Recent courses

I’ve listed below some recent courses. These have been taught in various formats, including (1) blended (synchronous and asynchronous online interactions, with some face to face participation), (2) intensive, on-campus (e.g., two weeks), and (3) standard semester-long.

  • Academic Writing for Multiple Audiences: This graduate-level course helps students develop as writers within academic communities. It includes critical reading skills, structural features of specific academic writing genres/disciplines, and effective incorporation of the work of others through summarizing, paraphrasing, quoting, and citing. Course activities include reflection upon and improvement of writing processes through generating ideas, drafting, peer evaluation, and writing consultations. [Boston College, F 17]
  • Essential Questions for Educators Everywhere: A summer course at the National College of Ireland in Dublin. The goal is to interrogate essential ideas that underpin our understanding and practice of teaching and learning. The program is designed for qualified and aspiring learning professionals in areas such as early childhood education, schools, further education, college, university and adult learning settings. [National College of Ireland & Mercy College, New York, Su 17, one week, co-teaching]
  • Progressive Education: The progressive impulse in education has led to a wide variety of projects in different eras and regions, including the well-known movement in the US in the early 20th century. The course draws from ideas in the Handbook of Progressive Education (2015), which I co-edited. It can be taught from an historical, cross-cultural perspective, or given a more contemporary focus on the meaning of progressive education today. [King’s College, Kathmandu, F 16, four-weeks for Progressive Educators Network Nepal]
  • Inquiry-Based Learning: In order to deal with a complex and changing world, we need to have ways of making sense of our experiences in order to prepare for enlarged experiences in the future. In short, we need to be able to inquire, and to learn through that inquiry. This applies to teaching across ages and subject areas and to learning in the community, workplace, and online. [Information Science, U of Illinois, Su 17; Economics, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany, F 11, many others]
  • Community Informatics provides a survey of an emerging field that investigates how local communities use information and communication technologies (both digital and paper) to access, create, organize, and share information. It is especially useful for those interested in public or community libraries, youth services, university public engagement, social work, education, and those working with or studying underserved communities. The course draws from experiences with the Community Informatics Initiative, which I co-founded. [U of Illinois, several]
  • Community Engagement emphasizes activities such as community needs assessments, involving local residents in museum decision-making, offering computer training for seniors at local community centers, partnering with schools on literacy programs, bookmobiles, teen reading clubs, citizen science, using library facilities for local issue forums and art exhibits, homework help programs, and collecting and archiving local history data. Example projects can be seen in our new Youth Community Inquiry book. The course emphasizes practical engagement more than Community Informatics. The two courses could be taught as a sequence, or integrated into one course. [U of Illinois, several]
  • Social Media and Global Change has been offered through geographic area centers at the University of Illinois as a way to learn more about changes around the world associated with the new social media. Guest speakers appear online. They are expert in different regions, and in many cases live and work in other countries. [U of Illinois, several]
  • Reader-Response Criticism: This seminar examines the shift in literary criticism to the interpretative processes of the reader, a shift that challenges commonplace assumptions regarding learning, comprehension, assessment, the knowledge and literature canons, multicultural education, the gender-neutrality of ideas, the teaching of writing, the role of texts in content learning, and the roles of teachers and students in learning.

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