Sunday, December 1, 2013

Most Important Change

What do you consider the one change I could make in this class the next time I teach it that would improve it the most?


  1. I personally think this class was wonderful. We learned so much from each other and from the multiple authors we talked to. I like how we do blog posts and that is something I wouldn't change. Blogging allows us to get to know each other past the classroom. I think it is also a great tool to help us get our thoughts out and we can see what other people are thinking. It is just a great way to share ideas so that is something I wouldn't change.

    I think that one way this class could improve in the future is have the students learn about the authors even if they are not discussion leaders. I know it sounds like more work but I think it will help the students feel more comfortable talking to the author if they know some background information. I don’t suggest to do a report but just to know enough information about the author so they at least know who the author is and where they come from.

  2. If the class was able to go to Chaco Canyon or some of the other locations described in the books that we read it really would have added to the course. However, other than that the course was wonderful and great in every way.

  3. I like Karla's idea--the author's biography should be stressed more before each class. I know I'd have benefited from it.

    Maybe some study of New Mexico publishers would be useful, as well. Dedicating one class early on to learning about publishing houses and going into detail about the self-publishing process would give students insight into what the authors went through to get their books out. The authors might really respond to questions in that vein with some knowledge behind them.

  4. I agree with everything suggested so far. I tried to always look at the resources on the page for each author, but it rarely happened, so maybe some sort of requirement about that would have helped. I also agree that a field trip or two would have been cool, and that a talk about publishing would have been cool.

    The one thing i would add would be some sort of requirement that we all prepare one question for the public part of the talk (or maybe a few people, or the discussion leader). it was always awkward when the author asked if anyone had questions, and no one did, even though our class actually did have questions, and we were just waiting. I can see why, to give others a chance, and not leave nothing to talk about in the class room, but some questions might be better asked as public questions. Does that make sense? I might sound crazy because I'm on cold medication....sorry :)

  5. There isn't much I would change, but I like the idea to talk about publishing. I think dedicating an entire class to discuss how students can go about getting published would be an excellent idea. You could talk about publishing houses and self-publishing. I would also talk about magazines where students can get their work published. Of course, we did have Gianna come talk to us about CSW, and that was great, but I mean other kinds of magazines as well. Maybe for that class it would be a good idea to require that everyone come to class with some research on different options for publishing. It might be helpful to assign people with different topics. For example, one person can look up what you would do to get a romance published, another person can look up where you would submit a science fiction short story for publication, etc. There are so many options out there that I think it would be a very interesting class.

    And a field trip to Chaco Canyon would be nice, but I think if you do it, you should make it optional. It would probably need to be on a Saturday, and some people have commitments on Saturdays. Of course, if it's part of the class and only one Saturday, maybe it would be fine for it to be mandatory so that enough people go. Some other honors classes have required field trips like that, right? Maybe it could be mandatory, but there could be an option to write a paper if you can't make it.

    And concerning the authors' biographies, maybe the discussion leader should be required to post a short biography on the blog before the author comes to the class. They could also make some suggestions for what questions people should ask in the forum talk so that no one takes too many of their questions for the in-class discussion.

    1. Well, I guess I did talk about a few changes, ha ha. :) But if you decided not to change anything, Dr. Donovan, the class was still wonderful.

  6. The class was great, and as others have said, it would still be great if you made no changes at all.
    However, possible suggestions would be (as others have said) a trip to Chaco Canyon, and maybe more of an introduction of the authors before they come to present. When we first started the class, I'm sorry to say that I had absolutely no idea who ANY of the authors were. A brief, maybe 5-minute intro of the next week's author at the end of class would be helpful in framing a context for that week's reading as well as more information to draw forum questions from later.

  7. This class was great and I can’t think of any dire things that need to be improved on. I do like everyone’s suggestions though.

    I think a class trip around New Mexico would be really fun, but Chaco Canyon I guess would be the ultimate trip. I think a class on publishing would be interesting. I didn’t know anything about publishing or self-publishing until the authors mentioned it. I also like Anna’s idea of finding out different places to publish certain genres would be beneficial.


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