Jun 10, 2015
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Courses and Syllabi
Dr. Laura L. Runge
Office: CPR 360 D
LAE 6389 Practice Teaching Literature
Room: CPR 257
This course is designed to introduce students to practical and theoretical concerns in teaching literature.
We will learn to construct a syllabus, set teaching objectives, organize a course; we will review and practice
teaching methods (focusing on literature workshop, the use of technology and Wikipedia editing). We will learn about good practices in
evaluation and assessment, as well as ways to handle
problems and pitfalls. This course prepares students to teach in the General Education Curriculum, and it will
also address particular issues associated with teaching introduction to literature, poetry, fiction, drama,
and short story. The discussions will be based upon related reading assignments, practical activities, student
reports and weekly writings. The class will involve some practice teaching. Students will be responsible for
several presentations throughout the term and the students will be expected to turn in a on-line portfolio through Canvas.
This is intended for PhD students in the Department of English; other students interested should check with the
instructor before enrolling.
Mary Rose O'Reilly, Radical Presence: Teaching as Contemplative Practice (Boyton Cook, 1998)
Sheridan D. Blau, The Literature Workshop: Teaching Texts and their Readers (Heinneman, 2003)
Robert Scholes, The Crafty Reader (Yale UP 2001) [Note: this is not available at the bookstore. There are many used hardcovers available on Amazon.com
and there are a couple of electronic versions.]
Selected readings from the teaching journals such as Pedagogy, available through Project Muse or course documents
Wilbert J. McKeachie and Marilla Svinicki, Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers 13th edition (Houghton Mifflin, 2010)
NB: The only reason I am not assigning this as required is because of the cost. If you can purchase or acquire these texts by less expensive means, please do so.
Many used copies are sold via the internet; there are also some e-book versions available. You can also check these out of the library.
For a general introduction to electronic formats for teaching/learning, see USF Academic Computing Home Page.
Electronic Discussion We will be using the USF Canvas system and the discussion board I have created for this class. You can gain access to it through My USF. You are automatically registered by virtue of being registered for this course.
Wikipedia in the classroom: Our course is registered with Wiki Education and you can find our course page
Students should create a Wikipedia account (if they do not already have one) before class begins. Please also complete the online training for students:
Students should bring laptops to class in order to complete the in-class activities.
My website: information on class, assignments and links to other important sites on literature, etc.
Other important websites are listed following the assignments.
Notes for each class will be updated throughout the term
May 12 Class 1: Introductions -- Choosing Texts
Students should register their Wikipedia accounts on the Wikpedia Course page (see above).
May 14 Class 2: Getting Started
General Education Overview
Introduce Syllabus assignment; review parts of a syllabus
Introduction to Literature, Poetry, Fiction, Drama, and Short-story
Marshall Gregory, "Do We Teach Disciplines or Do We Teach Students? What Difference Does It Make?" in Profession 2008: 117-129. (course docs)
May 19 Class 3: Organizing the course
Eble, chapter 16 The Craft of Teaching in course docs.
Wadewitz and Stinson, "Crowdsourcing Historiography: The Shape of Historical Uncertainty and Multiplicity on Wikipedia" (course docs)
Complete Wikipedia introduction
Assignment: Practical on Editions
sign up for Syllabus, Teaching with Technology presentations -- course google doc
Post #1 Group A / Response Group B
May 21 Class 4: Teaching Methods
McKeachie, chaps 1,2,3
Reading from Instructor's Guide to NAEL and NALW in course docs
Short pieces on leading discussion
Guest Panel: What I Wanted to Know Before I Started Teaching Poetry (or Fiction, Drama...)
Discuss Reading schedules, objectives
Wikipedia assignments: select and copyedit/improve a sentence on one article; add an illustration
Assignment: draft course description, objectives
Post #1 Group B / Response Group A
Blau, chapters 1-5
May 26 Class 5: Teaching Methods, cont.
