I missed two days of #BlAugust, but I don’t feel bad. I took Sunday off on purpose, and was so frustrated with how my course planning was going I spent until 6:15pm at my office working on it last night. Grrr. But I made some strong headway.
I sat down yesterday with Walter Stroup’s (University of Texas, Austin) plan for Knowing and Learning, my plan (which is based on his plan), the readings in order in my directory, the questions I had identified from the readings as important, the calendar of courses with the readings listed, and ….
Oh what fresh hell is this.
So many important pieces of information, all in different tabs, different files, different folders. I seriously sat there after and hour and asked myself why I was making it so complicated.
I was NOT making it simple. I was making it far more complicated than it needed to be.
So I sat at the computer, with my two different Word planning docs, two different tabs open, two different folders of files, and collapsed it all into ONE document and ONE folder.
Now, this is what my planning document looks like.
1b is the second meeting in week 1, (1a is the first meeting in week 1), the topic of the class, the questions the learners will respond to, and the readings are all listed.
In my folder, the names are 1b Lehman Behind the SAT and 1b Atkinson Reflections on admissions tests.
Next up, these questions will be put into a google form, and each class day will have a google form that must be responded to prior to class (I am making the deadline by 12am the night before). This will allow me to read the responses all together in one document so I can get a gauge of the variety of thought before class.
It will also allow me to pull quotes for class for discussion, elaboration, and development of the ideas without putting a name to the quote. I can also change some words so the learner does not recognize their own words, that way they don’t say “Hey that is me.”
At this point, I have almost every single day blocked out like this. There are 6 days I am diverging form Stroup’s plan pretty solidly this first year. I have to go through those readings, and reduce the number. One day, right now, I have 9 different articles listed. LOL. No way that will be able to happen.
Keep it simple, but no simpler. I lost sight of this as I was thinking about calendars, readings, questions, progression, and development of ideas.
I am back on that simple routine, and can now refocus the efforts on those ideas. Amazing how having everything in one document helps.
So why did I veer off into confusion land? Because the syllabus needs to be in one format, but my planning needs to have more columns, for one. Now I realize I should plan in the more columns format and just delete columns, copy and paste for the calendar and syllabus.
Keep it simple. I can do that. (now)