I find myself thinking about how the flexible pedagogy of a 200-minute, 4-credit class might offer opportunities beyond the flipped classroom or the Freirean teacher-student, both things we can achieve anyway with oral presentations and other measures that allow our students to claim expert status. Similarly, online activity – blogs, wikis, e-seminars – might form part of any course. What makes our 200-minutes different?
I’m trying to forge (forage?) an answer by thinking of ways that 200-minute class might be experienced as porous. Perhaps it’s just that everyone in Newton has been teaching with their doors open in this heat; scraps of economic theory, political science, and Barthesian structuralism escaping into the corridors and out to campus.
Practically, for me, this means finding ways to not only create the expectation that conversations – rigorous, intellectual conversations – will continue beyond our meetings (that’s a sine qua non of a literature or creative writing class, no?); it means creating structures that allow such conversations to happen, whether physical or virtual. And for them to happen, they must somehow be registered within the classroom space (in classrooms and beyond).
In wrestling with how to explain to students that their class schedule is different from my.geneseo.edu, I’ve found myself explaining why collaborative annotated texts, letters written from one poet to another, and collectively-authored blogs should form part of the 200-minutes we spend together, if not all together (or altogether). And I’m hoping that these structures will lead to the students developing others, too: their own blogs, group work on literary texts as a way to study, meetings over coffee about poems and poets. I then have to find a way to incorporate those developments in the classroom: the world escaping inside.
That’s the theory, at least! Looking forward to hearing if others have similar intentions/experiences, and to hearing about other uses of time – around the corridors I’ve picked up on various ideas of flexible work (different activities each day) and focussed student attention that I’m keen to hear about and try out.