Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Day 01 "in the Trenches": new series

Day 01 of the semester, and inaugurating one more new series (others will continue, though there will be more "in the Trenches" series than "Office"--because more teaching than research this semester).

Description of the day's teaching work:

Undergraduate music history survey (freshmen and sophomores): 4th of 4-semester sequence: "Music as Cultural History: The Modern Period". Approximately Wagner Tristan Prelude through Reich Different Trains. Linking mostly Euro-American concert tradition to contemporaneous events and trends in the arts, culture, politics, and history. Enrolls about 75 per semester, meets for large lecture section M & W, splits into TA-led discussion sections on F. Includes written exams (to assess "big-picture" assimilation), bi-monthly listening quizzes (to enforce familiarity with new repertoire), online reading quizzes (to encourage keeping up in the textbook), and a semester-long research project, broken down into 6 stages.

It's a writing-intensive course, which means that there need to be multiple rounds of writing, critique, and re-writing. This year we're running the research projects on a class-editable wiki, as we have concluded that moving more toward the students' familiar media (e.g., online) can help them concentrate on the "critical listening - critical thinking - critical speaking - critical writing" quadrivium we are mandated to develop.

Looking forward to getting started.

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