I’m proud of my students this semester in Intermediate Composition: Argument in the Disciplines. This was the first semester the course has been offered, and the students stepped up and built a website about written argument for the student community at UCB. The website (Argument at UC Berkeley) contains papers that the students wrote during the course, as well as advice from professionals and academics whom they interviewed. Students in subsequent semesters will maintain and expand the site.
Here’s a link, if you want to check out the site: http://argument.berkeley.edu/
Posted in Teaching, Writing
Tagged argument, Berkeley, Cal, student, student work, teaching, UCB, university of california, writing, written argument
My colleague Mike Larkin is a triple threat: engaging writer, intriguing thinker, and encouraging teacher. He’s helping his students share their work publicly on his blog and anywhere else it might spread, and I’m hoping they end up with a bigger audience than they imagined.
You can help encourage them by reading their online writing–or even just by “liking” their posts when they appear, wherever they appear.
If you want to peek behind the curtain, see Mike’s blog post A compendium of selfie reflections (for my students).
At the end, he notes several reasons that he wrote the post, concluding that
mostly I wrote this for my current students, who will be embarking on writing some digital, multimodal essays about online identity in the coming month.
I offer this brief essay as an example to them, and I’m hoping to encourage them to let me share some of their work publicly here. Given their facility with technology, I’m sure they can do much more interesting things with digital tools than I’ve managed to do in this blog post. (Oh, look at that textual selfie he just took–so humble!)
Here I am, back in my office in Wheeler Hall on the UCB campus, after finishing the first class on the first day of fall semester.
I’m not sure what my expression means. “We’re gonna do this thing”, maybe?
I spent the last eight hours, without a break, on class prep. Socrates, sorites, software . . . progress of a sort. But I want to write my novel, not prep my courses. Strange to think that my students, too, are probably wishing they could do something else instead of head back to class.
We’re all ingrates in the moment.
Today I teach the usual pre-semester Oral Presentation Skills workshop for graduate student instructors. Here’s the handy-dandy visual aid I give them so that they have something to point at during practice.
UCB’s bCourses continues to whup my ass. I see the benefit of having a content management system, but it doesn’t seem to be able to do what I want it to do — simple things, like print the online syllabus in larger font rather than make me create two versions, one online and one offline for printing. Having two versions just increases the possibility of error. And what happens when bCourses is down or slow? Or when students can’t access the internet?
So far, prep that usually takes three hours has taken three days . . . and I haven’t even started on the argument course.
Preparing for the upcoming semester is taking much more time than usual because I have to figure out how to use bCourses instead of bSpace to build the course websites. I have lots of material in html format, designed to display online, and none of it seems to work in bCourses. Changing all that is a monumental headache.
Teaching is a joy, but this slog prepwork is joyless.