Week 8 Reflections

Change is imminent in the two undergraduate courses I'm guiding this semester. The week after next will be witness to a rather significant shift. Students' responsibilities will no longer involve readings predetermined by me or their classmates. Blogging requirements will lessen to once a week. In place of this work will be a narrowed focus upon final projects comprised of three constituent parts. I think the pace of both courses will quicken as a result. This already leads me to feel as though more than half the semester is over, that I should already begin relating here some course revisions.

Foremost in my mind right now is how I wasn't prescriptive enough regarding the student reading groups in ENG 252. Future student groups will be required to come up with specific questions designed to promote discussion. Beginning a whole-class conversation with a generic "So, whaddya think of the readings?" is only successful for so long, even if the instructor asked. As mentioned in previous reflective posts, I find little fault falling upon the students who led these in-class discussions. It was much more my responsibility to provide adequate guidance and I simply didn't. There needs to be more of a balance struck between students' writing interests and my own course intentions. This semester has already been a significant witness to me erring too far on the side of caution in this regard. Overly concerned with not telling students how and what to think about writing and videogames, perhaps I've sacrificed having them learn in deeper, more meaningful ways. In other words, I fear these undergraduate courses are challenging only in terms of the required amount of written work (if at all).

This is a bit of a nagging concern for ENG 513, too, but it could just be that time in the semester. Literature reviews are due by the start of our next class, and I know how taxing such documents can be on graduate students' time. I should reserve any further judgment until after all literature reviews are in and I've had a moment or three to look over them.