Where I’m at with the lecture course (oh, and the book is in!)

A colleague just wrote to ask where I’m at with my intro course. My friends are posting (or writing) about the technologies they are trying out, etc. Here is where I am at as of today.

I have too many readings in most places and not enough in a few.

Podcast lectures drop on Thursday. There will be listening instructions, including, “do not listen to this in front of a screen.”

Tuesday is semi-synchronous group work.  Groups will produce 3-4 short projects during the term each themed around a unit (eg, when we do ecology, they’ll do a supply-chain analysis of a media object).  Randomly assigned membership, but control for what time zone the student is in.  Peer evaluation will be part of the group grade.

I might flip Tuesday and Thursday, we will see.

A prof office hour during class time (that way everyone can make it if they are in the time zone), on the day that the groups aren’t meeting.

Some office hours sprinkled in at weird times for people in other parts of the world

1-2 readings a week (1 if it’s hard), some supplemental stuff for the keeners

Weekly surveys whose answers will inform the following week’s lecture

6 quizzes that are multiple choice, machine graded, and for which they can use any resource they want.  Lowest score is dropped.  Our software lets me randomize answer order, question order, and will automatically swap out questions (so I could have 4 different ways of asking about the same issue).  

Escape hatch for accessibility issues (I can’t even begin to predict the kinds of accommodations people will need)

There may also be a “help make the course great” section where students can illustrate my lectures or do other things that might be useful for one another.

A late work policy I haven’t yet figured out that protects the TAs and I from getting labour dumped on us at end of term but that also is less draconian than usual given what people may be dealing with

I cut my hair finally, so students will get to vote on what colour it will be in November.

There will be 4 big units if I can do it all (might cut to 3 when I see the readings laid out before me).  Economy, Ecology, Technology, Ideology.  First two weeks are intro stuff: Anatomy of AI, and Encoding-Decoding, both of which will serve as “keys” to unlock and frame the rest of the course.

Just to square the circle on Diminished Faculties, I sent it back to Duke University Press yesterday. Reviewers need to sign off and I may need to cut a bit, but I’m happy with the work and all things considered, coming in a month behind the planned schedule is fine.

I’m taking 4 days off starting tomorrow, then will finish my fall syllabi by the 15th, then will take more time off in the 2nd half of the month. As much as possible.