Thursday, August 6, 2009

The End is in sight

The 6 week summer semester ends next week. Before then, however, I will have two sets of papers to grade. I get one of them today, and will get the other, an in class essay, next Thursday.
The students, meanwhile, are blithely floating along, not taking this assignment seriously at all. I would say about half have not bought the text (The Turn ofthe Screw, in the Norton Critical Edition) and the rest, save one or two, have not read it at all carefully.
This semester I tried something new: I heard about an online site called Book Glutton, where classic (and other texts) are available to read collectively. One can chat about particular passages in the "margins," marking them up and discussing them. I thought this would be an excellent idea for this text because it is difficult. Since students like to chat online, perhaps it would make the book a little more palatable and painless, I reasoned. But I did not count on the usual glitches and burps of technology and on my own ineptidude in this department. First I forgot my password and could not get the site to email me a replacement. Then, when I finally got the point and signed up again, starting another group, the students couldn't understand how to sign up for it so we could all chat there. I did acquire two super administrators of the site who are following our discussion, though they haven't joined in. And they did help a little. But now it is too late. We have other fish to fry, and I will have to drop the idea for this semester.


Lou said...

Even so, how adventuresome of you to look for ways to help your students read critically.

Robbi said...

I'll get it to work another time!