Open Codex HISTORICAL entry

2012 May 31 | 2011-2012 Teaching reflection

My year away from teaching while at the Berkman Center meant I approached this year with a lot of enthusiasm. In the fall, I continued with what had worked well for me in the past. I taught sections of an upper-level elective, New Media Culture, for which I chose many excellent texts. I asked the students to write reading responses and I facilitated each class as a discussion (inspired by Brookfield and Preskill’s 2005 Discussion As a Way of Teaching), sometimes around particular themes, and often simply as a “go around” in which people spoke about their response. There were no quizzes or exams, just two significant essay assignments. Based on student evaluations, they were quite pleased with the course.

This spring’s section of Media Culture & Society was more challenging. This is an introductory level class required of students in the media concentration. I find the required text to be lacking for many reasons, including that the students find it to be stale and unengaging – and I agree. Much of the grade is based on quizzes and exams, which I don’t have a lot of experience with. However, I approached this class with the intention of having lots of great class exercises available (inspired by Barkley’s 2009 Student Engagement Techniques) and a desire to take greater advantage of technology.

I’m looking forward to having another go at this class in the fall. I do plan to simplify where I gave a lot of choice, and be more clear about my expectations and recommendations; otherwise, there is still much to continue thinking about and experimenting with.

Open Communities, Media, Source, and Standards

by Joseph Reagle