Class Report: ENGL 112, 28 November 2018

Following the cancellation from last week, class resumed with consideration of earlier meetings’ events and the exercise from the online presentation that replaced the previous class meeting. It turned afterward to a review of formatting before plunging into discussion of upcoming assignments. Students were afforded time to work on their projects.

The class met as scheduled, at 1800 in Room 106 of the San Antonio campus. The course roster showed 11 students enrolled, unchanged from previous weeks. Eight attended; student participation was adequate. An online office hour was held on Monday, 26 November 2018; no students attended.

Students are reminded that another office hour is scheduled for Monday, 3 December 2018, at 6pm Central Standard Time. Students are also reminded that the following assignments are due before the end of day (Mountain Standard Time) on 9 December 2018:

  • Discussion Threads: Beginning Research and Introduction to APA (3 posts/thread, rubric online)
  • Proposal and Summary, due online as a Word document
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Class Report: ENGL 135, 26 November 2018

Following up on the previous report, students were asked to analyze sample arguments and to submit portions of their early drafts of the full course project for peer review. The latter were to be submitted for review and instructor feedback, as well.

The course roster showed 22 students enrolled, a decline of one from last week; all participated in at least one online discussion during the week. An online office hour was held on Monday, 19 November 2018; one student attended.

Students are reminded that another office hour is scheduled for tonight, Monday, 26 November 2018, at 6pm Central Standard Time. Students are also reminded that the following assignments are due before the end of day (Mountain Standard Time) on 2 December 2018:

  • Discussion Thread: Peer Review (3 posts/thread, rubric online)
  • Course Project: Second Draft (due as a Word document in APA format)

Class Report: ENGL 112, 21 November 2018

Owing to tomorrow’s holiday, DeVry University opted to close all of its campuses as of 1800 CST today. My section of ENGL 112 normally begins at that time; it was concomitantly cancelled. A slide presentation was emailed to students and announced in the course’s Canvas site; an exercise embedded in it serves as the equivalent of attendance for the cancelled meeting.

Students are reminded that another office hour is scheduled for Monday, 26 November 2018, at 6pm Central Standard Time. Students are also reminded that the following assignments are due before the end of day (Mountain Standard Time) on 2 December 2018:

  • Discussion Threads: Revising & Refining and the Role of Truth in Advertising (3 posts/thread, rubric online)
  • Rhetorical Analysis Essay, due online as a Word document

Class Report: ENGL 135, 19 November 2018

Following up on the previous report, students were asked to consider presentations and work towards their annotated bibliographies. The latter were to be submitted for review and instructor feedback, as well.

The course roster showed 23 students enrolled, a decline of two from last week; all but one participated in at least one online discussion during the week. An online office hour was held on Monday, 12 November 2018; one student attended.

Students are reminded that another office hour is scheduled for tonight, Monday, 19 November 2018, at 6pm Central Standard Time. Students are also reminded that the following assignments are due before the end of day (Mountain Standard Time) on 25 November 2018:

  • Discussion Threads: First Draft and Analyzing a Sample Argument (3 posts/thread, rubric online)
  • Course Project: First Draft (due as a Word document in APA format)

Class Report: ENGL 112, 14 November 2018

After addressing questions from the previous class meeting and earlier, discussion turned to concerns of paragraph and essay structures before moving into more explicit address of upcoming work on rhetorical analyses. Formatting and presentation received some attention, as well, and students were offered time to complete their assignments.

The class met as scheduled, at 1800 in Room 106 of the San Antonio campus. The course roster showed 11 students enrolled, unchanged from last week. Nine attended; student participation was reasonably good. An online office hour was held on Monday, 12 November 2018; no students attended.

Students are reminded that another office hour is scheduled for Monday, 19 November 2018, at 6pm Central Standard Time. Students are also reminded that the following assignments are due before the end of day (Mountain Standard Time) on 25 November 2018:

  • Discussion Threads: Analyzing Persuasive Messages and Writing with Style (3 posts/thread, rubric online)
  • Rhetorical Analysis Planning Sheet, due online as a Word document
  • Week 3 Pulse Check (due online)

Class Report: ENGL 135, 12 November 2018

Following up on the previous report, students were asked to summarize a source they might use and to consider the reliability of online sources. They were also asked to propose and outline their course projects; instructor comments are offered to help improve further work. Students were further asked to check in once again.

The course roster showed 25 students enrolled, unchanged from last week; 21 participated in at least one online discussion during the week. An online office hour was held on Monday, 5 November 2018; no students attended.

Students are reminded that another office hour is scheduled for tonight, Monday, 12 November 2018, at 6pm Central Standard Time. Students are also reminded that the following assignments are due before the end of day (Mountain Standard Time) on 18 November 2018:

  • Discussion Threads: Presenting Ideas and Annotated Bibliography Practice (3 posts/thread, rubric online)
  • Course Project: Annotated Bibliography (due as a Word document in APA format)
  • Week 3 Pulse Check (due online)

Reflective Comments for the September 2018 Session at DeVry University

Continuing a practice I most recently iterated at the end of the July 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 135: Advanced Composition during the September 2018 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 135 during the September 2018 session were asked to complete a number of assignments in quick succession. Many, and the weightiest, related to the overall course project; others were homework meant to practice skills used in the workplace and in later stages of the course project. Those assignments and their prescribed point-values are below, with relative weights shown in the figure below:

Grade Breakdown

  • Course Project
    • Topic Selection, 50 points
    • Research Proposal, 50 points
    • Annotated Bibliography, 100 points
    • First Draft, 70 points
    • Second Draft, 80 points
    • Presentation, 100 points
    • Final Draft, 170 points
    • Career Planning, 50 points
  • Discussions, 280 points
  • Homework, 50 points
  • Total, 1000 points

As before, most assignments were assessed by means of rubrics provided by the institution. Some few were assessed on a percentile basis from standardized testing conducted as part of University-wide course requirements.

The section met online, with office hours generally taking place Monday evenings at 6pm Central time. Its overall data includes

  • End-of-term enrollment: 13
  • Average class score: 796.154/1000 (C)
    • Standard deviation: 90.997
  • Students earning a grade of A (900/1000 points or more): 3
  • Students earning a grade of F (below 600/1000 points): 0

Numbers of students receiving each of the traditional letter grades are indicated below:

September 2018 ENGL 135 Grade Breakdown

I was pleased to note that none of the students who completed the class failed it. It’s not been something that’s happened often in my teaching career–but I think it has more to do with students withdrawing from the class before a failing grade could be recorded than with my improving quality of teaching, more’s the pity. Still, close to a quarter of the students earned A grades, which was a pleasure to see.

During the session, albeit later than ought to have been the case, I returned to an old teaching practice of mine: doing the exercises assigned to my students. I hadn’t done so in some time, my attenuated connection to academe (about which I’ve written at some length) interfering with my doing so. Writing what my students are asked to write after a while of not doing so was illuminating; it reminded me of the struggles my students face in getting their own work done amid their lives, and it reminded me that I am somewhat out of practice doing the kind of writing expected of academics. (That I am is sensible, since I’m not a “real” academic anymore and have, in effect, given up on the idea of being one. Still, to have had a skill-set and to be aware of its diminishing is vexatious.) As such, it was useful, and I am likely to continue along the practice in the November 2018 session. I will likely focus my efforts in that regard on ENGL 112 rather than on ENGL 135, however, since the latter has a recent example, and I’ve not previously taught the former. (Indeed, I never sat for first-semester college composition, which has some implications that I may explore later.)

At the end, though, I am glad once again to have had once again the chance to teach, and I look forward to having it at least one more time as I move forward.

Class Report: ENGL 112, 7 November 2018

After addressing questions from the previous class meeting, discussion turned to writing as a process, the concept of genre, profiles as a genre, and specific assignments coming due for the course. Time was offered to students to work on their assignments, as well.

The class met as scheduled, at 1800 in Room 106 of the San Antonio campus. The course roster showed 11 students enrolled, a decline of two from last week. Six attended; student participation was reasonably good. An online office hour was held on Monday, 5 November 2018; no students attended.

Students are reminded that another office hour is scheduled for Monday, 12 November 2018, at 6pm Central Standard Time. Students are also reminded that the following assignments are due before the end of day (Mountain Standard Time) on 18 November 2018:

  • Discussion Threads: Getting Started Writing and Profile Genre (3 posts/thread, rubric online)
  • Profile Essay, due online as a Word document
  • Week 2 Pulse Check (due online)

Class Report: ENGL 135, 5 November 2018

For the first week of class, students were asked to introduce themselves and to work through developing a topic for the session-long course project. Instructor comments on the latter were offered in the hopes of prompting deeper consideration and more engaged, authentic work. Students were further asked to check in to ascertain early progress in the session.

The course roster showed 25 students enrolled; 23 participated in online discussion during the week. An online office hour was held on Monday, 29 October 2018; one student attended.

Students are reminded that another office hour is scheduled for tonight, Monday, 5 November 2018, at 6pm Central Standard Time. Students are also reminded that the following assignments are due before the end of day (Mountain Standard Time) on 11 November 2018:

  • Discussion Threads: Summarizing Sources and Internet Reliability (3 posts/thread, rubric online)
  • Course Project: Research Proposal and Outline (due as a Word document in APA format)
  • Information Literacy and APA Format Quiz (due online)
  • Week 2 Pulse Check (due online)

Class Report: ENGL 112, 31 October 2018

For the first class meeting of the session, introductions were made to the discipline, course, and instructor. The materials provided in the course shell were expanded upon, assignment guidelines were reviewed, and time was afforded to students to work on their assignments.

The class met as scheduled, at 1800 in Room 106 of the San Antonio campus. The course roster showed 13 students enrolled. Five attended; student participation was reasonably good. An online office hour was held on Tuesday, 29 October 2018; no students attended.

Students are reminded that another office hour is scheduled for tonight, Monday, 5 November 2018, at 6pm Central Standard Time. Students are also reminded that the following assignments are due before the end of day (Mountain Standard Time) on 11 November 2018:

  • Discussion Threads: Introduction, the Brand of You, and Discovering an Angle (3 posts/thread, rubric online)
  • Profile Process Planning Sheet, due online as a Word document
  • Week 1 Pulse Check (due online)