Initial Comments for the November 2018 Session at DeVry University in San Antonio

I have been offered two classes for the November 2018 session, ENGL 112: Composition and ENGL 135: Advanced Composition. I’ve taught the latter before–during the current September 2018 session, in fact–but, while I’ve taught first-semester composition any number of times at other institutions (as noted here, among other places), I’ve not yet done so at DeVry. It is the only class in the main writing sequence at that school I’ve not yet taught, so it will be good to get that course under my belt and get a full view of what DeVry asks its students to write.

This would be a nice classroom to have.
Image from University Business.

It will have been noted, I hope, that I have resumed generating examples for my students to follow. I do not think I will do so for ENGL 135 quite yet again; I’m presently in a cycle of doing so, anyway. But I will doubtlessly do so for ENGL 112, partly for the reasons I’ve tended to do so in the past, and partly to help me get a feel for the course cycle expected of my students. (Too, I feel compelled to put materials into this webspace, and doing so for my students helps with that.) I also mean to continue my practice of posting class reports, although the timing on them will shift to reflect the fact that I have an actual class meeting schedule this time around.

To wit, the ENGL 112 class will meet on Wednesday evenings at the San Antonio campus; the ENGL 135 is another all-online section. Both classes begin on 28 October 2018 and run through 22 December 2018. I am happy to have the opportunity to teach once again and put the skills I have theoretically developed through more than a decade of teaching and more than a decade of study to use one more time.

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Initial Comments for the September 2018 Session at DeVry University in San Antonio

I have been offered a section of ENGL 135: Advanced Composition for the September 2018 session at DeVry University in San Antonio–and I’ve signed my contract for it. The course will run from 2 September through 27 October 2018, and it will meet wholly online. I admit to preferring hybrid or on-site courses to fully online work, but I also admit to preferring having income to not, so I was pleased to accept the course.

Ah, to see such a thing…
The image comes from DeVry University. It seems to fit, given the topic here.

I note, also, that there have been some adjustments to the assignment sequence in the course. As such, I’ll need to adjust my teaching materials somewhat from those I’ve been using for the past couple of years. It’s not a bad thing; updates need to happen as more research is done into what best practices are (even if that research tends to focus on traditional undergraduates, who are not the students DeVry tends to teach), and there were things in the previous assignment sequences that flatly did not work well.

Whether or not I assign a topic for consideration is still undetermined. I did not have great success with it the last time I did so, as I believe I noted. My concerns about it remain in place–the more so with a wholly online class, where students are typically even more pressured to cleave to assignments as prescribed and less inclined to range out from their expectations. (It’s not my first wholly online course, and my own mother completed a wholly online degree. I’ll admit my experience is limited, but it is still what I have to work with.) If I do, I do not think I will restrict myself to the previously assigned topic; again, few of the students I taught felt as if they could meaningfully address it. (I wonder if it derives from their having been underserved by their previous academic experiences.) Perhaps if I prescribe a topic, I will work with humor once again–although the circumstances of the class are not such as admit of jocularity easily.

In any event, I have it to do one more time, at least. Even if I do confine myself to the “standard” offerings this time around–and I might, that I might better negotiate the changes to the course sequence since the last time I taught it–I will be glad to have the opportunity to work with students yet again, hopefully to help them move beyond the idea of research as compiling and reporting information only and into the notion of research being the revelation or creation of new knowledge. Students in first-year writing classes do not necessarily often make such breakthroughs, but when they do, it is quite a joy to see; every time I am able to help it happen, I am pleased with myself.

Every time it happens, whether I am responsible for it or not, the world is that much better off than it was before. And more of that needs to happen.

Initial Comments for the July 2018 Session at DeVry University in San Antonio

To spite my earlier comments, I’ve been offered a section of ENGL 062: Introduction to Reading and Writing for the July 2018 session at DeVry University in San Antonio, Texas. I’ve even signed my contract for doing so, so I’ll take a bit to get my materials ready again.

The session runs from 9 July through 1 September 2018; the class meets Thursdays from 1800 to 2150 in Room 107 of the San Antonio campus. I am not yet certain when or if I will have office hours–the “if” because the class is something of an unusual situation. It is, at present, showing only one student enrolled, which would normally make for a threat of class cancellation. Circumstances are such, however, that the class has been authorized despite the low enrollment–although the campus is trying to get other students enrolled in the class. If more do not enroll, however, the class will function as an eight-week tutorial, and that might well eliminate the need for office-hour availability. Perhaps; it will remain to be seen.

Initial Comments for the May 2018 Session at DeVry University in San Antonio

In a bit of news, I have been offered a section of ENGL 216: Technical Writing for the May 2018 session at DeVry University in San Antonio, Texas. I’ve not yet signed my contract for doing so, but I expect it will be coming soon enough; in the meantime, I can take a bit to get my materials ready again.

