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Living Laboratory Best Practices

Living Laboratory Best Practices

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Living Laboratory Best Practices

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  1. Living Laboratory Best Practices ENG 2002: 19th Century American Literature Julian Williams English jwilliams@citytech.cuny.edu

  2. Activity Description: In this low-stakes writing assignment: • Students will discuss textual and online information that will be used in their research-based response paper. • They are required to find and use three sources, and they must include a works cited page. • They will assist each other in the development of a classroom understanding around the assigned topic. • After reading and processing the established tenets repeated in each source, students will begin an OpenLab, OL, discussion of what they have found, what they may be confused about or need clarity on, and what they think a discussion of the topic should include. • The final product is a 200-500 word paper submission. • Loading pictures that reflect thinking and discussions around the assigned Topic, either modern or historical, are encouraged. This can also be counted as “discussion.”

  3. Learning Goals: Collaboration and critical knowledge. • Students will develop a shared understanding that allows them, as a classroom, to discern basic definitions, dates of importance, and both historical and modern relevance. • Through their OL discussions, they will establish a dialogue, assist each other, reference sources, and give advice about the general direction of their papers. • They will also gain a shared understanding, one that will not only help them with paper development but, additionally, will assist them on the exam (all response paper topics are addressed on exams—definitions, historical figures, dates of importance). • The sources, students discover, also will serve as source materials for their high-stakes major research paper, which is due on the final class of the semester.

  4. Timing: This is a repeated assignment: • The Topics change, but the development is the same. • The first Topic is assigned at the conclusion of the first literature discussion after the second class meeting. Ex. Transcendentalism. • Students have a week to develop, discuss, and submit paper. There are generally six response papers due. The paper is due at the beginning of the following class. • Final drafts of papers cannot be submitted via OL or email.

  5. Logistics: • During the first class, I spend two hours going over my syllabus before assigning the first reading. • During this talk, I go over exactly what “response” means. At this point, I will discuss what is and is not acceptable discourse on OL, e.g. “you’re stupid.” • Utilizing our class OL page, I will post two examples of Response Papers from a different class—a good paper and a bad one; this will allow them to see exactly what I explained and what is expected from them. • We will discuss OL and all students will be required to log onto the site and go to our page before the second meeting. Students familiar with the site, or who are just more tech savvy, will be asked to assist others. • All students must join into discussions—not necessarily every topic assigned, but at least three of the six—at some point in the semester; failure to do this will negatively impact their participation grade.

  6. General Education SLOs: Depth of Knowledge: • Engage in a focused, researched topic that will assist with research paper and all exams. Life Long Learning: • Knowledge of resources and subject matter that all students should know. Skills: • Navigate source materials, development of argument, communication, writing Inquiry and analysis: • Surmise knowledge from research and develop a response that allows them to express understanding. Integration: Information Literacies: • Interpret, gather, evaluate, and respond to various researched information. • Develop argument. • Utilize Gen Ed learning outcomes for student centered learning that will impact high-stakes exams and course research paper. Integrate Learning: • Develop argument and thereby transfer knowledge into everyday life and, of course, future academic endeavors. • Practice needed writing and research skills.

  7. Values, Ethics, and Relationships: • In class and on OL, develop a respectful and professional discourse—one that will translate into community building and a professional skill set. • Discuss sensitive subject matter in a way that elevates academic discourse, regardless of personal feelings or prejudices. Community/civic engagement: • Research, apply a specific lens, and develop argument. • Students will analyze and approach diverse and, for many, unfamiliar historically relevant issues.

  8. High Impact Educational Practices: George Kuh’s High Impact Educational Practices: • Common intellectual experiences (core curriculum) • Writing-intensive courses • Collaborative assignments and projects • Undergraduate research • Diversity and global learning (“difficult differences") • Capstone courses and projects • Open Digital Pedagogy (the OpenLab)

  9. Assessment: • Provide feedback on papers, directly addressing their writing development and their understanding of the topic assigned. • On their papers, I give advice and recommend sites or readings they might examine to further knowledge. • Development of appropriate language, quality of substantive sources, level of participation in group discussions, including pictures. • Ultimately, how this low-stakes exercise leads to the high(er) stakes exercises.

