Register your own blog.
This semester we will be writing regularly, each on our own blogs, in reaction to the weekly readings and discussions. Each student is required to register a blog using the free, hosted wordpress.com system. This blog should only be for this class, and you may use it both for your own writings and to develop a sample course website (see below). If you would prefer to host your own website, we can look at inexpensive hosting options. I would encourage everyone to consider purchasing a domain and developing a professional presence on the web for your research and teaching. You may use your real name or a pseudonym known only to the instructor. You may also keep your site private, as long as the instructor and your classmates have access to it. Discussion of course materials, whether written or in person, is of the utmost importance to our collaborative learning process, and thus must be accessible to your compadres in arms. I would encourage you to write pseudonymously if you have concerns.
Weekly posts and in-class discussions.
We're going to divide into three groups. Each week, one group will be required to write on their blogs, one group comment on the posts, and one group lead discussion in class. In order for this to work, the group assigned with writing needs their posts up on Friday, to give sufficient time for their colleagues to comment on their posts. Posts will be accessible from the course blog page through the feed. Commenters should write using, well, the comment forms. This means if you're the blog owner, you'll have to pay attention (email alerts work well) and clear comments. The third group is in charge of leading discussion on the weekly readings in class, and particularly on the content books. It is my hope that this course will be driven by the insatiable curiosity of all of you as participants, and that you'll scour the web and the other resources for the community and information that will make you all great teachers. (For example, see what you can find reading back through the posts on GradHacker and ProfHacker.)
Each student will need to construct a fully formed unit for a World History class --> the whole shebang (#!), including lectures, discussion questions, readings, media, etc. This, together with your completed syllabus and website, is what you'll present at the end of the semester. I want to see imaginative thinking, creative pedagogy, and some real wrestling with issues.
Course syllabus and website.
You'll walk away from this semester with a fully formed syllabus for the World Survey. But, in this day and age, I'd like to see you walk away with a fully formed course website as well. It's a great idea in part because you can permanently tweak it, and have it for the job market as well. There are many options for building the website, including rolling your own in html (and posting it on your unix account provided for free from UTK), Google Sites, wordpress.com, omeka.net, etc.
Finally, in addition to the course planning and engagement listed above, you need to write a focused review of three to five content books from the perspective of their usefulness for building or implementing a World History course. These can include both traditional academic scholarship and appropriate fiction. Just clear the list with me before writing. Due April 2nd.