Course Planning: Questions and Considerations

If you’re considering developing a Keywords assignment in a course you are teaching, here are some questions you may want to keep in mind:

  • What organizing topics or problematics—what keywords—are central to your course?
  • How many keywords will your course to cover? If your course is designed to be generative of student work, consider focusing on one keyword or a small cluster of keywords. If your course is designed as a survey, consider using more keywords.
  • Will students use a digital platform, such as the Keywords Collaboratory, to archive usages of the keyword? To produce a collaboratively-written essay? To have an open discussion? To collect and share online resources for the course?
  • What sort of product do you imagine coming out of the course and assignment? An essay? A set of essays? A dictionary definition? An archive of usages?
  • Will you encourage your students to stick to plain text, or will they incorporate visuals, sound, and/or video?
  • Will you have several working groups in your course or will all students work on a single project together?
  • If your students are working toward a final project, what checkpoints or feedback loops should you stage within the course schedule?
  • Does your institution have a policy on making student work public? If you are using a publicly-accessible platform such as the Collaboratory, we strongly recommend noting in your syllabus that the site is public and that the assignment will make student available to an audience that exceeds the classroom, their peers, and their instructor.