This is the image I get when I think of online teaching. Curled up in a chair and feeling quite devilish knowing that I was typing up lectures for students to read on blogs while in my Hello Kitty jammies.
BUT, after the readings and discussions, I see a different way to teach hybrid Eng 28000 [Great Works I] classes online and maintain a sense of face time with the students. What about incorporating video responses? I know we are in the experimental stages so I can just daydream out loud. But what if there were two components to reading responses? One in which they responded on a blog with quotations and analysis. Another form of response, just to keep things fresh and exciting, would be video responses or question sessions. This would not take away from office hours, which I would always keep in person. But I mean what if their assignment was to design a set of questions about the texts and they tag someone in the class to ask and the person tagged responds back in video format. A kind of conversation that happens that allows online friendships to happen. I am in agreement with Meechal, my favorite classes were those that allowed me to build relationships with my classmates and the professor. We may not lose that in a hybrid environment. Perhaps by bringing play into the classroom, we can still create friendships. I have to say that I have made a lot of friends and professional contacts just talking to them in an online setting first then developing it f2f [my fav new acronym btw]. Perhaps this concept of tagging would then allow people to pick on each other — I only see this in a wordpress document with their emails connected to getting notifications, or a system that allows them to see when they are tagged by someone to respond to the questions.
This is only one assignment that I have to play out. But the medium of video and audio may be a nice way to build different kinds of listening and engagement skills. Audio alone is a good separate assignment because it teaches us to listen. These things would be fun and important ways of being connected to one another and feeling like a live [as in lively, noisy, constructively messy] class.
Video, Audio, Writing, and Images would be a way to introduce a variety of forms of communication and analysis strategies. Using these media formats as a way to scaffold toward in class meetings, papers, and a final performance [something that is an important part of my classes] would be actually some fun ways to teach an ancient literature course.
Last night, I watched a one woman multimedia performance “One Drop of Love” by Fanshen Cox DiGiovonni. It was absolutely amazing. The text, the translations was one way to absorb her life history. The audio interviews with her family members, after she had just done a performance of her mother, her father etc, was powerful. The photos of her childhood and images of U.S. census records were all such an incredible way to immerse the audience in her life history.
I can’t help but think how useful this would be for teaching. How does Gilgamesh come alive? When we see images of Gilgamesh. When we see Cuneiform. When see video of the reception of Gilgamesh:
And students are allowed to role play characters or rewrite and perform [recite and record themselves] then I’d say that they’ve been immersed fully in the text and then can find the lines more alive, and more accessible.
So maybe there is a way to keep the sense of analysis, community, collaboration, and levity in a Great Works class even if it is hybrid. So maybe I shouldn’t be so nervous about hybrid classes… maybe…