- to grasp a foundation of the always-changing scope of digital publishing
- to learn how to learn about the technological changes in the publishing world
- to add content-area knowledge about scholarly publishing to your literary content-knowledge foundation
- to articulate the benefits and drawbacks between print and digital publishing
WHAT I EXPECT and VALUE
You are here because you want to be in this class. So am I. I embrace the English studies model of this department but also value how all aspects of your undergraduate or graduate education come together to form your learning and life experiences. Together we gladly learn and teach!
I have several expectations for you while in this class. You should:
- come to every class,
- make time to read everything assigned and to understand it (with my and the class’s help),
- be open to voice related topics of interest to you in a productive way,
- complete your assignments on time and with creativity and care,
- provide thoughtful discussion in and out of class,
- conduct yourself in ways suitable to your class colleagues and myself, and
- do excellent work, because there are too many average students out there trying to get jobs for you to bother with anything less than excellence.
- thought-out (or at least informed) questions rather than off-the-cuff opinions, although you will have a place to do both in this class,
- your bringing connections to light between classroom discussions and your prior experiences and other classes,
- risk and creativity and multidisciplinarity and self-learning and helpfulness, and
- aha moments, which can turn into great discussions, projects, or (later) honors theses, internships, memorable moments, projects external to your classes, or even jobs.
Overall, I expect you to push yourselves to learn, a process which can take many forms. I do not tolerate laziness, technological whining, or unnecessary amounts of goofing off in class or in group work. Generally speaking, ISU students don’t exhibit these behaviors, but just in case someone was thinking about starting…don’t.
From me, you should expect:
- an interest in your scholarly and practical work in this class and its connections to other classes you are taking or jobs you are working;
- an enthusiasm for teaching about digital scholarly publishing, which includes keeping an open mind about theories, practices, histories, technological literacies, multiple ways of knowing, and having fun;
- a personalized approach to teaching (i.e., using lots of real-world examples in class, based on my publishing experiences);
- an ability to go with the flow and to create learning scenarios that may initially seem quirky and unorganized (what I call a Happenings pedagogy); and
- a desire to help you connect with digital publishing in a way that suits and interests you (as evidenced, in part, through your choice of presentation topics).
- class participation: 100%
Yes, that may seem scary to have 100 percent of your grade rest on one seemingly small area of your work, but the way I see it, everything you do in class, from reading to completing assignments to working in groups, is part of your participation in this class. This course, in some ways, is like a job — you’re required to do all of it, and do it well, or you face the consequences (of getting fired, not getting a raise, getting a demotion, you name it). This course is preparing you for the job market in many ways (as if y’all haven’t already been in the workforce, eh? Something I know isn’t true for most of you). So, DO EVERYTHING AND ATTEMPT TO DO YOUR BEST. If you flounder on something, I will give you feedback for you to improve. Nothing will be an all-or-none shot.
- attendance: Because this is a once-a-week class, you are required to attend every class session unless the schedule specifically indicates that class is canceled that day. There are no such things as excused vs. unexcused absences—if you’re not here, I don’t much care why. (H1N1 being a university exception.) If your absence is caused by a funeral or similar extenuating circumstances, I will take that into consideration when I tabulate final participation grades. If you miss more than one class, consider your participation grade in jeopardy. If you miss a testing or presentation day, you’ll be doubly in jeopardy: it is the equivalent of two absences. Also, attendance at out-of-class conferences with me is considered the same as class time when class has been canceled to accommodate conference time. (When conferences are in addition to class time, I just get pissy if you miss your appointment, and usually I won’t have time to make it up with you.) Falling asleep in class also counts as an absence. Keep in mind, however, that if you decide to attend class and be disruptive (coughing, hungover, snoring, talking abusively, etc.), I will ask you to leave class and you will be counted absent. So figure out early on if this class is a priority for you.
- timeliness: If you show up late or leave early or disappear for 15 minutes in the middle of class, it will affect your participation. Timeliness also refers to the time-sensitive nature of completing assignments, such as blog posts, and turning in loaned equipment on time. Late work is completely unacceptable, and I will not give you feedback on it. If you do not have a major assignment ready in time for our workshop days, it is *your* responsibility to get feedback from your classmates outside of class upon (or before) your return. If you return borrowed equipment late, consider your participation grade in jeopardy. If you fail to return borrowed equipment at all (like, you lose it or break it beyond repair), you are responsible for replacing the equipment in kind and I will hold your final grade submission until it has been replaced.
