I’m teaching a half-online class this semester — it follows a typical hybrid learning model, with half the class conversation happening in person, two hours a week, and the other half happening in an online space (Blackboard, in our case). I’ve assigned a group project this semester where students need to engage in some kind of public online space. This project has me nervous for a few reasons: poorly organized group project caused me such great stress as a student and I don’t want to inflict that; I’m terrified of being unfair in the evaluation; I worry that students won’t engage with it. I do think, however, that the public aspect of this learning is going to be really interesting; like last semester’s Wikipedia project, I think higher-level learning can and often does take place when the stakes are higher as in a public space.
But the group proposals have come in and I’m so excited to see what students are coming up with. Elaborate blogs in character voices, an entire social media life for a character (complete with PlentyOfFish online dating profile!), youtube performances, podcasts, and even musical/lyrical compositions! The students have really hit the ground running with this project and I’m really kind of stunned by the variety of the submissions. Students will also have to submit an analytical paper explaining what they’ve learned and how they made the choices they did, so I’ll still get to see them doing that important, meaty, critical thinking.
In other words, I need to stop stressing. They’re engaging and the assignment is soundly designed.
More updates on this as the semester progresses.