Well-developed writing and text evaluation skills are critical in many fields and enable specialists to take a professional approach to written communication and express thoughts with clarity. The core curriculum course titled English 1302 supports the development of the mentioned skills and builds upon the competencies developed in English 1301. If I were an instructor, my English 1302 class would be aimed at creating a variety of educational experiences and using a combination of approaches to instruction, such as lectures, forum discussions, and pre-writing activities.
The structure of my course would be informed by the stated course objectives to a large extent. The course structure will be defined depending on the final number of assigned readings, with two of three readings for each week. Each week of the course would be structured to provide students with different semi-synchronous and asynchronous learning experiences. The elements would include the list of objectives, one video lecture devoted to the week’s readings, the list of assigned readings with information about each work’s socio-historical context, the list of materials on essay writing, the discussion board activity, and the writing activity. Writing activities would emphasize quality rather than quantity, so students would not be supposed to submit a new essay every week. Instead, the writing activities would encourage students to take a rational approach to writing and work on their future essays by completing pre-writing and essay planning activities, submitting first drafts, and implementing essay revision checklists.
To encourage the progressive development of critical reading and information evaluation skills, I would place emphasis on reading tasks and discussion forum assignments. Assignments that involve reading and analyzing challenging and ambiguous texts are known to support critical reading skills (Wilson 256). Apart from motivating students to read and analyze prominent works individually, I would also encourage those attending the class to polish their literature analysis skills by participating in weekly discussion forums. Asynchronous discussion forums are known as a promising tool to encourage critical thinking, especially if there are strict evaluation criteria referring to post content, clarity, appropriateness of tone, and so on (Giacumo and Savenye 36). In their discussion posts, students would be supposed to explain their takeaways from the assigned readings and present unique questions for reflection that they would like their classmates to answer.
The works to be read would definitely include Jackson’s “The Lottery,” Bambara’s “The Lesson,” Packer’s “Brownies,” Tan’s “Two Kinds,” O’Connor’s “A Good Man is Hard to Find,” and Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown.” From my perspective, apart from being excellently written, these stories can contribute to students’ critical thinking skills by encouraging them to take a fresh look at tradition, justice in its different aspects, and moral corruption. To add more variety to educational experiences and provide students with reference models in terms of literary analysis, I would also include the video about Campbell’s “The Hero’s Journey.” I would probably omit Allende’s “An Act of Vengence,” O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried,” Glaspell’s “Trifles,” and Hawthorne’s “Birthmark.” It would be done to avoid focusing too much on the manifestations of violence and gender-based violence to promote a civilized and objective discussion. One additional story to be included in Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour,” and I would choose it to encourage discussions devoted to honesty to oneself and disillusionment.
Finally, the proposed English 1302 class would be quite similar to the current program in terms of the selection of activities. The learning materials would be presented using a combination of methods, including pre-recorded lectures, independent reading activities, writing tasks, and discussions with peers. The readings will be selected based on their ability to teach students to see beyond the obvious and demonstrate this astute insight when writing essays.
Giacumo, Lisa, and Wilhelmina Savenye. “Asynchronous Discussion Forum Design to Support Cognition: Effects of Rubrics and Instructor Prompts on Learner’s Critical Thinking, Achievement, and Satisfaction.” Educational Technology Research and Development, vol. 68, no. 2020, pp. 37-66.
Wilson, Kate. “Critical Reading, Critical Thinking: Delicate Scaffolding in English for Academic Purposes (EAP).” Thinking Skills and Creativity, vol. 22, 2016, pp. 256-265. Web.