  10. Reflection: • Opened my mind about the ways in which such a tool of technology can be used to positively expand the classroom discourse. • At the college of technology, I now truly understand how important ‘technology” is. • In a class based on history and comprehension, I see just how well collaboration, different life and academic perspectives, adjusts the level of discourse. • The OL site will allow students to establish relationships and have discussions they might not otherwise have at a large urban college. • Pictures, which our LL small group field day activity inspired—the one where we captured TOPIC based images—will allow students to expand their thinking on the subject matter. I’m considering making capturing and posting images a mandatory group project. • Forces me to finally confront my resistance to incorporating technology and social media tools in the classroom.

  11. Additional Information: Example of the high-stakes assignment that this low-stakes assignment leads to: Research Paper Reading Chopin’s The Awakening, one thing is clear: Edna must die. Why? Looking at the historical evolution of feminism, coupled with the author’s own reality, establish a reasoning for Edna’s demise. At the same time, establish how certain pragmatic precepts influence the direction both the author and her characters embrace—tenets that supposedly speak to the universal sense of individualism referenced as being “American.” Infuse Emerson throughout, explaining how and why the attempt to become self-reliant goes horribly wrong for these women and how Edna’s life might have played out if she had attempted to be more like Madame Ratignolle. Additionally, establish if the hostile reactions from Edna’s and Chopin’s societies would be any different today. Also within your work, infuse the Emersonian path to being “whole” Huck Finn attempts, especially as it relates to religion, inhumanity, and racial prejudice. Look at Huck’s development—his emergence as a more thoughtful human being, despite his upbringing—and determine what precepts from Emerson and Paine he unknowingly embraces. Moreover, ask yourself, why does this path seem to work for Twain’s boy and not Chopin’s woman? And, why does “self-reliance” seem to work for Chesnutt’s John but not for his sister? Is Rena, like Edna, doomed?

  12. Paper should weave source discussions that we have uncovered while researching these texts. • Throughout the work, feel free to introduce any supporting literature we have examined this semester that will support your argument. • Paper must establish an argument and defend it, based on the statements above. • Paper must have a working thesis statement that controls the flow of the paper’s body paragraphs. • The criticism must address every component discussed above, but the format—the structure of the paper—belongs to you, the critic. • Secondary sources—sources not listed in the above assignment—are required (at least six). • Paper must have quotes throughout that support the writer’s argument. • Do not forget that the paper must conform to MLA’s documentation style. • This paper cannot be less than eight FULL pages or more than twelve (this does not include Works Cited page). Any paper suspected of plagiarism will result in an automatic F and be forwarded to the Division Dean.

  13. Syllabus: New York City College of Technology English Department ENG 2200: American Literature I Dr. Williams NAMM 503 Office Hours: Wed 4-6pm Required Texts: 1.Ferrell and Williams’ Lead, Follow, or Move out of the Way: Global Perspectives in Literature and Films 978-1-4652-03984 2.Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 3.Chopin’s The Awakening, 4.Chesnutt’s The House Behind the Cedars. Recommended Text: Ferrell, Noonan, and Williams: Good Writing Made Simple 9780757554988

  14. Design: • This course will allow us to thoroughly examine the literature that shaped America during the nineteenth century. As a class, we will read some of the greatest literary classics ever written and, as we dissect the writers’ stories and messages, determine how, exactly, the writing shaped the developing society and vice versa. We will read essays, short stories, and novels, along with films, that address the relevant issues of the day. The purpose of this course is to not only read and discuss great works, but, moreover, to figure out the pragmatic scope of the American character. • This course is both reading and writing intensive. As such, to make sure we are processing the classroom discussions, we will have several exams on the short stories, novels, and films we scrutinize together. Each of us will be responsible for multiple short essay papers that will require online and/or library research, and there will also be a major research paper assigned that will require each of us to review and outline lessons learned throughout the entire semester; as such, constant note taking is not only strongly encouraged but required. • Keep in mind that this class requires the ability to engage in mature conversations, as we will talk openly about racism, religion, sexism, sex, Class, culture, poverty, and politics.

