Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Summer Is Off

This summer's work is well underway. In addition to working on the dissertation (a rough chapter draft scraped together by July 20?) and CCC Online Archive, I am teaching an online section of HU211 (Intro to Humanities) for old U. and holding down one of three seats as a mentor for new online instructors. This is the first summer in several years where I'm teaching just one course. For five or six years in a row, I've taught two. The mentoring gig feels a small amount lighter to me than teaching a course. Fewer email exchanges, and the interactions with the instructors are highly professional, responsive, and collegial. The twist--always a twist?--is that the mentorship pairings shape up across the disciplines, so even though I am not formally trained in economics or psychology, the instructors I am working with are teaching courses in those areas: Principles of Microeconomics and Introduction to Guidance and Counseling. Of course, my purpose is not so much to pose as a content expert as it is to listen, share samples of various teaching documents, announcements, reminders, rubrics for assigning grades to the stuff that turns up in threaded discussions, and lend a hand with other administrative aspects of teaching online (in eCollege, following old U.'s procedural standards as relate to the handling of proctored exams, submissions of attendance, and so on). I also fill out a periodic, formative evaluation of sorts and check in on the exchanges taking shape in a discussion forum where instructors new and old from across the disciplines chime in with whatever is on their minds (not surprisingly, some of entries include laments that the students can't write or that they--h0rr0r!--plagiarize). Woe, the ongoing disenchantment with student prose.

All of this in addition to the travel (Detroit for C&W, Phoenix for camp, Michigan for my in-laws' 50th anniversary) and the cross-town move (coming up) accumulates to suggest that I don't have to worry about that fatigue (and blisters) that might otherwise accompany weeks and months of twiddling my thumbs.

Bookmark and Share Posted by at June 12, 2007 10:40 PM to Academe