Catholic Theology ssignment makeover:
Years ago, it went like this: Students wrote a 6-10 page paper, divided into sections for subtopics, and then gave a "seminar," presenting information to the class, and in theory, engaging the class in discussion about the topic. They had to have a poster as a visual aid.
I taught the class for the first time last year, kept the project, changed "poster" to optional PowerPoint. One student out of thirty did the PowerPoint. I took out "optional."
I also experienced "death by PowerPoint" many times over.
Proposed for this semester, to do with Germaine, a colleague who will teach the same course:
Pairs collaborating on the paper, with Google Docs. Each girl responsible for a certain number of sections, but they can proof each other's work.
Everyone signed up with Diigo so that research can be shared among partners me.
PowerPoint. In other classes, Germaine has established the rule of no text. Only headings. I like that. Find me graphics, pictures, things to make the presentation interesting. But don't write your paper on the PP.
I wanted to drop out the bibliography, since we'll be able to see their (annotated) sources. Germaine says they'll need that skill for college.
Germaine isn't sure about the paper. Focus on the presentation. But I think they will need to write for college, too.
Goals I have in mind: collaboration, research, familiarity with Diigo, Google Docs, PowerPoint. And of course, knowledge of the chosen topic.