on lesson plans and pedagogic tactics

I am far less interested in turning my students into good bloggers, or good podcasters, or good YouTubers, and far more interested in helping them develop the big-picture synthesizing and evaluative skills that will enable them to learn whatever comes along next, and to keep learning whatever comes next. 

Of course, I also ask students to produce traditional academic research papers, and that means encouraging them to see the value of reading a full-length academic study rather than just watching a video clip in which the author summarizes the study. It is a little depressing to have to give this lesson so frequently, and I used to feel obligated to rush through it in order to avoid boring the students who don’t need to hear it again.  Now I give an early research assignment that’s designed to get the attention of the students who try to Google for academic sources and turn in the student projects, Associated Content, and fan pages that look good to them.  I can follow up online with just those students who need the help, once the first stage of the assignment reveals the level of help they need.

Alex does a good job of articulating why, in a field that changes so quickly, too much advance planning can be wasteful.

We are all familiar with the laywer’s advice that one never asks a
question without knowing what the witness’ answer will be. Here, that
tactic is inverted, where pedagogical questions are ones where one not
only does not know what students will say, but ones where one does not
know what they should say. The students’ task will be to find
some way to intersect the course material with their own experience and
interests in a way that can result in a research project. Who knows
what paths they will take? Or what rhetorical challenges they will face?

That’s
not to say that a curricular program cannot have goals or objectives,
but it is to suggest that there isn’t a simple brick-by-brick
relationship between those goals and classroom activities. Looking at
the WPA Outcomes, for example, I couldn’t say of my own teaching that a
particular class or activity matched up with a particular outcome. More
importantly, regardless of the kinds of outcomes we might describe for
FYC as a profession, we need to understand that they are not discrete
objectives but attempts to describe different features of a more
integrated experience of humanistic writing.  –Digital Digs