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Student Digital Edition: Observations & Reflections

Posted in Digital Pedagogy

Title page, 1598 edition of The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth

I’ve written before about the final project I assigned to my students for this term’s ENGL1102: Shakespeare’s English Histories course. The assignment was an ambitious experiment to see how students would collaborate on a digital edition of the Queen’s Men play The Famous Victories of Henry the Fifth.¬†I haven’t yet assessed the students’ final artifacts, and before I see the results I thought I would take a moment to practice a form of self-evaluation and write some observations about what I’ve seen work and what I would do differently if I were to include a similar project in a future course.
The assignment objective was to teach students about the editorial process and test my hypothesis that scaffolded assignments with final group components strengthen the learning experience. Everything we’ve done this term has, in one way or another, built toward this assignment.¬†Assignment components included rough and revised transcriptions of the 1598 facsimile edition with word definitions and glosses, contextual research projects pertaining to the medieval subject matter, its importance to Elizabethan culture and politics, and the relationship of the play to Shakespeare’s subsequent Henriad.

Course Blogs: Commenting Privately on a Student’s Post

Posted in Brittain Fellowship, Digital Pedagogy, and Social Media

Rebecca Burnett and I had a conversation about the nature of commenting on student blog posts. As instructors, should we have the option of making a private comment – viewable only to the student author, or should all comments be viewable to all students? There is an argument to be made for complete transparency in a course blog. I believe there are situations, however, where dialogue between an instructor and a student might benefit from a degree of privacy. The example that comes immediately to mind relates to marking a post. In the past, I have returned what I believe to be confidential communication regarding assignment feedback and grading to students through an external medium (email, rubrics uploaded to T-Square’s dropbox, emma, etc.). And yet I have thought it would be preferable for students to be able to read my feedback inline with their posts. I just wasn’t sure how to accomplish such a thing without making this confidential feedback publicly available.