Megan Eatman's blog

Optional Collaboration and "Winging It"

Apple pie and a mushroom cloud

I’m a big fan of "winging it" in the classroom, a practice my colleague Scott Nelson addressed in a 2012 Blogging Pedagogy post. Typically, my improvisation is restricted to my lesson plans, which I leave informal and loose so that there is room to shift gears depending on the class's needs, interests, and concerns. This semester, though, my “winging it” extended to the broader arc of the course.

Identifying Visual Conversations

Damaged school bus sits among wreckage in Post-Hurricane Katrina Mississippi

In my RHE 309K, Rhetoric of Tragedy, I often ask students to analyze or otherwise engage with images. It seems appropriate to the content, since images often play a large part in how violent or disastrous events are defined, and it creates less reading, which my students seem to like. With my Using Images for Invention lesson plan, I hoped that an engagement with images related to their tragedies would expose some of the students’ own assumptions and feelings in relation to the event, as well as make them aware of affected parties that they might not have otherwise considered.

Experimenting with Workshops

Tiered rows of green plastic chairs in a classroom

I’ve ended each of the past three semesters with several days of project presentations. Part of my reasoning was that I did not want to teach right down to the wire; I gave students their final project assignment and we spent some time talking about it, but then I wanted to give them time to work. Since the presentations were extensions of the project, I felt that devoting class to student presentations would help achieve this goal.


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All materials posted to this site are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. We invite you to use and remix these materials, but please give credit where credit is due. In addition, we encourage you to comment on your experiments with and adaptations of these plans so that others may benefit from your experiences.


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