I meant to write this post weeks ago, but, alas, I was channelling all my EDSL 624 energy into grading the amazing final projects (37 of them!). The blog will be quiet now, at least until the next time I teach the course, and I wanted to close off the 2016 Fall term with a few final comments.
As I explained in my first post, this was the first time I had created a course blog and I was hoping that we might find an audience. Over the 13 weeks of our course, we published 113 blog posts and posted almost 400 comments. There were over 4000 hits from 37 countries (shown on the map below). I think it’s fair to say that we did indeed find an audience. Bravo!
I embarked on this blogging journey with pedagogical intentionality to provide a space for scholarly work that would extend beyond the traditional boundaries of the classroom. The blog was one way of thinning our classroom walls and it opened a space for what I saw as deeply reflective, critical, engaged, and meaningful learning experiences. As I was planning the course, I also wanted to extend the opportunity for publicly engaged and engaging scholarship to other assignments. And so, for their final projects, I gave students the choice to write a traditional academic paper (about half chose this option), create a website, do a poster presentation on the last day of class, or propose something else (one student created her own blog).
One of the most frustrating moments for me as a teacher comes at the end of a course when students submit their term end papers to me and I am the only one who gets to see their work, unless a student publishes their work. Writing for an audience of one is an odd practice, really. But this year, for the first time in my teaching career, I am thrilled that I can share some of the students’ final projects. They were created for me as the evaluator, but for audiences well beyond me. I think you’ll be just as impressed as I was with the depth of scholarly rigour and creativity demonstrated in these 6 websites:
and this blog
I wish I could share the rest.
Okay, time to close this off. Thank you to our readers who found us, read our posts, commented, or quietly read all the posts with great interest (Mom, this last category is for you!). And, thank you to the wonderful students for all your hard work, honesty, openness, and boldness. This has been a truly inspiring term for me.