Thursday's class was a day for asking questions. For too much of the recent classes, my students have been patiently listening, so today I set them a task to go think of what they don't know already.
In pairs, they chatted and plotted (for questions, ideas and writing). Then, I joined each group twice: once to clarify that they understood their current task, and a second time to answer further questions.
Some important questions were about the looming short story and flash fiction deadline:
- Do I have to edit and submit both drafts and a flash story? (No, just one and a flash, phew!)
- Is the deadline on Sunday or Monday? (End of Sunday night, before Monday starts.)
- Can I change my story completely to a new idea? (Sure! But you might not have any help.)
Since that class, one student did send me a new draft and asked if I might take a look. Thankfully I did have time and this student hadn't sent one of the draft options previously, so I thought it would be fair enough to give a few notes. It turned out that the student had been working on that new draft for a while and already made edits, so what I read was better structured and developed. It was easy to make encouraging advice on how to improve it even further.
Other questions were to fully understand the new 'proposal' task:
- Can I choose an element of writing that we didn't talk about in class? (Please do! We didn't go into detail for many important elements, including punctuation or small issues relating to different figurative language. Find what interests you.)
- Do I need to explain my whole story idea in the essay section? (Only what relates to how you will develop your use and understanding of the element.)
- How much detail should I put in the outline section? (Not much. Just enough to show thought and connection to the element.)
- Can I change my idea later? (Yes!)
- What is the difference between this proposal and the later post writing critical essay? (This is less formally structured and is to give you practice for the bigger critical essay.)
While students have been editing stories and contemplating what to do for their next project, I have been grading midterms. Just as in past tests done on paper in the class room, there has been a regular variety of types of answers. I can say with great confidence that my students seem to be smoothly switching to online learning and are grasping the concepts from class very well.
Any questions you have about our classes?