The first class in 2009, initially designed by Margaret Lockwood-Lass, didn't offer blogging. It was more traditional by focusing on how to shoot different types of assignments, like features and sports. There were no quizzes or tests. They wrote very little.
The second class (Fall 2010) was more modern. Blogging was introduced, but there was no team project like we did this semester at Bittersweet Farms. Still no quizzes. Tardiness and attendance were problems, but they wrote more, and NewsU courses were added.
However, the Fall 2010 class offered great constructive criticism that I totally took to heart. Mentioned below are a few improvements this semester:
- One student said a group project would have been appreciated. Thus, Bittersweet was born. They worked in teams to produce a Soundslides project with audio that will be posted on their blogs next week (read previous post).
- Most of the students admitted attendance was a problem, and suggested I be more strict. So I adopted the sponge quiz, a concept I learned in one of my grad classes. Students who show up the first five minutes of class are given a simple 1-point quiz that counts toward their attendance. This works well because not only do they get credit for the day, I get to tap into their psyche a bit more.
- Quizzes were added to make them more accountable for their reading, and mandatory Blackboard discussion board posts allows them to share their ideas with each other and me).