How do I do this course?

This course will be a bit different from what you are used to, and I don’t mean the usual lecture about the difference between high school and college. My approach to teaching this course is to use the methods and philosophy of open pedagogy.  

For me, open pedagogy involves a few key features. First, it’s about professors like me giving students much of the control and agency over what and how they learn.  Secondly, it emphasizes students contributing knowledge, not just consuming it (like memorizing stuff and spitting it back on a test or paper).  And finally, it’s about sharing knowledge in an open way so that others can use it, and connecting  and learning with a larger world outside of our classroom. 

This course website will be your Go To. I will use canvas mainly to post announcements, share files with you and receive files from you (check out the canvas modules section). You always have the option to submit things there, and send messages, which will remain private between the two of us.

About Writing

I am not sure what comes to your mind when you think about a “writing class” or a class that involves a lot of writing. If you have any notions that we will be fixated on grammar, and proper sentence and paragraph structure, then let me dispel that for you right now. We will not. Writing is communicating. Learning to write well means finding ways to get your ideas across effectively. When you write an email, or a social media post, or even a  text, do you feel satisfied that what you’ve written is communicating clearly what you wanted your reader to know? 

This is the main question: What do I want to say? Those other things about grammar, etc., come more naturally after thinking about that. When you read your own writing, you can ask yourself:  Is this what I was trying to say? Could I say it better? Can my audience understand it? (or do I even want them to?). Like learning to ride a bike or play a musical instrument- writing takes practice. And its ok to fall down or play some bad notes because that is the only way you are going to get better at it. So don’t be afraid to write what seems like crap at first. It will get better the more you do it.

What about my Grade??

Grades are a complicated thing.  I want to shake up your usual notions about what grades are and how we can use them to be less reward/punishment oriented, and more towards thinking about learning.  To that end, you will assess your own progress and give yourself grades, and I will stay in dialogue with you about the meaning of those grades.  This will happen on 3 self-assessment forms that you will complete this semester. There won’t be any quizzes or exams but there will be assignments. The schedule and the class spreadsheet will help you keep track of what’s due when. Please just ask if you are ever confused about anything.

Attendance

I don’t “take attendance” but I certainly notice who is there each day. I hope you don’t miss any classes, because missing even one class means, well, that you will miss stuff and this can impact your learning. Beyond that, we will miss you.  I like to think of our class as a community, and when someone is missing, that affects all of us.  But I know that things happen, life doesn’t just stop because you have this class. Mostly I want you to want to come to class.  If you find that you don’t, I hope you will let me know why.  I will ask you to assess your attendance when you fill out your self-assessment forms. 

Basic Needs

Any student who faces challenges securing their food or housing and believes this may affect their performance in the course is urged to contact the Dean of Students (deanofstudents@keene.edu), Gail Zimmerman, for support. Furthermore, please notify me if you are comfortable in doing so. This will enable me to provide any resources or information that I might have. Note also that the Hungry Owl provides food to students in need.  The main location is changing, but there are satellite locations around campus including the bookcases on the 3rd floor of the Science center and the library. You can obtain free food at the Mason Library Circulation desk. Just ask about the hungry owl food, show your ID, and you can receive some food.

Check @KSCTheHungryOwl for recent hours of operation.

Official KSC Policy and Commitment to Privacy Protection

In this course we will be using various interactive web tools which have been selected to continue teaching and learning outside the physical classroom. These tools push us towards a better understanding and a better utilization of the changing landscape of online media. Assignments published on the web, unlike traditional “paper” assignments, can be shared, distributed, and critiqued by a global audience. Protecting individual privacy, as a matter of policy and practice, is of utmost concern to Keene State College. Therefore, information such as grades, the professor’s formal analysis of student assignments, or other information that should remain private will never be communicated through public channels on the web.

You should be aware that most applications used by Keene State provide a variety of options for maintaining and controlling access to your work. You are responsible for understanding the various privacy options the technology allows, and choosing options appropriate to your needs. You may also wish to license your material in ways that make it more easily shared and ensures that course-related assignments are not only credited appropriately, but that you determine the rights associated with your intellectual property (for more information about licensing your content please visit http://creativecommons.org).  (we will talk about this in class). 

If you are particularly concerned about your privacy, contact me in person or at kcangial@keene.edu to talk about your options.

Student Technology Support

Check out the schedule for Emily Whitman, a KSC senior who is our student technology fellow. She can be really helpful to you for using wordpress and getting your site set up.  If you can’t go to her office hours, it is easy to set up another time to work with her.  Emily has also created some tutorials on her domain site.

Professor Info and Office Hours

Instructor:   Dr. Karen Cangialosi

email:  kcangial@keene.edu

twitter:  @karencang

office phone: 603-358-2578 (not the best way to reach me)

Office:  SCIC 326, Office hours are MW 3:00pm-4:00pm, T 3:00-5:00pm, but I am available on twitter,  via canvas messageemail or we can arrange a zoom video conference nearly anytime. 

Textbook:  what? no textbook? Nope, it’s all online. 0$ 

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