The session runs from 30 April through 23 June 2018; the class meets Mondays from 1800 to 2150 in Room 111 of the San Antonio campus. I am not yet certain when I will have office hours.

I feel I had great success teaching it last time, so I am looking forward to teaching the class again. Additionally, I think restricting topics for the class will work well, as it seems to be the case for the March 2018 session’s classes, so that will be one of the adjustments I make as I move forward. There will be others, I am certain, coming from results of surveys as they arrive.

More Early Comments for the March 2018 Session at DeVry University in San Antonio

Not long ago, I made a few comments about the March 2018 session at DeVry University in San Antonio, noting with appreciation that I had been offered a section of ENGL 135: Advanced Composition. I have been at work developing materials for that class, and I am happy with how things are proceeding in that line.

I am also happy to note that I have been offered another class, one I have not yet taught at the institution, although it is similar to one that I have taught elsewhere–namely SPCH 217: Public Speaking. From what I have seen of the course so far, it is similar to the HUM 110 class I taught at the now-defunct Technical Career Institutes, so that while it has been some time since I taught such a class, I am not coming into it all unaware of what I need to do and what I need the students to do. Materials are on their way to me now, so that much is to the good, and I look forward to seeing how I can make things better.

Initial Comments for the March 2018 Session at DeVry University in San Antonio

I know that I’ve had a lot to say about DeVry University this week, what with my usual class report and a recent addendum to an older post. But more news keeps coming in on that score, to wit:

Although I’ve not yet signed the contract for it, I have been offered a section of ENGL 135: Advanced Composition for the March 2018 session at DeVry University in San Antonio. The session runs 26 February through 21 April 2018; the class is slated to meet on Saturdays from 0900 to 1250 in Room 106 of the San Antonio campus. I still have a bit of time to begin to prepare and refine materials, and I look forward to doing again the work of teaching.

Among those materials will be an alternative assignment, one that follows the sequence prescribed by the University but that treats a different topic altogether. I have the hope that it will prove more amenable to students’ engagement than those previously assigned–and that they and I will gain more from it as a result.

Initial Comments for the January 2018 Session at DeVry University in San Antonio

Not too long ago, I signed my teaching contract for the January 2018 session at DeVry University in San Antonio, Texas, which extends from 1 January through 25 February 2018. I am pleased to note that I will be working with a single set of students across the eight-week span, a group enrolled in ENGL 216: Technical Writing. I was assigned the course during the November 2017 session, and I found it a relatively congenial experience. That I get to approach the class again pleases me.

It does so in part because I will be trying something new to me in the coming session. I have noticed an unfortunate decline in attendance, as I have attested in blog posts throughout my time teaching at DeVry. It is my hope that doing more to put my lectures and the like online for students to access will improve student performance, and I hope also to guide my students more directly than I have tended to do in the past. (I recall having better results with them when I have defined tasks more narrowly. But that may be faulty recall, admittedly.)

Too, I can use the practice in developing materials. I have not been attending to this webspace nearly so much as I ought to, and having more to put here will be of benefit…

Initial Comments for the November 2017 Session at DeVry University in San Antonio

Not too long ago, I signed my teaching contracts for the November 2017 session at DeVry University in San Antonio, Texas, which extends from 23 October through 17 December 2017. I am pleased to be working with two sets of students across the eight-week span. One set is enrolled in a section of ENGL 135: Advanced Composition, a class I have taught several times at the institution and which I enjoy. Materials are going up in the course shell already–a benefit of having done the work before.

The other is enrolled in a section of ENGL 216: Technical Writing. I’ve taught technical writing before, of course, both as an upper-division class and as one more nearly equivalent to my present assignment–but this will be my first time teaching the course at DeVry. From what I have seen in the course shell so far, it looks much like what I’ve done before, if a bit more regimented in response to the shorter teaching time and the need to standardize sections across the institution. I expect my students and I will have a good time of things; I certainly look forward to having a go at it–and to developing the new materials for it.

Initial Comments for the July 2017 Session at DeVry University in San Antonio

I seem to be a bit further ahead this time.

The year seems to have come full-round, and I am once again looking at teaching at DeVry University during the July session of the year. This time, I have two classes once again:

  • ENGL 135: Advanced Composition
  • ENGL 147N: Advanced English Composition

The former is a class I have taught before. The latter is a similar class oriented specifically towards nursing students. Both will be new, however, as the school is transitioning to a new learning management system, so we will all be feeling our way forward.

The transition to the new learning management system does have the effect of placing more of the materials I would post to this space on the school’s system. As such, I’ll not be putting as much about my DeVry teaching here, although I’ll still post my usual course logs–and perhaps some other materials, as well.

Check back often for more information!

About Erratic Updates

Dear Readers,

I’ve been away from my usual routine, and I’m about to be away again (I head out to a conference next week). As such, I’ve not been able to keep up as I might like. But I am working to get things back on track, I assure you. I should have things back together soon.

Until then, thank you for your patience!

Geoffrey B. Elliott