I have just completed week 7 of CECS 5510. This is the week where we are to have the first ¼ of our course reviewed by a peer and revised accordingly. My peer review partner provided some very helpful feedback. He provided a strategy that might hook some reluctant readers in the course introduction. He recommended that I include an introduction in each of my lessons that emphasizes how the skill being taught will help in understanding the novel. And he pointed out a place where I could have the students share their work with one another. I liked all of his suggestions and applied them in my improvements the course. Building a course in Canvas requires a great attention to detail, and I’m grateful to have that second set of eyes to help me catch some of those details.
In addition to revisions based on peer feedback, I have also made some revisions to my design based on the structure of the Canvas LMS. Because of the online structure, I realized that students will have to do quite a bit of writing even though the focus of the course is on reading literature, not writing. As a result, I went back to my syllabus and included a section on “Writing Practice and MLA Format.” I used this section to emphasize to students that even though the class is not a writing course, it will help them practice their writing and require them to write in paragraph format and MLA format. According to The Writing Lab at Purdue University, “MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities” (Purdue Online Writing Lab, 2014). As a result, I decided to enforce the style in this online course to help prepare students for literature courses in college. Unfortunately, this also meant that I had to go back through the already existing pages to ensure it followed MLA style. (My studies in this master’s program have made me used to APA style, making my MLA style knowledge a bit rusty.) The work was worth it, however, and I now believe the course has an even greater potential to help students hone their skills for college and the real world.
Overall, the constructivist design model that I’ve chosen for the course continues to work well for me. I think students will enjoy learning from each other through the collaborative activities and seeing what they can accomplish together, and I’m a little disappointed that I won’t be able to implement the course and witness its effects. Perhaps I’ll be able to share the course in Canvas Commons so that other teachers may benefit from what I’m creating.
Purdue Online Writing Lab. (2014). MLA in-text citations: The basics. Retrieved from https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/02/