Conduct literature workshops
Assignment: Add 1-2 sentences with citation to an article on Wikipedia
Post #2 Group A / Response Group B
Scholes, Introduction, Reading Poetry, Sacred Reading and
Conclusion (pp. xi-75, 212-243) and a chapter of your choice
on a genre that interests you
May 28 Class 6: Writing Assignments
Recommended: McKeachie, chapters 4,5,6 and 14, in course docs
Discuss Active Learning strategies
Assignment:Wikipedia - Research and list 3-5 articles you would consider working on as a main project
Create a sample assignment for your course
Post #2 Group B
/ Response Group A
Wikipedia assignment: Select an article to work on, removing the rest from your user page. Add your article to the class’s course page
June 2 Class 7: Evaluation and Assessment
Blau, chapters 6-10;
Assignment: Obtaining a Student Paper
Post #3 Group A / Response Group B
McKeachie, chaps. 7, 8, 9, 10
June 4 Class 8: Wikipedia in the classroom/Assessment
Sherry Linkon, "The Reader's Apprentice" in course docs
Evaluating Wikipedia pamphlet in course docs
Discuss Gen Ed assessment requirements
Discuss: Matching Learning objectives and outcomes. See FKL website.
Wikipedia assignment: peer review articles in sandbox; use recommendations from Evaluating Wikipedia;
Student presentation: Syllabus check - Heather
Assignment: Group evaluation of purchased student paper
Post #3 Group B / Response Group A
McKeachie chaps 16 (hi / lo stakes writing), 17 (teaching with tech)
June 9 Class 9: Contemplative Pedagogy
Review and discuss Wikipedia work; move articles out of sandbox
Wikipedia Education Program - Case Studies in course docs
Instructor Basics - How to Use Wikipedia in the classroom in course docs
Student Presentation: Two Syllabus Check: Colleen Kolba, Micah Chapman
Assignment: Make your own rubric for student essays
Post #4 Group A / Response Group B
Mary Rose O'Reilly, Radical Presence
June 11 Class 10: Problems and Pitfalls
Excerpts from draft Handbook on Contemplative Practice (course docs)
Howard Reingold, "Attention" from Netsmart in course docs
Student Presentation: 2 Syllabus Check: Rachel Tanski, Megan Mandell
Post #4 Group B / Response Group A
Showalter, chaps. 9-10
June 16 Class 11: Student Presentations
McKeachie, chaps. 12 (cultural diversity) and 13 (challenges)
Student Presentation: 2 Teaching with Technology: Megan and Heather, Anne and Micah
Student Presentation: 2 Syllabus Check: EJ, Shauna Maragh
Post #5 Group A/ Response Group B
Student Presentations: 3 syllabus check Danielle Farrar, Anne Anderson, Scott Neumeister
June 18 Class 12: Teaching Philosophy
Student Presentations: 2 Teaching with Technology: Rachel and EJ, Dana and Danielle
Post #5 Group B / Response Group A
Deadline for posting portfolio -- Thursday June 25
Student Presentation: 2 Teaching with Technology: Shauna and Colleen, Scott and Neal
Student Presentation: 2 Syllabus Check: Dana Laitinen, Neal Fischer
Assignment: Statement of Teaching Philosophy
Post #6 Groups A and B
** Students who anticipate the necessity of being absent from class due to the observation of a major
religious observance must provide notice of the date(s) to the instructor, in writing, by the second class meeting.
** In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations.
During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that include
but are not limited to: Canvas, Elluminate, Skype, and email messaging and/or an alternate
schedule. It is the responsibility of the student to monitor Canvas site for each class for
course specific communication, and the main USF, College, and department websites, emails,
and MoBull messages for important general information.
Description of graded assignments
Attendance and Participation
Students are expected to be present for the entire class, every class and to participate in group activities,
homework assignments, discussion and evaluation of peers. We will be exploring a variety of teaching and learning techniques, including
contemplative pedagogy, and it is important that all students enter into this with open minds and a willingness to try.
Success in the class is dependent upon this. If
students anticipate missing a class, they should prepare and submit work in advance of the class.
Diligence in the remaining classes may offset the failure in attendance.
Weekly Writings - Class Discussion Board
All members are required to participate in the electronic discussion board maintained through
Canvas. Writing assignments will vary from week to week, depending on the topic and activity
for each class. In general, each student will be expected to write a 200-300 word, original
document in response to the readings or topics for the week. These are due to be posted by the
day before class, either Monday or Wednesday by noon. Students are expected to engage in a class
conversation rather than to submit isolated essays; therefore it is also expected that students
read each of the posts before class. This forum is also open for other relevant discussions.
Because we will be meeting two times per week for six weeks, I will separate the class into
two groups. Group A will post for Thursday's class; Group B will post for Tuesday's class.
To encourage the online discussion, I will require the opposite group to write a brief
response to at least one of the posts for the class. For example, when B posts, A responds.