  15. Requirements: • All assignments must be typed, double spaced, black ink, 12 point font. Do not attempt to submit handwritten work. • All assignments must be submitted on time. Nothing will be accepted late. Nothing will be accepted via email after class. • Every student is allowed one absence. Every unofficial absence after that will result in the reduction of a complete letter grade. • Respect must be given to everyone in the class. • No cooked food is allowed in classroom. Ever. • No cellular devices are allowed “on” in any shape, form, or fashion during class. • No tape recording of class meetings is allowed. • No Headphones are allowed. • No laptops are allowed. • Digital readers are allowed.

  16. Grading: • Participation: 10% Discussion, in-class reading, insight, peer response, Open Lab. • RESEARCH Paper: 20% Paper will be formatted and explained in-depth by the professor. It will be 8-12 pages, double spaced, MLA style. Works Cited page is separate. The paper will require a minimum of six outside sources. • Tests: 50% Primarily based on our discussions about the readings—both primary sources and assigned supplemental materials (see assignments). • Assignments: 20% Response Papers will focus on the researched information that will include history, social relevance, variations, and how the assigned topic speaks to the reading. There is an abstract that must be submitted and approved before Research paper submission. Failure to attend class will result in failure. See above requirement. NOTE: ENTERING THE ROOM 15 MINUTES AFTER ATTENDANCE HAS BEEN TAKEN WITHOUT AN OFFICIAL EXCUSE WILL NOT COUNT FOR ATTENDANCE.

  17. Plagiarism: The college has a strict policy regarding plagiarism. If you are caught cheating, in any way, you will fail this class and be required to meet with the Division Dean. Plagiarism is intentionally and knowingly presenting the ideas or works of another as one’s own original idea or works in any academic exercise without proper acknowledgment of the source. The purchase and submission of a dissertation, thesis, term paper, essay, report, or other written assignment to fulfill the requirements of this course is plagiarism and violates section 213-b of the State Education Law. Any student caught plagiarizing will fail this course, be presented to the Division Dean for expulsion, and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Students and all others who work with information, ideas, texts, images, music, inventions, and other intellectual property owe their audience and sources accuracy and honesty in using, crediting, and citing sources. As a community of intellectual and professional workers, the College recognizes its responsibility for providing instruction in information literacy and academic integrity, offering models of good practice, and responding vigilantly and appropriately to infractions of academic integrity. Accordingly, academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and at New York City College of Technology and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion. The complete text of the College policy on Academic Integrity may be found in the catalog.

  18. Schedule: • Week 1: Welcome, course design, expectations. Reading: Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” pg. 9 • Week 2: Discuss “Self-Reliance.” Reading: Emerson’s “The American Scholar” (online) and Thomas Paine’s “The Age of Reason,”pg. 306. Response Paper 1: Transcendentalism. OpenLab discussion. • Week 3: Twain’s “The Lowest Animal,” pg. 199. Response Paper 2: Deism. Film: Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee • Week 4: Exam 1. Read Chopin, I-XX. • Week 5: Discussion. Response Paper 3: The Napoleonic Code. Open Lab Discussion. • Week 6: Chopin XXI-XX. Response Paper 4: Evolution of American Feminism. Open Lab Discussion. • Week 7: Conclude Chopin • Week 8: Exam 2. Read Twain I-XV

  19. Week 9: Twain XVI-XXII. Response Paper 5: Emancipation Proclamation and Lynch Laws. OpenLab Discussion. • Week 10: Twain XXIII-XXX. • Week 11: Exam 3. Read Chesnutt I-XX. Research Paper. • Week 12: Holiday • Week 13: Discussion. XI-conclusion. Response Paper 6: Passing. OpenLab discussion. Abstract Due on Open Lab • Week 14: Conclude Chesnutt and discuss papers • Week 15: Final Exam, Research Paper due Note: Depending on the pace of our discussions, this schedule of assignments may change. As such, attendance is essential to staying on track.

  20. Objectives, Activities, Assessment