Hello Fellow Web Writers:
My project is a FITT 2014 effort to hybridize POLSC 110, “American Politics: A Historical Introduction.” This is presently a large lecture course that is supposed to have students engage with primary documents as they explore the historical development of American political institutions. In addition to being a themed survey course, we have a heavy writing requirement, and are supposed to help students fulfill a civic engagement requirement.
My co-instructor and I have been working with ways to get students more engaged with founding documents like the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, or speech transcripts. These are short, but students often don’t read them as carefully as we’d like.
In discussion sections, we have an ongoing problem with student participation.
In doing research for another class I’ll teach next spring, I came across a site for a course taught by my colleague, Els De Grauuw, at Baruch College. Here, she has posted an interview question, and students have interviewed people they know and posted those interviews on the course site using SoundCloud.
I think I could adapt this recording tool for my course by posting a focused question based on the sorts of reading questions that I would normally have the students write about. Perhaps in this alternative format, where students might have a chance to prepare their thoughts in advance of recording, they might be more comfortable with oral response. The traditional discussion format can be intimidating to shyer, first year students who may feel uncomfortable interjecting in a more spontaneous setting where they are surrounded by others.
Here is the link for SoundCloud