A couple of links/planning my near teaching future

I’ve been pretty swamped with this pesky school stuff lately. As I often joke, being a college professor would be a pretty easy job if I didn’t have to do things like grade and read student work; alas, that job is of a college administrator….

Anyway, I came across a couple of links I need to think about for at least one (possibly two) class(es) I will be teaching in the winter.

  • As mentioned Kairosnews, there’s this article, “Who Needs a College Campus?” an article in Forbes by a computer science professor at Yale who (basically) suggests that students at all but the most elite schools will soon be taking all of their classes online. I don’t want to make too many judgements about an article I have yet to read, but I suspect a bit too rosy of a picture of the future. I do agree with one passage that is a quote from the article (apparently): while online classes probably cannot replace a well-taught small group seminar, they probably can replace big lecture hall classes taught by less than stellar teachers. I would add (and I don’t know if this is in the article or not yet), based on my experiences this semester, that while I don’t think students need to take all of their classes online, I think it makes perfect sense at schools like EMU for students to take about a third of their classes online.
  • I wanted to include here a link to an article from last week’s CHE, “Do Not Fear the Blog” by Rebecca “her real name” Goetz. Basically, she is giving the flip-side to Ivan “the worst fake name ever” Tribble’s articles from earlier in the year where he suggests that academic blogging is a bad thing. These articles might make for a nice conversation in my graduate course and maybe my Writing for the World Wide Web course.

Speaking of which: I think I have (at least more of) a plan for the courses where I was asking for help previously. I am almost certainly going to be using the Wysocki et al collection Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition. My copy arrived just yesterday, but after looking at it for about 10 minutes, I’m already saying “Oh, yeah. I obviously should use this.” I think I will stick with the Literate Lives in the Information Age: Narratives of Literacy from the United States by Selfe and Hawisher and many “et alâ€� book (Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004 ) because it went over well (though it is a bit pricey, if you ask me), and then I will round out the readings with quite a few articles and web readings.

For my Writing for the WWW class, I am going to use Horton and Lynch’s Web Style Guide (which I still think is a great book, even if it is getting a little dated), Williams’ and Tollett’s The Non-Designer’s Web Book (3rd edition), and Molly Holzschlag’s Spring Into HTML and CSS. I was originally going to use a different book that folks had recommended, but– long story short– I was worried about the availability of this other book because a new edition of it is coming out in March 2006 and I think the publisher has listed the current edition as out of print, which might make it tricky for students to get.

Now, my original plan for this week was to have all of my “ducks in a row” so that I could spend my freetime over Thanksgiving break getting these Winter classes ready. Alas, my ducks are still scattered about. Oh well, I’ll still have some time to work and such next week… and I might work in some eating, too….

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2 Responses to A couple of links/planning my near teaching future

  1. timna says:

    I think that a hybrid version of a class could reduce a lot of wasted seat time. Usually I use the online support for handouts or extra discussion and grade posting, but this semester I’ve increased the number of online functions and could see students coming in less. One class had its midterm online (and there was some grumbling – it wasn’t listed as an online course), but now they prefer that the final be online as well. Interesting how it will balance out.

  2. John says:

    The Wysocki et al collection is pretty cool. And Literate Lives is $30 as a paperback? Wow. I don’t remember how much I paid for the HB at CCCC, but it couldn’t have been that much more….

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