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Diane K. Jakacki Posts

Report from the Grading Trenches, Dispatch Two

Posted in Digital Pedagogy, and Teaching

Grading
“Grading,” ninniane. Flickr Commons.

As you’ll know if you’ve read the last few posts that my ambitious course plans for the semester have prompted me to think more carefully not only about the feedback I give, but how I give that feedback and how fine-grained I can make that feedback without driving myself to distraction. Here at the Writing & Communication program we’ve been talking a lot about better approaches to assessing multimodal assignments, since composition here is defined as encompassing more digital forms than traditional essays.

Report from the Grading Trenches: Dispatch One

Posted in Digital Pedagogy, Pedagogy, and Reflections

ft_edm_park__0103.jpg
Wrestling with my marking demons (ft_edm_park__0103.jpg by stormwarning on Flickr)

I spent a lot of time this summer thinking about how to streamline my grading process. I spoke with colleagues, read many Profhacker articles (just search Profhacker by “assessment” and you’ll get 101 hits), and looked at my past approaches to embracing a syllabus that expects students to experiment with multimodal forms of composition without having what I consider to be the proper tools for assessing those forms (how the hell DO you properly assess a Google Map?) Sometimes it feels as though I’m marking up a play-text to evaluate a live performance. Not sure if that metaphor works for anyone else, but I’ll stick with it for now.

A Lesson in Digital Publishing

Posted in Digital Humanities, and Pedagogy

P9120077
P9120077 by kepps, on Flickr

I spent a few hours yesterday working on the Tarlton Project, testing out some theories about Queen’s Men touring practices and split troupe touring (not sure if that’s actually a phrase, but I like it). I found it extremely cathartic (and a justifiable procrastination technique) to juggle ArcGIS Online, Google spreadsheets, and WordPress and see what I could accomplish in a short time. As I wrote in the blog post, the observations were absolutely preliminary, but helped as I begin to frame my paper for the October Sixteenth Century Society and Conference.

One Week and Counting

Posted in Digital Pedagogy, Pedagogy, and Social Media

Bungee
“Bungee” by Strocchi on Flickr.

I’m taking today to finalize my syllabus for the ENGL1102 courses I’ll be teaching this fall. Classes start a week from tomorrow, so it’s probably a good idea for me to get a move on. Last night I shifted my plans somewhat and made the decision to conduct the entire course in WordPress (except for the absolute minimum in the LMS for essay submission and grading purposes). This is not a complete surprise – I’ve used WordPress as a central component of the composition courses I’ve taught at Georgia Tech for the past two years. But in the past I’ve dabbled in other platforms as well: Mediawiki and Twitter, primarily. This semester I’m going to use WordPress as the core of the work we do. I want to see how far I can stretch it to reinforce the multimodal foundation of the writing and communication courses we teach here.

What Does It Mean to Be on “Vacation”

Posted in Reflections

Once upon a time, when I worked at Home Box Office, we had a mandated four-week vacation – well, to be accurate, our first year we were given three weeks but then it would be raised to four. Part of our benefits package also offered the opportunity to take a “sabbatical” (I think the threshold for that was ten years at the company). The sabbatical was a holdover from the old days at Time, Inc. when editors were expected to take time away from writing to write. Apparently Time, Inc. believed everyone had the Great American Novel tucked in their desk, ready to be polished over a few months’ break.