- readiness: Readiness is different from timeliness in that it relates specifically to being prepared by the start-time of the class period (and any outside-of-class work that we negotiate to do). All homework must be completed BEFORE class starts unless I’ve given you specific instructions prior to the class meeting that class time will be used to complete assignments. For instance, printing of assignments or uploading of files after the class period has begun will result in a delay of class, which will negatively impact your participation. This bullet also refers to workshop participation and group work participation in that if you do not have a draft ready on workshop day, you are unprepared to provide feedback to your workshop peers, or you are unwilling/unable to perform the responsibilities of your group work, your participation grade will suffer. Keep in mind that I understand last-minute technology failures, but if I deem such a failure could have been avoided, I will take you to task.
- thoughtfulness: Thoughtfulness translates to critical awareness and participation in all manners of class activities. This may include activities such as having useful, productive questions or discussion items based on homework (readings, assignments, or peer-review work), collegial work completed with your group mates, or thoughtful work demonstrated in the major assignments themselves. In addition (a note for those of you who like to talk a lot), thoughtfulness means that if you constantly need to share in class, but your sharing is largely off-topic, disruptive, or unhelpful, your participation may be more distracting than helpful. I will probably talk to you about this before your participation grade suffers.
If you have questions AT ANY TIME about your grade potential, please make an appointment to speak with me. If I believe that you are on a trajectory toward a C, D, or F, I will let you know. If you’re participating in the basics of the class, then you’re probably passing and should only be concerned with your individual goals for earning a B or A, described in more detail below. Just showing up and turning in your work does NOT constitute A-level (or even B-level) work in this class. By the end of the semester, your participation should speak well enough of you that I could easily write a letter of recommendation for you. And I turn students down all the time on such requests because I don’t know their work well enough even after an entire semester. Don’t let that happen to you.
tips for earning an A
The grade of A is reserved for excellent work. Excellent work does not equate with showing up every day, participating once in a while, and turning in completed drafts on time. Those are the average requirements of any class setting, and average equates to a C in the real world. Here are some ways to earn an A:
- Produce excellent assignments. What constitutes excellence? Doing more than simply completing the terms of the assignment. An excellent assignment is sophisticated, engaging, and insightful. It is technically polished and free of any kind of errors (and, thus, often requires multiple drafts, as workshops and proofreading allow). It shows evidence of a substantive, thoughtful engagement with the course materials and assignment objectives. It is, above all, interesting, designed to draw the reader into full engagement with its content.
- Participate excellently in class. Excellence in class participation means not simply speaking frequently, but contributing in an active and generous way to the work of the class as a whole by asking questions, offering interpretations, contributing new ideas and content, politely challenging your colleagues, graciously accepting challenges in return, and being a productive group member.
- Be an excellent citizen-scholar. Specifically, be able to demonstrate to me (through discussions, group work, and projects) that you (a) understand and can reflect on the content of this class and show progress toward that knowledge in your final reflection; (b) reason logically, critically, creatively, independently and consensually, and are able to address issues in a broad context; (c) recognize different ways of thinking, creating, expressing, and communicating through a variety of media; (d) understand diversity in value systems and cultures in an interdependent world; and (e) develop a capacity for self-assessment and lifelong learning.
actions that will positively affect my evaluation of you as an excellent student
- having a collegial attitude
- waiting for me to get settled when I walk into class by holding all questions until I am ready
- bringing your materials to class every day
- asking for help well in advance of a deadline
- accepting responsibility for late or incomplete assignments
- asking your classmates for missed content if you are absent
- being attentive in class so that I avoid needless repetition
- providing me assignments on time and in the medium I ask
- asking your classmates for help during open-lab sessions, then…
- …if stumped, raising your hand, calling me, and waiting patiently for help
- using email, office hours, or some other agreed-upon conferencing medium for private or involved questions
- accepting that I respond to emails as quickly as I can, but never after 5pm and usually not on weekends
- understanding that strategic (and sometimes maximum) effort results in excellent work