Using OpenPedagogy

I’m pretty new to OER and OpenPedagogy; I’m a customizer whose moving into creating my own content. This past semester, I spent a lot of time reconsidering how I teach rhetoric in Freshman Composition. There are about 30 years between me and the students. I like to think about it as a jump in the alphabet from X to Z in which I spent a lot of time thinking “why:”

Why don’t students read? Why don’t they like the assignments? Why don’t they value writing when all they do is write?

Open Pedagogy seems like a natural fit to freshman comp because how can I set a curriculum that requires close interaction when I don’t even know the people who are going to be doing the interaction. And I really don’t know much about Gen Z except that they are not like me.

So this semester, I developed handouts that help students do a variety of rhetorical analysis on the things that matter to them: youtube videos, songs, tv/film/streamed series, comedy, ads, even game commentary. (Seriously, have you ever listened to Troy Aikman commentate on an Eagles game? So biased.)

I got better writing when students are emotionally invested in what they are investigating. At week four, I gave the class a bundle of handouts all looking at the different pieces of pop culture that someone might interact with. I asked them to rank which type of “text” they work with the most to the one they work with the least. Then I asked them which paper they think would be the easiest, the most interesting, the hardest, and the most rewarding to do.

From there, students considered their data and then created the order in which they would do these papers. Since they were all rhetorical analyses, I could fold in the concepts no matter who was doing what paper. Students also worked in groups with people who were and were not using the same kind of text. We used students’ texts as examples in class.

I also had a backup list of texts in case someone didn’t know what to do. I think I will ask the class to help me create the backup list. We spent a lot of time doing metacognitive activities to check students’ understanding and progress. Next semester, I will see if I can get some of these questions and writing prompts from students.

I’m just beginning Open Pedagogy, so I’m scaling up slowly and I will adjust as necessary. But OpenPed has made teaching a lot more fun.

Potential Plan toward Open Pedagogy

An obviously sheepish, non-committal type of title should not conceal the fact that I like what I’m studying. A lot.

For my capstone project in the Pedagogy Master Class, I am creating a blue print toward making my course open. The final blue print will have four modules; I’m posting two of them here.

The plan for module 3 is going to be how I figured out how to compile a class catalog of examples of how to do a rhetorical analysis, complete with annotation techniques, open sources of information, student essays and commentary.

My original plan was to try to implement this in Fall  18, because I am either crazy or super enthusiastic or both. But the grading structure I have in place makes paper 3 a higher stake paper, so I want to stick with my original plan for now. Spring 19 will be a different story.

There’s a lot to think about. Especially if students decide they want to make their stuff open, which is something I would love! That would be peer review on an eight shot espresso. For now, I’m still in the formative thinking stages, but here’s my first two modules’ plan. Note: this was supposed to be a visual map. Ooops. Also, the course description and the related learning outcomes are not my own. They are the sandbox I play in.

English 103 Blueprint (in process – 2/4 modules complete)

 

Course Description: Emphasizing the recursive nature of writing and the process of revision, this course teaches students the skills and processes necessary for writing and revising college-level academic prose. Various aspects of writing, including invention/pre-writing, composing, revision, and editing/proofreading will be taught. Critical readings of various non-fiction texts may be used to develop understanding of rhetorical conventions and genres. Composing in and for electronic environments, as well as their conventions, will also be taught.

Module 1: Using Rhetoric – Introduction & Essay 1 (Rhetorical Analysis)

My Goal 1: Demonstrate understanding of the Rhetorical Triangle (RT)

Goal 1 Learning Experience: After introducing the RT in class, students use their personal technology to apply logos, pathos, and ethos (kairos if applicable, but not required) to an ad that pops up on their social media accounts and produce a short, informal written or visual description of how they used logos, pathos, & ethos.

  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing).

Goal 1 Learning Experience: In small groups, or large class, discuss each element of the RT and how they are used together.

  •  Related to Course Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing).

My Goal 2: Assess the needs of different audiences using the Rhetorical Triangle.

Goal 2 Learning Experience: In small groups, discuss various writing assignments students have for classes in other disciplines. What’s the difference between writing for an English prof and writing for a Bio prof? Aside from word choice and content, what else is different? How can you use the rhetoric triangle to help you figure it out?

  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Demonstrate an awareness of and respond to the needs of different audiences and rhetorical situations (Rhetorical Knowledge)

Goal 2 Learning Experience: Using the article provided as practice, apply logos, pathos, and ethos to the work to consider if the author’s opinion is appropriate for academic work. Students use preferred annotation strategies to create notes, maps, visuals, and other annotative products to help them understand logos, pathos, and ethos in the article. Students will produce essay 1 from this experience.

  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Demonstrate an awareness of and respond to the needs of different audiences and rhetorical situations (Rhetorical Knowledge)
  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing).

My Goal 3: Apply the Rhetorical Triangle in a student created written work.

Goal 3 Learning Experience: Using student created annotations and the article, students begin to consider the author’s rhetoric. In small groups, students consider all of their notes and create questions about the author’s use of logos, pathos, and ethos. (This corresponds to the brainstorming portion of the writing process.) 