Read the posts of your classmates before composing your post (obviously, not everyone will
be able to do this in entirety.) Contribute something original to the discussion, even
if it is only a relevant question. As you will discover, I believe the key to learning is asking the right questions.
Posts are graded on a scale of 1 to 3 for effort, not rightness or wrongness. I will assign
2 points for the posting and 1 for the responding each week. If I do not respond to your post,
then you can assume it received full credit. Please devote some thought to these posts,
because they will constitute a large part of our discussion material.
** In case of server malfunction, bring a hardcopy of your post to my office by noon before class.
Each student will be responsible for constructing a workable syllabus as part of
the online portfolio. Because the syllabus is the backbone of a course, it is the
most significant element in the course portfolio. Each student will be allowed
the opportunity to present the syllabus-in-progress to get feedback on its development
and to solicit ideas for improvement.
These will be scheduled starting June 2. The presentation need not be formal, but you should
outline what you have accomplished and be prepared with specific questions for the class. Due
to the number of presentations, these must be strictly limited to 15 minutes; so please
practice and time your presentation.
Your syllabus should contain the following minimum elements:
Course information, title and description
Instructor contact information
Required and recommended texts and materials
Schedule of readings and assignments
Description of course assignments and grading weight
All students will participate in Wikipedia training, a set of starter exercises in editing Wikipedia, and then they will select a relevant Wikipedia article to edit, develop or start.
Students should select articles that draw on their research expertise or the subject of the class (teaching literature, pedagogy or literature). We will review the principles of
Wikipedia, the guidelines and conventions of the community of editors, and the process of editing. We will read some articles on using Wikipedia in the classroom and discuss this
as a pedagogical method while we model it in the course. The details for the project and the breakdown of the assignment weights and descriptions are listed on the
course page. The process is scaffolded
throughout the class, and so you should expect to do a little bit of Wikipedia work for every week. The Wikipedia Education
Program has excellent resources to get all instructors and students up and running!
Teaching with technology:
Students will work in pairs to prepare an in-class activity using a unique technology to teach our class text. The object of the exercise is
both to introduce the teaching technology and to practice teaching the literature. You can
explore the different tools available through Canvas or seek open-source software, apps, blogs, websites for use in the classroom.
Anything from a collaborative writing space online to video games might be appropriate! Throughout the semester, keep
track of references to different teaching tools (Twitter and the online blogs listed below are a
good source of information) and imagine creative ways to use them to teach and learn in the
literature classroom. See, for example, this
Getting Smart on using Pinterest in your classroom.
No Powerpoint or Youtube videos, please. This exercise is meant to expand your horizons, and so unless you have a compelling
new use of these common classroom tools, they are off limits.
Each group will have 30 minutes.
The purpose of this activity is to practice an idea that you would like to try out in the literature classroom
using your classmates as guinea pigs. We will use the last three classes for these presentations. Each presentation should
have a clear learning objective or two. Students will be responsible for planning the activity, identifying a pedagogical objective,
explaining and executing the activity. Your classmates will take five minutes to fill out an evaluation for you, and
given time we will discuss how the activities fared at the end of the class.
Throughout the semester, students will be asked to draft different materials as homework
for planning and teaching a course, and these will be submitted for peer review in class.
After review, students are expected to revise and submit the materials in their portfolios.
This online portfolio will demonstrate the progress the student makes in preparing to teach
literature, and it will also serve as a resource for the student as he or she begins to
teach his or her own literature classes. Minimum contents of the portfolio are:
Syllabus (see description above)
Statement of teaching methodology (including use of innovative technologies)
This syllabus is subject to change.
On learning Styles: From the Georgia State Master Teacher Program,
this site offers information on how temperaments inform different learning styles and strategies for adopting teaching methods to meet these different styles.
Jungian Typology test: an online test from a site entitled Humanmetrics
Kiersey Temperament Sorter: Commercial website that provides updates Kiersey's Please Understand Me, including "A Modern Guide to Temperaments"
Some teaching blogs of interest:
Faculty Focus: Higher Ed strategies for teaching
There are numerous other resources available. Please contact me with additional information.
Insider Higher Ed
HASTAC Humanities, Arts, Science, Technology Advanced Collaboratory
Hybrid Pedagogy A Digital Journal of Learning, Teaching and Technology
Teaching and Learning in Higher Ed developed by Paul Corrigan
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