This fall I was asked to teach in a Digital Cultures Art History/Visual & Performing Arts class. The students were prepping an assignment that could be a research paper or a research-informed creative project. The professor also mentioned that covering digital archives, digital humanities, and copyright were on the table for her, so I had both a lot of leeway and a lot to cover. As I planned this class, the final plan had a pretty dramatic gear shift in the middle of the session.
I don't drive stick.
We recently did a survey in my department that talked to students in the first year rhetoric and writing program about their experience with library instruction. No spoilers for the rest of the results, but something that stuck with me is that students really want rules to use when they're evaluating sources. Personally, I hate rules. Mostly I mean that in terms of library stuff, but it's also kinda true more generally. However, in this context, I do also believe in giving people what they want.
To make rules more fun and more active, I turned to an article on Cult of Pedagogy on "finding the funk" (Seale, C. Finding the Funk: 3 Ways to Add Culturally Responsive Critical Thinking to Your Lessons. Cult of Pedagogy. https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/funk/). The rulemaking excercise under Strategy 1 really spoke to me. I decided to pilot something like this for my TCID 2080 classes. I also find Theatre of the Oppressed really influential in my teaching (I know, everyone says Pedagogy of the Oppressed, and that too. But also the theatre kid in me is irrepressible) and I use the Analytical Rehearsal excercise to frame some of my activities. In this exercise, participants rehearse a scene entirely directed in their choices by a single motivation. These are the will, the counter-will and the dominant will. The first is the main motivation, the second is what unpacks and contradicts the will, and the third is the union of the two. This dialectical approach walks students through the ideas that they enter the classroom with, the ideas I want them to leave with, and a synthesis of the two.
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You can also view the current state of these activities on my instruction menu: