In a next step, students would apply their newly acquired knowledge in the form of short comments on the blog entries they had posted at the beginning of the semester: they were asked to write comments both on their own blog posts and on at least one of the others, thinking about which concepts would be suitable for approaching the respective texts.
- Teaching Life Writing in a Blended Learning Environment.
- Fashioning Technology: A DIY Intro to Smart Crafting (Craft: Projects).
- Academic Lives: Memoir, Cultural Theory, and the University Today - Semantic Scholar.
- Palestinian Walks. Notes on a Vanishing Landscape.
- Pretentiousness: Why It Matters.
- LETTERS OF HEROD AND PILATE.
This exercise made them think about the texts they had originally chosen from a new, critical perspective, honed their analytical skills, and prepared them for finding an approach to the course text they had chosen for their oral presentations and final essays. In class, students were asked to get together in groups with those who had chosen the same text in order to discuss possible approaches.
In this group work, students further practiced the application of concepts gleaned from Smith and Watson's chapters, and made sure that the topics they chose for the oral presentations would not overlap too much. In order to foster engagement with the course texts, the students were encouraged to bring in perspectives informed by their previous knowledge, second subjects all teacher-training students in Austria need to enroll for at least two subjects , or, if applicable, professional backgrounds.
A student with medical training, for example, focused on medical approaches to The Book of Margery Kempe. The oral presentations were modeled on sessions of academic conferences: twenty minutes of presentation followed by ten minutes of discussion, although students could opt for a discussion at the beginning or in the middle of their presentations as well.
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Submissions contributed via this tool are visible only to the instructor of the course. This tool was chosen in order to guarantee that all students thought about the questions on their own and would not allow themselves to be influenced by those who submitted their answers first.
- Primary tabs.
- 'Academic Lives'.
- Q. What's the difference between an autobiography, biography or a memoir??
I would then forward the collected replies to the presenter and the chair, who could react to them in the discussion or even during the presentation. I encouraged the presenters to ask questions they did not necessarily know the answers to in order to give them the possibility to get additional input on their research questions, the approach they had chosen, and the overall topic of their final essay. Which seem completely foreign and strange to you?
For such discussions, it was most helpful that our group did not consist only of students in their early twenties who had hardly ever composed or received a personal, handwritten letter, but that there were also students in their early thirties and fifties, which resulted in different approaches toward, and memories of, letter writing. Our discussion about online communication led to the sudden insight that all of those students who were on Facebook were, consciously or unconsciously, constantly writing their lives as part of their daily routines.
This debate prepared the ground for the discussion of our final course text, Winterson's online column, which the British author published in blog form as part of her personal website from to Think about her style, the content of her entries, and the editing phase. The frequent opportunities students were given during the semester, both in class and in the online learning environment, to discuss the newly encountered critical concepts, as well as the regular teacher and peer feedback they received over the course of the semester, helped them find fruitful approaches to the texts they had chosen to work on and to write well-researched and original final essays.
Such discussions are not only useful for exploring how life writing has changed over the course of centuries, and how the different tools and materials that life writers have at their disposal affect their self-presentation, but they also allow us to highlight the challenges online self-presentation poses for life-writing scholarship in the twenty-first century.
This type of group work was modeled on an exercise my colleague Markus Oppolzer introduced in one of his courses. I became painfully aware of the potential transitoriness of digital memory when I discovered that Blackboard courses are irrecoverably deleted after two and a half years, meaning that for this essay I had no access to the original blog entries or the discussion forum but had to rely on my conventional notes, files, and occasional printouts, as well as the emails one of my students Julia Hartinger had fortunately saved.
National Center for Biotechnology Information , U.
Teaching Life Writing in a Blended Learning Environment
Autobiogr Stud. Published online Nov 9. Sarah Herbe. Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Sarah Herbe ta. Introduction In order to introduce the topic, I once started a course on paratexts by distributing two editions of a text to small groups of students, asking them to discuss the following questions: what do you learn about the book simply by looking at its cover, the back cover, and the first pages, as well as its material makeup? Course Outline In order to make explicit the genre expectations we often bring to life writing, I started the first session with a brief account of Margaret B.
Concluding Remarks The frequent opportunities students were given during the semester, both in class and in the online learning environment, to discuss the newly encountered critical concepts, as well as the regular teacher and peer feedback they received over the course of the semester, helped them find fruitful approaches to the texts they had chosen to work on and to write well-researched and original final essays. Notes 1. Disclosure Statement No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author.
Works Cited Anderson, Linda R. The New Critical Idiom. London: Routledge, Merge, Oxford: Macmillan, Journals and Letters of Frances Burney. London: Penguin, Touching the World: Reference in Autobiography. Princeton: Princeton UP, Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson.
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