In my previous post, I set my intention to discover what students really want to discuss and explore with the work they’ll do this semester. But before we can really dig in to the content, we first have to deal with the syllabus. That’s no small feat when, as Adam Heidebrink explains, a syllabus can be “a founding document detailing the rights of the students and the pedagogy of the classroom”—a manifesto, rather than a contract. Co-authoring a manifesto with writers I’ve known for about two hours can be tricky, and our expectations for how a classroom runs often differ more than I expect. But at the same time, viewing the syllabus as a co-created manifesto opens the door to a level of resistance that students don’t often get to express, especially as equals with their instructors. Engaging students in syllabus writing uncovers insights about expectations, assumptions, and the limits of comfort zones. (more…)

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January 26th, 2017

Resistance and Comfort Zones

In my previous post, I set my intention to discover what students really want to discuss and explore with the work […]

January 11th, 2017

Finding What Students Really Care About

College classes are funny. Each school offers a variety of them, offering choice and diversity from which students select the […]

April 8th, 2016

From Mickey Mouse to Cigar City

This is my talk from the 2016 CCCC in Houston, Texas. It was part of the panel titled, “Demystifying the […]

November 12th, 2015

Trust and Listening to Students

Recently, I was the unquoted subject of a Chronicle article about students who are the compulsory, unpaid subjects of profitable corporate “plagiarism-detection” […]

May 29th, 2015

The Missing Link: Interventions for Enhancing Traditional Student Composition

This presentation (given at the 2015 Computers & Writing conference) examines the rhetorical gesture of hyperlinks, suggesting an intervention to develop students’ […]

January 23rd, 2015

The Question of “Can We…?”

My students have been asking a particular kind of question this semester, and I have mixed feelings about it. The […]

January 20th, 2015

Being a Problem Teacher

I’m used to worrying about details and treating a class meeting a bit like a performance. Working in theme parks […]

January 15th, 2015

Breaking Things: The Syllabus

This semester, my goal is to break things. As much as possible, really. I’m trying to see what makes the […]

December 7th, 2013

Publishing Student Work

In my Intro to Research classes, I wanted to find a way to make student work mean more than just […]

November 19th, 2013

Questioning our Assumptions About Technology

I had some delightful conversations with my students last week: my students decided that my class is racist, that our […]