Class Report: SPCH 275, 18 April 2019

After making some procedural notes and addressing questions from the previous meeting and before, discussion turned to concerns of visuals and of color schemes. Discussion worked from some basic websites, which were introduced to the class. Time to work on assignments was offered to students, as well.

Class met as scheduled, beginning at approximately 1800 US Central Time in a WebEx session necessitated by travel difficulties. The course roster listed 27 students, four fewer than at the previous regular meeting; seven attended on-site or live online. Student participation was reasonably good, given the circumstances.

No students attended the most recent office hour; the next and final office hour will be Monday, 22 April 2019, at 1800 US Central Time.

Students are reminded about the following upcoming assignments, due through Canvas before the end of day, US Central Time, on 21 April 2019:

  • Discussion Thread: Persuasive Speech Progress Check
  • Persuasive Speech (preferably as a PowerPoint file)
  • Persuasive Speech Documentation, including an outline, references list, visual aids, and self-evaluation (preferably as a Word file)
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Initial Comments for the May 2019 Session at DeVry University

I have been offered and accepted a class for the May 2019 instructional session at DeVry University, a section of ENGL 135: Advanced Composition. I’ve taught the course several times at the school, most recently in the November 2018 session, so I am confident I will be able to do so successfully again. Certainly, I welcome the opportunity to do so.

Image result for college writing classroom
It’s a nice idea.
Image from Faculty Focus, used for commentary.

So far as I know, there have not been changes to the instructional sequence at play in the course, so I think my earlier examples will continue to work for the students. If there have been changes, I will see about drafting new ones to suit. As a reminder, those examples can be found linked below:

The class will meet online only, which will be something of a relief. I will be spared the commute I have in teaching on site, which will save me a fair bit of money. And I will likely continue my practice of holding office hours online on Mondays at 6pm US Central Time; it works as well as anything else, so I have no reason to alter it.

I am sure I will have additional comments about things as the session progresses. I still have to get through the March 2019 session, so it will be a bit. But I am still happy to have the opportunity I have to earn a little bit more by doing what I spent so long learning how to do. I remain an academic expatriate even so, but I might as well enjoy having a little bit of support while I can.

Class Report: SPCH 275, 11 April 2019

After addressing questions from earlier in the session, discussion turned to concerns of argumentation and returned to concerns of sourcing before speaking to assignments.

Class met as scheduled, beginning at 1800 US Central Time in a co-sat session focused on Room 105 of the San Antonio campus. The course roster listed 31 students, one less than at the previous regular meeting; nine attended on-site or live online. Student participation was reasonably good.

No students attended the most recent office hour; the next office hour will be Monday, 15 April 2019, at 1800 US Central Time.

Students are reminded about the following upcoming assignments, due through Canvas before the end of day, US Central Time, on 14 April 2019:

  • Discussion Thread: Preparing the Persuasive Speech
  • Discussion Thread: Conducting Research
  • Annotated Bibliography (as a Word document)

Class Report: SPCH 275, 28 March 2019

After addressing questions from the previous class meeting, discussion turned to concerns of visuals (including accessibility) and sourcing (including parsing sources) before turning to upcoming assignments.

Class met as scheduled, beginning at 1800 US Central Time in a co-sat session focused on Room 105 of the San Antonio campus. The course roster listed 32 students, unchanged from last week; ten attended on-site or live online. Student participation was somewhat subdued.

Students will please note that the regular class meeting for next week, 4 April 2019, will not take place normally. There will be an amended activity available.

No students had attended the most recent office hour; the next office hour will be Monday, 1 April 2019, at 1800 US Central Time.

Students are reminded about the following upcoming assignments, due through Canvas before the end of day, US Central Time, on 31 March 2019:

  • Discussion Thread: Brainstorming for Your Informative Speech
  • Discussion Thread: Selecting a Topic
  • Informative Speech Outline (as a Word document)

Class Report: SPCH 275, 21 March 2019

After addressing questions from the previous class meeting, discussion turned to concerns of audience analysis and understanding, working from examples to note how audiences might be successfully addressed. Class then treated various figurations of language before moving on to discuss upcoming assignments.

Class met as scheduled, beginning at 1800 US Central Time in a co-sat session focused on Room 105 of the San Antonio campus. The course roster listed 32 students, a decline of one from last week; ten attended on-site or live online. Student participation was quite good.

No students had attended the most recent office hour; the next office hour will be Monday, 25 March 2019, at 1800 US Central Time.

Students are reminded about the following upcoming assignments, due through Canvas before the end of day, US Central Time, on 24 March 2019:

  • Discussion Thread: Peer Review of the Self-Introduction Speech
  • Discussion Thread: Speaking with Style
  • Rhetorical Analysis (as a Word document)
  • Week 3 Pulse Check

Class Report: SPCH 275, 14 March 2019

After addressing questions from the previous class meeting, discussion turned to concerns of the communication environment and various patterns of argumentation. Reminders about upcoming work followed, and time to practice impromptu speeches and to work on assignments was offered.

Class met as scheduled, beginning at 1800 US Central Time in a co-sat session focused on Room 105 of the San Antonio campus. The course roster listed 33 students, a decline of one from last week; nine attended on-site or live online. Student participation was reasonably good.

One student had attended the most recent office hour; the next office hour will be Monday, 18 March 2019, at 1800 US Central Time.

