Enriching and Visualizing Spanish and Science Fiction courses

Name: Paula Straile-Costa

Discipline: Spanish and Literature

Course(s)/Semesters Taught: SPAN 420: Advanced Communication in Spanish (Fall 2019) and Science Fiction (Spring 2020)

DH Tools to be Used: Fulcrum, Word Press, Perusall and maybe Timelines

I am currently trying to incorporate Fulcrum into SPAN 420, a course where I am piloting a new service-learning project for all students. I’d like them to use Fulcrum to gather information on the communities/organizations they visit. They will use their data with other research to present at the end of the semester.  They ought to be able to visualize their travels and data points in their final presentations and also in written and visual form in a word press blog. 

Our summer 2019 workshop gave me great ideas and a little knowledge, but I know I have a lot to learn about both tools and how to best incorporate them into my classes. I joined the DH teaching circle where we will learn about some best practices for using such tools in the classroom, but I know I’ll need hands-on practice and guidance with the tools.

For the Science Fiction course in the spring, I want to incorporate Perusall text annotation tool in a number of reading assignments, perhaps three during the semester. I expect it to enhance students’ ability to read closely, reflect deeply, and articulate interpretations and critical comments improving the quality of our class conversations. If I feel comfortable enough, I will also use it similarly in my LANG 330: Second Language Pedagogy class also in spring.  This tool I imagine using in Studies in Arts and Humanities to great effect next year.  In all these classes I have been using first Luminus and now Moodle Forums for student reflections on readings. Sometimes these asynchronous conversations are excellent, but I’m hoping this will raise the level of student comments. 

If things go well in the Fall with Word Press, I might try a class blog or site in the other classes as well. I appreciate how publishing their work online raises the bar for every aspect of writing, in particular the rhetorical elements having a real audience brings home.  Overall, I expect what I learn to enhance student engagement all my language, literature and writing classes enormously.