Mid-Course Notes

The class has reached its midpoint for the semester, and this is the best time to reflect on what has been working and what hasn’t in terms of the course goals. The supplementary materials that have been provided have been useful; however, I believe the class could benefit from some other forms of media such as videos or podcasts, so students will not be too bogged down with readings. The readings we did have to read were helpful, but the frequency by which they are assigned and the length of some of the articles were a bit overwhelming. Also, listening to other podcasts would provide some ideas for our own podcast projects. I also believe that we do not need to continue doing in-class group work because it takes up more class time, and it makes discussion less direct. I do think we still need to have class discussion, but it should take a different format such as a friendly debate or discourse about the topics we have covered so far. This not only gives us an opportunity to voice our thoughts and form our own opinions independently, but it gets students more engaged in the course material because they will have to actively think about the material in new ways. This format may also make students more comfortable speaking with each other these topics as its framed a conversation. I also believe we need to return to our working definition of dystopia and continue to evolve it and discuss how it can be improved. It does not have to be too frequently, but it is best not to leave it behind all together as we move forward. This also keeps the topic of dystopias and what its attributes are fresh in our minds while covering new things. We also need to relate the ideas of a dystopian society comparatively to our own society more, even if it borders on the conspiratorial. Many of the students are interested in discussing these topics, and it would be the perfect opportunity to improve class engagement by discussing possible extreme scenarios that could lead to a more dystopian society for all of us. I believe the things I have listed would benefit the class tremendously, but they are only suggestions. 

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