Wuthering Heights
Mere Christianity
Madame Bovary
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Crime and Punishment
The Forgotten Garden
These Is My Words
The Help
Ella Enchanted
Princess Academy
The Goose Girl
The Kite Runner
The Great Gatsby
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
The Giver
A Wrinkle in Time
Lord of the Flies
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Ender's Game

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

writing literary criticism in the digital age: how'd we do?

Dr. Burton asked us on Monday (the last day of class! gasp!) to write about how we "met the stated learning outcomes." I whipped out the old syllabus to make sure I didn't forget anything. These learning outcomes were grouped under three headings:

I read To Kill a Mockingbird in what we usually call regular form, my own beautiful, new paperback copy; I had different experiences, however, with both Remix and Rainbow's End (read about my experience using a digital format here). Even though I didn't love reading those two books online, I grew to respect the digital world as a resource. I did both traditional scholarly research (here, here, and here) and not-so-traditional research, like forums and looking for other student work. One of my favorite tools that I use to consume other people's work is Google Reader. I use it every day to stalk friend, family, classmate, and wedding blogs.

My most obvious creation is of course, this blog. At first it was intimidating to write a post every day and try to make it sound like a paper I would hand in to a professor, but Dr. Burton taught me that blogging is a completely different type of writing. You have to cater to an audience that will click away if they are not engaged from the beginning. This was also interesting in trying to write "legitimate" literary criticism (Dr. Burton answered my question in this post). I also started using Twitter; I haven't done much with it yet, but now that classes are almost over for me (hooray!) I think I can make things work. (as well as pinterest.com. it's so fun. i think you should try it out.) Diigo has been very helpful in seeing what my classmates are working on; we have been able to help each other as well as find simply interesting websites. And I'm using it often to show my mom things that I like as we try to plan a wedding.

This is one important aspect of learning/teaching that often gets overlooked. But the things we did under this heading were the ones that gave the most rewarding feeling (like hearing back from someone who responded to a forum that i posted; see this post). And it is always exciting to see that someone is reading my blog from France or Germany or some other foreign country. And finally, our eBook is complete. Never before have I worked on such a meaningful project with such tangible (in a digital sense) results. Being a part of the editing team was an intense and great learning experience (both Nyssa and I have shared our thoughts). It is honestly refreshing to have a class that I know will matter to someone, if not right now, at least someone in the future. 

Now, we would love you to join us at our final, a webinar, later tonight. See you there! 

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