FYC: Retrospective, conclusion

Tech: Tech included creating texted quizzes, mobile searches, email, blog posts, comments, Final Cut Pro or iMovie videos, and Xtranormal videos and using YouTube videos, web definitions and websites, and various blog posts for instruction supplementation.
The technology infused within the course was appropriate and clearly within the students’ capabilities as they did even better than I expected on the commercial analysis.
Success: Students completed two videos, five major essays, three shorter essays, two significant posts, and fourteen writing assignments. Reiterative practice made their writing better. Most students were successful in the course and the average in the classes was high, even considering the quality of students.
Challenge: The biggest student challenge was the students’ feeling that they were not doing better with each paper. Each successive major paper was harder than the one before it, more rhetorically involved and challenging; therefore, while students thought their grades would get better with each assignment, they did not.
This is not how I have previously designed my classes. I have had the hardest portions either first or in the first-half of the middle in order to make the second half of the course, when other classes are requiring major projects, be easier. This will not work with the assignments as they are presently constituted.
Response: I am still thinking about this, but I am not sure how to convey an uphill battle without leading the students to defeatist attitudes far too soon.
Challenge: A professional challenge has been the issue of commenting and marking papers. I have historically probably over-marked papers, giving the students both minor grammatical editing comments as well as larger overarching comments.
Response: I read and took significant notes on Engaging Ideas by John C. Bean. The book seems to offer a more helpful method for marking and commenting on student papers. I am going to begin implementing his suggestions in the spring with my 112 classes.
The English 111 class I ended up creating, in response to student and institutional needs, was incredibly successful, engaging, and dynamic. The students learned and applied rhetorical principles, examined aspects of their experience and life ethically, and enhanced their knowledge of technology.
Student email comments on the course:
I was glad to be in your class this semester. I have greatly enjoyed my experience here at ACU.
Thank you for all you have done this year, I have honestly learned a lot with having you as my teacher. Your classes were always fun and unique with the different lesson plans that we did each class.
I have always had a problem with applying myself, but I found your class the most fun English class that I have taken so far! I can honestly say that I enjoyed coming to your class everyday.
I had a great experience in your class and I really appreciate everything you taught me this semester.

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