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.

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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.

Initial Comments for the March 2019 Session at DeVry University

I have been offered a class for the March 2019 Session, a section of SPCH 275: Public Speaking, and I’ve accepted the assignment. It’s a class I’ve taught before, though it seems to have changed a bit for the upcoming term–in part because of an institutional push towards larger student-counts in each section that has me balancing on-site and online lecture. So it will be something of a challenge to teach it this time around.

I hope it goes better than this.
Image from Giphy.com.

I’ve not looked at the course in detail yet, but I expect that I will not need to develop specific examples of student work for it as I have done in my recent writing classes. For one, students are likely to be more familiar with speeches and oral communication than with formal writing. For another, I tend to lecture, perhaps more than I ought to, and those lectures are themselves iterations of public speaking. The examples are already provided by the nature of the course itself. (I will reserve the right to change that, though, since I might well find more targeted work to be of advantage.)

The on-site portion of the class is set to meet Thursdays at 6pm in the VCC at the San Antonio campus, beginning 3 March 2019 and running through 27 April; office hours will be online on Mondays at 6pm, US Central Time. I do have some travel and other concerns that will need to be accommodated, but I have every expectation that things will work out well as I have another appreciated chance to do what I have been trained to do.

Class Report: ENGL 062, 18 February 2019

After making an administrative note–student evaluations are open–discussion addressed questions from last week and earlier classes, as well as about previous work. It then moved to concerns of student writing and workshopping student papers before noting upcoming assignments, as below.

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. Two attended; student participation was reasonably good.

An online office hour will be held online on Thursday, 21 February 2019, at 1800.

Students are reminded that the following assignments are due before the end of day (Mountain Standard Time) on 17 February 2019:

  • Discussion Threads: Active Reading and Polishing Your Essay (3 posts/thread, rubric online)
  • Week 7 Reading Exercise (online)
  • Week 7 Quiz (online)
  • Essay 2 Revision (due online as a Word document)

Class Report: ENGL 062, 11 February 2019

After addressing questions from the previous week and before, discussion returned to concerns of summary; a review seemed warranted. Discussion moved on to treat concerns of organization and of paratext after.

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. One attended; student participation was excellent.

An online office hour will be held online on Thursday, 14 February 2019, at 1800.

Students are reminded that the following assignments are due before the end of day (Mountain Standard Time) on 17 February 2019:

  • Discussion Threads: Planning & Organizing and Visual Literacy (3 posts/thread, rubric online)
  • Week 6 Quiz (online)
  • Essay 2 Draft (due online as a Word document)

 

Class Report: ENGL 062, 4 February 2019

After addressing questions from the previous week and before, discussion turned to concerns of paraphrase and summary. The latter received particular attention, as it comes up in several future classes. Time was given to mechanical concerns, as well.

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. One attended; student participation was excellent.

An online office hour was held on Thursday, 31 January 2019, at 1800. None attended. The office hour that would normally take place on 7 February 2019 is cancelled; students needing assistance are encouraged to email the instructor.

Students are reminded that the following assignments are due before the end of day (Mountain Standard Time) on 10 February 2019:

  • Discussion Threads: Summary Writing and Paraphrases & Parenthetical Citations (3 posts/thread, rubric online)
  • Week 5 Quiz (online)
  • Summary and Response (due online as a Word document)

This is evidently the 700th post to this webspace. Huzzah!

Class Report: ENGL 062, 28 January 2019

After addressing questions from the previous week and before, discussion turned to introductions and conclusions before moving to address concerns of revision. In-class practice was offered on the latter.

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. One attended; student participation was excellent.

An online office hour was held on Thursday, 24 January 2019, at 1800. None attended. The next will be online at 1800 on Thursday, 31 January 2019.

Students are reminded that the following assignments are due before the end of day (Mountain Standard Time) on 3 February 2019:

  • Discussion Threads: Vocabulary and Revising Essays (3 posts/thread, rubric online)
  • Week 4 Quiz (online)
  • Graded Reading Activity (online)
  • Revised Essay (due online as a Word document)

Class Report: ENGL 062, 24 January 2019

The regular class meeting for the week was displaced by a holiday, so the class was given a narrated PowerPoint presentation that covered the basics of what would have been the week’s lesson. Office hours were given over to addressing student questions about and engagement with the lesson.

Students are reminded that the following assignments are due before the end of day (Mountain Standard Time) on 2& January 2019:

  • Discussion Threads: Generating Ideas and Planning Your Essay (3 posts/thread, rubric online)
  • Week 3 Quiz (online)
  • Homework Submission: Essay Draft (due online as a Word document)
  • Week 3 Pulse Check (online)

Regularly scheduled class meetings and office hours resume 28 January 2019.

Class Report: ENGL 062, 14 January 2019

After addressing questions from the previous class meeting and offering an administrative note, discussion moved in sequence through concerns of definition, genre, paragraphing, and APA formatting. Time was given to upcoming assignments, and students were afforded time to work on their own responses to those assignments.

Students should note that, owing to the MLK holiday, campus will be closed on 21 January 2019. A WebEx meeting will replace the regular office hour at 1800 on 24 January 2019. This schedule supersedes and replaces that announced last week.

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. All attended; student participation was adequate.

An online office hour was held on Thursday, 10 January 2019, at 1800. None attended. The next will be online at 1800 on Thursday, 17 January 2019

Students are reminded that the following assignments are due before the end of day (Mountain Standard Time) on 20 January 2019:

  • Discussion Threads: Trying out Transitions and Practicing Main Ideas (3 posts/thread, rubric online)
  • Week 2 Quiz (online)
  • Graded Reading Activity (online)
  • Homework Submission: Developed Paragraph (due online as a Word document)
  • Week 2 Pulse Check (online)