What I'm doing this Fall

Those of you (scoff) that know me, know that I'm 'creatively restless.'  I have to create!  I have to tinker!  Some call it perfectionism... I call it, well, okay, maybe its a little driven by perfectionism.  Eh, anyway...

This Fall I'm changing things up in my World Geography class.  I'm tinkering with a goal of creating a set of guidelines or a workflow for college instructors to convert their courses to a flipped, learner-centered model.  I'm not quite at that place, yet, but I have done some cool things that are already working out well!


Here's the breakdown:

1. No 'textbook': instead open-source web-based resources.

2. Flipped model: each topic for the course occurs over two weeks, with an introduction reading and quiz, then follows with a application reading and reflection blog.

3. Multi-variate participation (of course, I don't call it that in front of the students!): just saying that participation is being measured in multiple ways (attendance, in class, on Canvas, in individual journals, etc.) and in varying weights (so depending on how much in class participation activities I arrange that will more or less weighted against on Canvas participation).

4. Required Blog Reviews and Quiz Notes: this is my effort to get the students to engage more with their online assignments, they bring in a page of notes (which I'll post about in more detail later) that we have a discussion around at the start of class.

5. Brain Breaks: in addition to already breaking up lecture by having impromptu discussions and Socratic episodes, I'm also trying to break up lecture with independent and group activities.  I'll tell you about those in future.

6. Visual powerpoints: more visuals, less words.  Sheesh it's hard!

7. Choose Your Own Geography Project:  I have three main categories of activity types and at least six or more different activities within each, not to mention a whole two page document of specific activities (you know some students just need that).  Students get to do at least three different 'Geography' activities, then they choose one to create a visual presentation around and they present it to a small, informal group of classmates.  Last semester this was SO fun.