May 8, 2009

Does 416 have southern or northern exposure??

Yes, folks, it's the time when having been incredibly inefficient/distracted thus far this week, I finally have cleared enough from my plate to focus on organizing my summer class. I have been pondering bits and pieces of critical stuff for a few weeks, and it's time to crack down and finish updating the syllabus. This is an undergraduate class I've taught oodles of times before and we offer semi-oodles sections of it every semester, so it should be a simple update-and-be-done job, but I've switched around several readings, I'm having all sorts of thoughts on redesigning some parts of my section to have enough wasabi for the wasabi-loving students and still have enough sweet cumin for the ... oh, shoot. Forget the badly-constructed metaphors. I'll leave it as "I want to enjoy the class a little more and need to think explicitly about how to do that and help students a little more as well." I've just looked up the room # and have promptly forgotten whether EDU 416 has northern or southern exposure. My building complex (insert bad psychodynamic joke here) has rather random room assignments, so the even room number doesn't tell me anything. This matters, dear readers, though it's a morning class. I am teaching in Tampa in the summer.

I know what I'm ditching, though: the movie-preview-like introduction of class books the first 3 minutes of the first day of class. A sort-of-cute metaphor for the start of classes when I adopted it (when Don LaFontaine was alive), I think I can move on. More importantly, I need to reconstruct the first minutes of the term if I want to reframe how students look at the class. The simulated case/problem has more layers this year than we've had in the past, and the fundamental goal of any subtle redesign for me has to give students a reason to care about the case and connect it with everything else they're learning. I wish I'd had more time to think about this in the last month, but I'll take what I can, and I look forward to meeting the students on Tuesday morning!

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Posted in Teaching on May 8, 2009 6:14 PM |