  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing)
  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Produce coherent texts through a multiple draft process (Processes)

Goal 3 Learning Experience: This activity occurs shortly after the previous learning experience, preferably in the same class. Students consider several potential ideas that could serve as their focus or their thesis. Students volunteer their potential thesis/focused ideas for help. (Help could come from sharpening the focus, for helping the writer gain solid evidence from the article, to have potential issues raised with a weak focus, etc.)[1]

  • Related to Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing)

Goal 3 Learning Experience: In the computer lab, students begin drafting their essays. Students work with each other, by themselves, or with the professor. In the last five minutes of the lab, direct students to the Purdue OWL for MLA & APA formats. (Have hard copies of sample pages for those who want them.)

Related to Course Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing)

  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Produce coherent texts through a multiple draft process (Processes) 
  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Compose in an electronic environment such as a word processing program (Composing in Electronic Environments).

Module 2: Assessing sources using the RT & Essay 2 (Rhetorical Analysis)

My Goal 1: Introduce open sources/creative commons & plagiarism/citation/format

Goal 1 Learning Experience: Hold a preview discussion of plagiarism and “common knowledge” to find out how students define these terms. List key terms in a place where everyone can see them. In small groups or alone, students search on www.p.org (Understanding plagiarism) to gain more insight. (Many videos are 14+ minutes; allot time for students who want to watch a video.) Hold a follow up discussion to integrate the new information into what they already know about plagiarism. (Sneak five minutes in to review the use of MLA & APA formats.)

  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing).
  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Successfully make use of the conventions of college level writing and Standard Written English within that writing (Knowledge of Conventions).

Goal 1 Learning Experience: Introduce Creative Commons in basic terms. Students search in these places for a deeper understanding of Creative Commons:

  1. Article: https://designshack.net/articles/business-articles/the-simple-guide-to-creative-commons-resources/
  2. Image: http://unl.libguides.com/cc-unl
  3. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKfqoPYJdVc&feature=youtu.be

In small groups or as a large class, discuss the benefits of using Creative Commons material. Also, canvass for questions or concerns students have for using Creative Commons. (Or if they want to license something themselves.)

  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing).
  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Successfully make use of the conventions of college level writing and Standard Written English within that writing (Knowledge of Conventions).

My Goal 2: Find an object (article, video, piece of music, image, podcast, posting, etc) on CC Search using the RT as a guide. (The goal here is that students easily relate to the creator’s use of rhetoric so they can write about it. The RT focuses their viewing.)

Goal 2 Learning Experience: Computer lab for finding objects. Give the students 1/4 of the class for this activity. Then stop and assess progress. Have they found potential objects? Consider what they have found? Can they glean any usable material from it or should they refine their search? This may lead to a short class discussion and then students can resume their searches.

  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Demonstrate an awareness of and respond to the needs of different audiences and rhetorical situations (Rhetorical Knowledge)
  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing).

Goal 2 Learning Experience: Brainstorming and Drafting Essay 2: Students use preferred annotation strategies to create notes, maps, visuals, and other annotative products to help them understand logos, pathos, and ethos in the objects. From these annotative products, students will create a short summary of their object. Students will produce essay 2 from this experience.

  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Demonstrate an awareness of and respond to the needs of different audiences and rhetorical situations (Rhetorical Knowledge)
  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing).

My Goal 3: Apply the Rhetorical Triangle in a student created written work: Essay 2

Goal 3 Learning Experience: Using student created annotations and a summary of their object, students begin to consider the creator’s use of rhetoric. In small groups, students show their objects and offer their summaries, along with questions they have created about the creator’s use of rhetoric. The group discusses all questions. Use group roles, such as a time keeper or someone to keep the conversation on task. Students take their own notes from the discussion of their objects. (This corresponds to the brainstorming part of the writing process.)

  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing)
  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Produce coherent texts through a multiple draft process (Processes)

Goal 3 Learning Experience: This activity occurs shortly after the previous learning experience, preferably in the same class. Students consider several potential ideas that could serve as their focus or their thesis. Students volunteer their potential thesis/focused ideas for help. (Help could come from sharpening the focus, for helping the writer gain solid evidence from the article, to have potential issues raised with a weak focus, etc.)

  • Related to Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing)

Goal 3 Learning Experience: In the computer lab, students begin drafting their essays. Students work with each other, by themselves, or with the professor.

  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Use writing and reading for inquiry, learning, thinking, and communicating, integrating student’s ideas with those of others (Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing)
  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Produce coherent texts through a multiple draft process (Processes) 
  • Related to Course Learning Outcome: Compose in an electronic environment such as a word processing program (Composing in Electronic Environments).

 

[1] At the end of this class, or any class just prior to going into the computer lab, have the class draft ground rules for the lab. Students are the ones who have to concentrate, so let them choose what they need: music, the ability to come and go, rules for talking with each other, dealing with a slow printer and a big queue, etc.