been reading a lot of interesting and valuable information, we do not always answer the questions of “what role does this play in the classroom?” “how does this impact rhet/comp classrooms?” …so while I have been (mostly) enjoying the books, I sometimes find myself unsure of the ‘point’ of the text in the context of the classroom…

    What can we do, that we haven’t been doing, that would improve the value of the course?

    I would really like to spend time engaging more with the platforms we have been discussing. Time to “play” with, or discuss, the platforms would make them seem more accessible to anyone not sure where to even go to begin using them. A recent “guide to teaching” I read suggested that we not ask students to teach them new material/skills outside of the classroom. This might be extreme, but I still think spending time in class talking about them more would be useful.

    Is there a burning question or theme in our subject matter that you think has not been adequately addressed in the course at this point?

    Nah.

    Which of our texts have you found most valuable and which one have you found to be least valuable?

    This isn’t a fair question…honestly, bits and pieces of each has provided interesting and relevant information, I’m not sure though how valuable any texts in their entirety have been valuable. 😐

    How you would describe our course in five words or less?

    Technology. It’s scary. Learnta deal.

  6. 1. I’ve enjoyed the mix of teaching demos, discussions, and talking to the authors.
    2. It lacks a practical pedagogic focus.
    3. Talk specifically about how the things we are reading can apply to our teaching/pedagogic practice. More articles about teaching and technology. More introductions to technology that can be used in the classroom.
    4. None that I can think of.
    5. Pender was the most valuable (even though her conclusion was underwhelming). Digital Detroit has been the least valuable.

  7. What has been, in your estimation, working well about the course thus far?

    -Some really great discussion! Love the author interviews and project presentations, definitely. Your insight into the texts is, as ever, thoughtful and helpful.

    What has not been, in your estimation, working well about the course thus far?
    – I don’t think there is a single weakness I could point to and say “let’s change this.” I think the classroom layout is a little unfortunate in terms of class participation (e.g. too easy to hid behind a monitor / can’t face who we are addressing when discussing), but I hardly think it’s fatal, and everyone does seem to get their words in edgewise.

    What can we do, that we haven’t been doing, that would improve the value of the course?
    – I would suggest replacing reading responses as the default with creative projects, e.g., rather than most everyone writing a response and then 3 or 4 students creating mapping projects or what have you, default to EVERYONE doing the media project under review, and then 3 or 4 students compose discussion prompts to fuel in-class conversation.

    Is there a burning question or theme in our subject matter that you think has not been adequately addressed in the course at this point?
    – What does the fox say?

    Which of our texts have you found most valuable and which one have you found to be least valuable?
    – The more rhetorical / less pedagogical texts are doing the most to inform my own work, but this is a really narrow argument to make. The class *is* “writing technologies*, after all, not “your own rhetorical pet projects plus a few blogging exercises.”

    How you would describe our course in five words or less?
    Readin’ & Writing & Digital ‘Rithmatic.

  8. 1. I particularly enjoy the demonstrations as well as how we focus on the ways in which deeper, critical issues might intersect with larger issues in the discipline, writing as such, and composition pedagogy.

    2. Sometimes I feel a bit lost in terms of how to narrow my focus and dig in fruitfully. I guess I mean that while I certainly appreciate the tensions we work through in terms of theories/concepts and periodization, I miss a little of the impact these things have on our actual experience. Perhaps more thought experiments where we consider how certain concepts might affect the way we teach? It’s not that these sorts of things are absent per say, but that I feel as if we get cut short at times before the payoff.

