March 8, 2020

BTBGuide: Announcements and Assignments

There are all kinds of ways you can build on the Daily Announcements for student learning. I'll give two examples here of ways that my students can choose to use the Daily Announcements blog posts as learning assignments:

Weekly Review. In addition to a reflection blog post, I encourage students to do a weekly review. This includes checking to make sure they recorded all their work in Canvas, backing up their blog and website, and also taking a look through the current week's Announcements posts to see what items jump out at them. They then write a blog post where they share a favorite graphic from the week and also a favorite video that they watched. This is a good way for them to explore their interests and (re)connect with the Announcements, especially if they don't read the Announcements every day... and it is also a great way for me to learn what Announcements content is of interest to students.

Wikipedia Trail. This is one of my favorite assignments! To make their Trail, students pick something to start with out of curiosity or interest, and often it is something they see in the Announcements blog, especially in the Twitter stream. They then look it up in Wikipedia, write a few notes, and then go from that Wikipedia article to another to another to another to see where they end up. Here's one by a student who saw an item about Krishna in the Announcements, and following it up with a Wikipedia Trail that led her to the mystical Meera, a very important person in the bhakti tradition:

When the Announcements are full of all kinds of materials covering a range of interests, that gives students an opportunity to connect with something that they click with as individuals, something of interest to them which they then choose to learn about, purely out of their own curiosity.

That is a good way for them to learn... and it is also a great way for me to learn more about them and their interests, allowing me to do a better job with Announcements and content in the future. And so on. Learning and teaching, teaching and learing.