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Wiki Class Notes

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Saved by Brian Croxall
on January 12, 2009 at 4:44:19 pm


Wiki Class Notes


Class notes are, to borrow from a colleague of mine, “epistemologically weird.” On the one hand, they are an individual account of what you learned during a class. On the other hand, if your notes are too individualized or idiosyncratic it means you will have likely missed what was most important. To be effective, in other words, class notes should reflect the collective experience of the classroom. To this end, you will be working in groups this semester to create class notes using the course wiki.


Having a semester’s worth of class notes aggregated on the wiki will also help you see exactly how much work takes place in an English classroom and it will be a useful resource for reviewing material that you might have missed or when preparing for exams. I have been known to consult your notes on the wiki when preparing my exam questions.


Working in groups, you will be responsible for developing and maintaining a wiki page with notes for each class. 


Online notes SHOULD ABSOLUTELY NOT simply transcribe what's on the board. Instead, you are responsible for the following:


  • A 300 to 400 word summary of the day's activities / whatever the main point of the class seemed to be. How did the assigned readings for that day hold together?
  • Transcribe at least one passage that we talked about in class, and explain how it related to the main point.
  • Key terms that came up in class, plus a definition.


This much is due before the start of the next class. Over the course of the semester, you will be responsible for updating the page as concepts recur or develop over time. 


It's very easy to do this assignment badly. ("Ooh--we'll divvy up the different required parts, and just slap it all online.") But the point of a wiki really is to try to collaboratively draft, revise, and rethink material. Change stuff. Use the "comments" feature. Link to other days' notes to extend the conversation. Don't be afraid of the site: There's nothing you can break. 


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