CMLIT 597 Pedagogy
Fall 2020
Instructions for End-of-Semester Submission

Our CMLIT 597 syllabus states:



Optional Preview Deadline: if you would like feedback on your Syllabus and Analysis draft, deposit the draft in the CANVAS Assignment box designated for this purpose any time after 10/28/20 but no later than 12/04/20. See Week Ten, above, for the Instructions for this end-of-semester assignment. To guide my feedback and enable it to be specific, you must include a note with your questions or concerns about the draft: what in particular would you like me to check? I will send you comments within a week. This step is totally optional; the actual deadline is Wednesday of Exam Week.

End-of-Semester Deadline. Your end-of-semester work is due on 12/16/20 as one document, paged continuously, deposited in the designated CANVAS Assignment box, including (a) the final version of your syllabus project (the syllabus itself, your analysis, bibliography and the syllabus checksheet in our Handbook for Instructors); and (b) a one-page statement about your online teaching portfolio, with its URL, anticipated timeline for updating or completion, and a brief reflection. For both (a) and (b), see detailed instructions on CANVAS.

This posting provides the details to expand on that information.

1. Submit your file by December 16 in the Assignment Box in the CANVAS Exam Week Module, as one continuous attachment, using Word, double-spaced, normal margins,
12-point font (preferably Times Roman).

2. Use the following pattern for the filename:

Your last name: 597 Final Assignment

(Eckhardt: 597 Final Assignment)

3. Number all pages consecutively.

4. For (a), the Syllabus Project, include:

• The final version of your World Literature syllabus, including the components represented by the Checksheet for Syllabi in our departmental Handbook for Instructors. As you’ll be designing it for a different institution, include that institution’s information (rather than Penn State’s) on the first page of your syllabus when you specify components such as the class meeting times and other characteristics. Throughout your syllabus, continue to follow as much of that institution’s actual expectations as you can find on the web. For instance, include its academic calendar (does it use a 12-week semester? 10-week quarters? etc.) rather than ours, and follow its General Education provisions if they exist. See if you can find its requirements for policy statements to be included on syllabi, often at the end.

With Penn State’s information as a fallback, include all the components that appear on our Checksheet. Note on the Checksheet where you’ve defaulted to Penn State’s version. Ask me beforehand if you’re unsure.

• Our Checksheet for Syllabi, from the Comp Lit Handbook, filled out. A blank Checksheet in Word is provided in our Exam Week CANVAS Module. Review the discussion in the Handbook if needed.

• Your analysis of the syllabus as an intellectual project. As a scholarly discussion, this analysis will range well beyond the syllabus itself to include the rationale behind your choices, your sense of what world literature is (or should be), your reflections on learning theory, pedagogical principles, issues of inclusive pedagogy, etc., as relevant. Write with an awareness of published writings (or videos) and some of the controversies we’ve discussed this semester: learning styles theory, trigger warnings, the ethical implications of assigning some works and not others, the validity of types of assessment, the concerns raised by Lee Patterson in discussing Paolo Freire’s educational philosophy, inclusive pedagogies, anti-racism pedagogy, the “progressive stack” and other classroom strategies, to mention just a few. Use terminology that we’ve encountered this semester —but only if it fits— just as you would in other genres of professional writing.

One possible organization for the analysis would move from the Introduction to a section on Course Design and Institutional Setting, in which you’d provide information to set the context for your main discussion. This section might explain how your course design fits key characteristics of your chosen institution, its students, and its curriculum; identify your course’s learning objectives and assessments (formative and summative); give an overview of your course materials (readings, films, etc.); and glance at what happens in the classroom. Now move into the one or two (?) topics that you want to address in depth in order to make a claim, prior to a short section to bring closure. Don’t fill up the pages by repeating what’s on the syllabus. Instead, analyze and argue for it, incorporating aspects of your teaching philosophy and your pedagogical ethics. Cite journal articles or other publications from our course and/or other sources as appropriate. You might aim for 10-12 pages. This analysis, an example of the scholarship of teaching, will show your ability to engage with teaching in a professional, knowledgeable, critical, theory-aware, way.

In writing the analysis, you might imagine that you have a key opportunity to explain this planned course to someone and to ensure that its outstanding characteristics aren’t missed. Perhaps this “someone” is considering you for a job, or an award, or some other situation in which your ability to both create and justify a course is crucial, or perhaps this analysis is an early version of an eventual conference paper or publication. Although in some professional settings, such as a 30-minute job interview on Zoom, you might have only 5 minutes to describe a proposed course, for this purpose you can imagine that “someone” is interested enough to read an extended presentation. What would you want them to understand about the course, and about your purposes in creating it, beyond providing them the syllabus with a hopeful “here it is”?

• Works Cited list (maybe Notes as well). Use MLA style for documentation and check each entry for correctness. A brief guide to reviewing MLA style is posted in the Basics module on our Canvas site. You may or may not use Notes, but you should have a Works Cited list that is keyed to your analysis, exactly as it would be if you were preparing a thesis chapter or journal article. This means that each item on the Works Cited list is cited within your analysis. You might aim for 1-2 pages of Works Cited, but don’t pad this list to stretch it, or discard good entries to shorten it. (You don’t need to list the readings that are on your World Literature syllabus, but include the selected few that your analysis discusses in depth.

You now have a draft that happens to be in the format used by the MLA’s journal Profession; your syllabus itself might serve as an appendix. Will you submit this draft to Profession? Almost certainly no, not in its present form; but someday perhaps it will morph into an article for Profession or another professional purpose. One way you might eventually help it morph would be to subsume the course description as a case study within a larger argument, in a move analogous to what Doris Sommer does with her Pre-Texts project in her Profession article “A Case for Culture” (Winter 2019), online at https://profession.mla.org/a-case-for-culture/ .

5. For (b), the statement about your online Teaching Portfolio, provide a one-page (approx.) information sheet and reflection. You can entitle this page “[Name]: Teaching Portfolio Statement.” Include the following:

• Basic information about your website. Your name, institution, and the URL of the website. You do not need to make the URL public, if you’d rather not; just give access to me and, I would suggest, to your advisor or committee members so they can help mentor this aspect of your self-presentation in the future.

• Anticipated timetable for updating the website. Indicate when you might add or update any components that are missing or temporary at this point. For example, you might want to indicate that you’ll revisit your teaching philosophy in a year, etc. Indicate when you think the website could be completed for the Teaching with Technology Certificate.

• A brief (one paragraph?) reflection. How well do you think the website represents your teaching persona, so far? Aside from the content-updates mentioned in your timetable, do you think you might want to modify the website’s layout, imagery, etc., going forward?