You may have noticed I have abandoned the idea of going all audio here. I’ve also decided not to echo every post from my grad courses here, but instead to do more periodic posts. And the periodicity will be rather long, since this semester’s classes are set up on a two-week cycle, in order to prepare for the shift from 16-week semesters down to 7-week courses. I know: yikes.
Today, allow me to introduce you to the Introduction to Interactive Communication Course, designed to be the first course people take when they come into the program. As former students know, I’ve taught some initial version of the “first graduate course” for about seven years now, in three different graduate programs. I like it because it is always, in some way, a survey, and it gives me the chance to try to set a trajectory for students’ graduate programs. I don’t know how successful I am at that, though, since many students end up thinking of it as that strange anomalous course we took at the beginning of the program. In fact, now that we are shifting the program, I think we need to be thinking about the curriculum again to make sure we are covering all our bases and not being more redundant than absolutely necessary, but that’s fodder for another post.
Like most of my grad courses, this one is blog-centric. The main course blog for the course may be found here, along with the start of a blogroll as students get their blogs set up. The assignment for the initial two-week “module,” may be found here, and includes a longish introductory talk and a shorter “nuts & bolts” overview of the syllabus. As the syllabus notes, the course provides a bit of a sampling of what the program is about, though the focus is less on design (found in more of the courses) and more on some form of overall social understanding of what interactive communication is and what it does.
As always, I’m trying something new with the classes this semester. (At some point, I’ll write about my experiments with Facebook as courseware last semester.) At the suggestion of an instructional designer, I’m trying self-assessments for each unit, to hopefully be able to get a better read on what students are getting out of the course–or not getting out of it–at each stage. I’ll let you know how that goes. Be sure to check out the participants’ blogs, once we get rolling, and I will likely point you to posts I think are interesting along the way.