Jen and I are at the end of our semester, and making plans for the fall term. The final crit went well, and the work everyone showed was strong compared to where we started. We had a good discussion at the end on how to make the syllabus better for the next class, and I got a lot of good general feedback that will help in the future.
The syllabus we developed was very strong, but we’ve found places where we can make it better and add detail. Through the course of the term, we found our students need more background on conceptual thinking and a refresher on how to write. Conceptual thinking is a hard thing to describe and an even harder thing to teach. Knowing what not to say is more important than giving specific directions in order to point a student in the right direction. It came as a surprise to everyone in the classroom that the outline we had them develop was the single most important part of their assignment, and the process of synthesizing and organizing information was met with resistance at first. Jen and I developed a workshop where we split the class into groups and had them develop outlines together, which helped them deconstruct the problem and arrive at solutions together.
I was scheduled to teach the same class again, at the same time, until last week, when they offered to switch it with a senior level branding and identity class. Jen and I talked it over, and I accepted. It’s offered once a week on Wednesdays for four hours, which could be a nice change in schedule from the previous three semesters. The syllabus is very old, apparently, so I’ll be spending time updating it over the summer to include modern requirements and concepts.
Meanwhile, I’ve been focused on launching the first online report for WRI, which has spent a long time gestating and a short time birthing. I’ve been working on the template since last fall and revising the online workflow to complement our print workflow, but actually building something always highlights the flaws. It goes live tomorrow, and I’m pretty confident in the state it’s in.