Students are reminded about the following upcoming assignments, due through Canvas before the end of day, US Central Time, on 17 March 2019:

  • Discussion Thread: Preparing for the First Speech
  • Self-Introduction Speech
  • Reflection on the Self-Introduction Speech (as a Word document)
  • Week 2 Pulse Check

Reflective Comments for the January 2019 Session at DeVry University

Continuing a practice I most recently iterated at the end of the November 2018 session at DeVry University, and following closely the patterns established in previous practice, comments below offer impressions of class performance among students enrolled in my section of ENGL 062: Introduction to Reading and Writing during the January 2019 session at that institution. After a brief outline of the course and selected statistics about it, impressions and implications for further teaching are discussed.

Students enrolled in ENGL 062 during the January 2019 session were asked to complete a number of assignments in quick succession. Many, and the weightiest, were weekly written assignments leading to several short works; others included a series of quizzes and reading activities, as well as ongoing online discussion. Those assignments and their prescribed point-values are below, with relative weights shown in the figure below:

ENGL 062 Grade Breakdown

Homework assignments were assessed by means of rubrics provided by the institution. Discussion was assessed through an instructor-developed rubric. Quizzes and reading exercises were assessed as standardized testing conducted as part of University-wide course requirements.

The section met in Room 114 at the San Antonio Metro Campus on Mondays at 6pm, US Central Time, with online office hours generally being held Thursdays at 6pm, US Central Time. Specific grade data, as well as attendance data, are not being reported due to the small size of the class; there are not enough students for their information to be presented in aggregate.

I note that attrition seems to have affected the section. No student attended all class meetings, and assignments were not submitted that should have been. Given the small size of the class, however, I do not know how representative the results can be taken to be. I am not pleased with them, however, so I shall have to look for ways to do better in succeeding sessions–and I am already being assigned to teach more.

I continue to be glad to have the opportunity to have taught. Although it is not my primary professional focus anymore, it remains a good thing to do. Contributions to help me keep doing it are welcome.

Class Report: SPCH 275, 7 March 2019

For the first class meeting of the session, discussion gave a basic introduction to the course before reviewing the course syllabus and relevant policies. Class then turned to an aggregate activity: designing a rubric to apply to speeches. Reminders about upcoming work followed.

Class met as scheduled, beginning at 1800 in a co-sat session focused on Room 105 of the San Antonio campus. The course roster listed 34 students; eight attended on-site or live online. Student participation was reasonably good.

An online office hour was held at 1800 on Monday, 4 March 2019. No students attended. The next is scheduled for 1800 on Monday, 11 March 2019.

Students are reminded about the following upcoming assignments, due through Canvas before the end of day, US Central Time, on 10 March 2019:

  • Discussion Threads: Course Introductions and Preparing for the Session
  • Communication Anxiety Report and Analysis (submit as an APA-formatted Word document)
  • Week 1 Pulse Check

Class Report: ENGL 062, 25 February 2019

For the final class meeting of the session, there would have a brief reminder of an administrative note from last week before a short question-and-answer period. The remainder of class time would have been given to student work on the week’s written assignment, a reflective and planning postscript.

The class met as scheduled, at 1800 in Room 114 of the San Antonio campus. The course roster showed three students enrolled, unchanged from last week. None attended.

The office hour that would normally be held on 28 February 2019 is cancelled.

Students are reminded that the postscript is due before the end of day Saturday, 2 March 2019. The session closes at that time, so no work can be accepted afterwards.

Reflective comments on the session are forthcoming.

Sample Assignment Response: Reflective and Planning Postscript

For the final sample of the session, I’ll be drafting the kind of postscript that students in the class are asked to compose. They are prompted to look back at their self-assessed strengths and weaknesses in reading and writing, then to articulate in one paragraph how they plan to overcome those challenges that presented themselves during the session before, in another paragraph, noting how they mean to continue to improve upon their performances as they move forward through classes. Students are asked to submit those reflections in an APA-formatted document. Consequently, I’ll be doing much the same.

It seems apt.
Image from Pinterest.

To begin my own work on the exercise, I once again set up an APA-formatted document in double-spaced 12-point Times New Roman type, with one-inch margins on letter-sized paper. I constructed my title page and stubbed out my main text as appropriate, inserting running head and pagination as needed. And I then pulled up my own self-assessment from the first week of the session, which I reproduce here from the online discussion:

To offer an example:

  • What do I do well as a reader?
    • Through dint of practice, I read swiftly and deeply. That is, I can make my way through texts quickly, and I both retain much of what I read and assess it against / integrate it into what I already know relatively easily.
  • What do I do well as a writer?
    • I write regularly and often, working to address multiple audiences through multiple venues–and I think I do well at it.
  • What could I improve upon as a reader?
    • I could read more than I do. The past few years have not seen me with as many books in hand as I ought to have–and certainly not so many as I used to have.
  • What could I improve upon as a writer?
    • I could also write more than I do, sending what I write to publication venues that might reject me and would offer more honest critique than I often get.

I look forward to your responses.

With that list before me, I considered how I had worked to address the challenges I’d identified, drafting a narrative report of that work as my first paragraph of response and making sure to include explicit reference to my earlier words to help my readers understand my topic of discussion.

The second paragraph required a bit of adjustment; I’m not enrolled in any future classes, and I am not likely to become so. (I toy with the idea of going after an MBA, but that’s a later concern–if it ever becomes one.) But the fact that I am not in any formal education at this point does not mean that I cannot look for ways to improve my performance further, and reflecting on that allowed me to draft materials for the second requested paragraph.

The materials composed, I worked to make the writing more accessible to my expected primary audience, again acknowledging a consistent issue in my work. Once it was at a place I felt comfortable giving it to that audience, I reviewed my work for alignment with the orthographical standards at work in the course. Finding no deviations, I rendered the document into an accessible format once again, which I present here as what I hope will be of useful service to my students and others: G. Elliott Wk 8 Sample Assignment Response.

This won’t be my last go-around; I’ll still appreciate help.