Teaching

This section of my portfolio will list some course descriptions, assignments of note, and special projects from courses I have taught. The section is divided into three subsections, some with their own subsections:

The examples will reveal my interests in collaborative work, writing in public spaces, social media in education, and digital storytelling. I will provide assignment descriptions and, where possible, link to examples.

Building Collaborative Skills

A number of the projects I list are collaborative and I use Kris Bosworth’s chapter, “Developing Collaborative Skills in College Students” as a good resource for teaching students how to self-analyze their collaborative skills.

Bosworth, K. (1994), Developing collaborative skills in college students. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 1994: 25–31. doi: 10.1002/tl.37219945905

I have used Bosworth’s Taxonomy of Collaborative Skills to help groups do a preliminary self-analysis before creating a group contract for a collaborative project. I ask students to identify which skills they possess, and then ask the group to identify the tasks they will need in the project. As a group, they try to assign work to individuals or partners, based on their stated skills. Clearly, some students will have to step up and work in an area where they believe they lack the necessary skill, but the process of self-identification and the challenge of adapting out of their comfort zone, usually works out.

Some groups come to realize that they lack a particular skill in the group, and they talk about how they might work to acquire the necessary skill. In other cases, I try to present some models of how a skill would manifest itself in the project, which gives the group a better sense of how to develop it. In some cases, members change their minds after thinking about a model.

As a reflection, at the end of the project, students are asked to comment on how the presence or lack of some skills affected their project.