    3. I, order to drum up an answer to this question…. I suppose I would, again, say that perhaps we could more clearly show how our theoretical debates might apply to/change/impact the actual experience of writing or apply to the experience of (or approaches to) teaching

    4. Not particularly

    5. MVP: Reid or Rice and LVP: Maybe Galloway? However, I hesitate to actually call it the *least* valuable. For some reason, I really latched on to his conclusion and the potential for “opening up” the conceptual field (which also seems to be a theme throughout our texts this semester)

    6. Theorizing writing technology’s birth pains

  9. 1. Based on reading, I could get some notions about the relationship between writing and technology. This is still vague, but it gives me some sense in understanding how to approach composition classes using technological tools in the 21th century.
    2. But I am not good at dealing with technological tools, i.e., computer programs and some websites people already knew and have used (I might especially be not familiar with them due to cultural difference and now you know who I am), I am a little bit afraid of not figuring out how those technologies really work with me. Maybe I was hoping to learn technological skills in the classroom.
    3. I really don’t know. To improve technological skills, we need another prerequisite course before taking this?
    4. I want to see more specific, class-based model because I really have no idea what has been going on in American college writing classes. It’s too much personal, though.
    5. Colin Brooks’s Lingua Fracta: it was useful since I had no idea what rhetoric is. It was good to know five principles in rhetorical studies and how should we think about them.
    Jeff Rice’s Digital Detroit: it was pleasurable to read but I don’t know.
    6. Oh! Technology?!

  10. 1. The readings and discussions have contributed to a deeper understanding of digital technology as an educational and rhetorical device for greater empowerment of teachers and active citizens, and how it works within the history of rhetoric and composition. The readings settle nicely within a chronology of rhetorical studies and easily connect with both historical and contemporary cultural, philosophical and educational studies.

    2. The class feels a bit rushed, especially when trying to reflect on a specific reading, or integrate it with others or outside materials. As these books are extremely thought-provoking, I’d only like to be able to comfortably spend more time engaging with each one. I value the extent of the readings but wish there was more time to dissect certain passages and arguments and draw connections, perhaps with longer written assignments that are a bit more spread out.

    3. I haven’t really thought of how to improve it other than perhaps a greater emphasis on multimedia composition, but only being at the half-way point it’s been great to focus more on philosophical inquiry than on active rhetorical production.

    4. I would be curious to discuss the negative effects of digital media on overall comprehension and language capacity in everyday life, and on how we as educators can do more to encourage active participation, critical thinking and self-study within an environment that greatly allows but also largely discourages these concepts.

    5. I found Reid and Galloway to be the most exciting and relatable, and Rice to be a bit lackluster.

    6. Why so reactionary?

  11. What has been, in your estimation, working well about the course thus far?
    We’ve hit a lot of the big ideas and theories. I’ve been pretty happy with all the course so far (the fact that this is my shortest response shouldn’t be construed negatively!).

    What has not been, in your estimation, working well about the course thus far?
    This isn’t so much a complaint about the course, but about the state of the field. It bugs me that we continue to talk about post-print technologies and media in a way that characterizes them as different, as posing challenges–that contrasts them with print and in the act of contrast itself, casts them in a negative light. I suspect that much of this has been unavoidable while we were transitioning from print to “new” media, but I think we may be far enough along in the revolution now that there should be some people who are taking these technologies on their own terms. If they exist, I’d like to read them.

    What can we do, that we haven’t been doing, that would improve the value of the course?
    A lot of our readings have been fairly high-level and several people have pointed out that several authors weren’t great at providing concrete examples of their ideas. Perhaps we could either read more about pragmatic applications and uses of technology (how-I-done-it-good pieces) or else spend some time in class brainstorming and discussing how these ideas could be concretized.

    Is there a burning question or theme in our subject matter that you think has not been adequately addressed in the course at this point?
    Um…I guess see my answer to the second bullet point, and I’d also really like to read about the concept of technology reskilling our populace. We also haven’t really explored the concept of equal access/ equal participation and the implications of that for our shared future.

    Which of our texts have you found most valuable and which one have you found to be least valuable?
    I really enjoyed the Brooke and Reid pieces. I didn’t enjoy the Galloway piece so much. I’ve found value in all of them, though…maybe the least value in the Rice book. My opinions are very much biased by my own research interests, though, and Rice’s word choices bothered me a little bit.

    How you would describe our course in five words or less?
    Watching academic hairsplitting re: technological terminology

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