English 101 update

Date May 17, 2008

Shelley & I got together at Paradise Bakery yesterday to work on our English 101 course. I was mildly excited since it’d been more than a month since we could really discuss it. The afternoon revolved around a couple of things. First, we tried to use Acrobat Buzzword, which is Adobe’s answer to Google Docs, but the damn thing was terrible. It looked beautiful at first, then we imported a file. This is where we began to lose it. 1) The formatting wasn’t anywhere near normal. We understand it’s not going to be perfect, but even the bulleted lists and numbered lists were totally jacked up. Then the deal breaker for us was when we tried to both work on the same file synchronously. It would not let us at all. Whatsoever. Nada. We quickly exported to Google Docs and were clam happy for a few hours.

Next thing that I thought was really interesting was write a class with Shelley rather than adapting HER classes. We have some differences of how to do things. We both know that she’s the slap happy, shove it together and fix it later, while I am the pretty pretty, make it look nice now. This was mildly funny.

Somewhere along the line we were discussing Blogger, versus Netvibes, versus every other course management system out there. We talked about how to disseminate the course, and suddenly together we realized the way to do it was through a WIKI! I know how much Shelley likes Wetpaint Wiki, so last night I checked for eng101.wetpaint.com and it was available! I immediately snatched it up.

And I think the most important thing was when she gave me homework. She told me to go home and write Project #1 myself. And that she’d do the same. At first I kind of tilted my head, but then I realized what she meant. If we want the students to do it, we need to do it first. I am all for rubrics and scoring guides so the students know our expectations, and she pointed out how can we A) write a prompt and directions of something we’ve never done, and B) write a rubric for something we’ve never seen. Project #1 is a cultural tradition analysis from our text book REMIX by Catherine Latterel. It’s due Monday. I am such a slave driver on me.