A Heterotopic Space

Less intimidating and frustrating than the conference, more “human” than the margin note, audio commentary possesses the potential to become a space where real teaching and learning can emerge in the midst of feedback. —Sommers and SippleA Heterotopic Space

Haven’t looked closely at this, but I’m blogging it for access later.

Since I find myself habitually editing and re-editing the notes that I type to my students, and since my handwriting is terrible, I have thought about working with audio.

During all of 2006, I was a paperless prof… as much as possible, I had students do their work online. We met in class as usual, of course, but all submissions were collected online, where they were date-stamped. This was very useful in cases when I asked students to refer to previous drafts (they didn’t have to remember to bring hard copies with them), and there were very few ambiguous “the dog ate my homework” moments. If the system went down briefly, I knew about it, because I was probably online marking papers at the time. I usually set the deadline to be about 15 minutes before class started, so that students wouldn’t hang around in the computer lab down the hall waiting for their pages to print out and then burst into class a few minutes late asking whether I had a stapler.

I liked the fact that I no longer had to juggle stacks of student papers. I liked the fact that students wouldn’t flag me down in the halls in order to shove a late paper in my hands. But I also found it very tedious to give ALL my commentary by typing out words and sentences. Sometimes I longed just to circle two words, draw a line between them, and add a question mark.