“I draw no distinction between the quality of one’s ideas and the quality of one’s writing”–David Foster Wallace
Whether teaching first-year writing, upper-class literature, creative writing, or online courses, my pedagogical objective, following from such theorists as Peter Elbow and Kenneth Macrorie, is to promote student collaboration and encourage the expression of individual interests and learning processes. Of course, the primary goal in all these environments is to improve writing competency, writing self-reflexion, and critical reading skills, what I call Reading-as-an-Editor. Therefore, my courses require students to act as both editors and writers, with the peer-review process acting as among the most important procedures to scaffold not just writing and reading competencies, but, perhaps more importantly, to assist them in developing self-confidence in regards to their writing abilities. In order to accomplish these priorities, I increasingly take advantage of emerging Internet technologies and software programs to innovate new ways of approaching class material. Examples include using WordPress (and other CMS platforms) with students to create class websites, free-writing collaboratively on Google Docs to compose, and later edit, a “Class Document” to operate as a final project, and writing disability papers based on interacting with individuals on Reddit’s “Ask Me Anything” module. Other tools I have used or plan on implementing include Voyant, Omeka, and network analysis programs such as Gephi and Cytospace. I feel fortunate to teach at a time when such new technologies provide powerful ways of connecting with students and assisting them in improving writing/reading/thinking skills and developing digital projects that will prepare them for their futures in many non-humanities disciplines.
Sample Syllabi and Evaluations
*More syllabi and evaluations available upon request.