10-15 Response: RefAnnBib

(Apologies for the late posting, I was having wifi troubles earlier today)

I was especially interested in Mark McBeth’s Reflective Annotated Bibliography and how it ensures that our students’ research process is thorough. I’m considering incorporating this assignment somehow (possibly by replacing another major assignment, or by reducing the percentage that their final research paper is worth) but I’m curious as to whether this is slightly beyond the capacities of first semester freshmen. A colleague of mine at the Graduate Center took a class with Mark McBeth recently and had this assignment in lieu of a final paper for the course; he said that the experience was challenging (in a positive way) and engaging, but extremely time-consuming and occasionally difficult. The fact that a graduate student in English struggled with this assignment makes me concerned that it may be, as I suggested, slightly too advanced for my students. I would, however, still be interested in assigning this to my students if I perhaps modified the requirements somewhat and made it a little shorter and easier for them.

This leads me to another question, which is: how much creative liberty are we as instructors allowed when borrowing, adapting, or otherwise incorporating other instructors’ assignments? Are there any professional or ethical guidelines that we should keep in mind, or are we free to pick and choose elements of various assignments in order to create our own Frankenstein assignment?