Friday, July 31, 2015

Dr. C's Academic Online Cruise, Part 2 : Week 1-The Composition Cruise

My first academic writing "cruise" was a success. I really enjoyed the journey with my "crew."This is the first time that I taught a course in this manner. At the end of the creative writing course, we were able to publish a book of my students' writings, titled, Community College Students’ Literary Collage.  

I am planning to document the voyage as I did for my first training cruise. My blog is still available for those of you who are interested in how I managed to steer our first adventure. To read it, click HERE

This time around, I am teaching a Composition course, this time around, it's a digital course. I am using the metaphor of a cruise for my course. I am the "captain" of the ship and my students are the "crew." I am responsible for making sure that they learn how to work on this training ship so that they can sail on their own academic ships and become writers with something substantive to share. 

As captain, my goal is to enhance my students' writing skill. I will be keeping a log of our journey each week to note our progress. Here is my first installment: 


The Winter Cruise was completed on May 1; commencement ceremony was on May 2. Then, the new semester began on May 6.

Well, as Captain, I shall not be taking anyone on the ship. There are several who would want to be trained on the ship, but personal circumstances do not allow for this. So, instead of my having crewmembers actually on the ship, I shall be holding sessions digitally. So, I shall use my Spring and Summer just cruising with a trained crew. I plan to let the First Officer gain experience by commanding this Spring/Summer cruise. And I shall focus on working with my digital crewmembers.

After the commencement ceremony, I immediately began preparing for the digital crew. Some of the digital crewmembers have taken digital training for basics in English 101. So, several recognize that taking an online course is more challenging than one may think. And having commandeered several digital training sessions, I know that it is very important to have announcements and files prepared and available for online crew. Some are anxious and will contact me a few days before the session is scheduled to begin. So, I really have to be “on my toes.”

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Introduction to Dr. C's Academic Cruises

Cruises have specific destinations. So, do academic courses. I have an understanding of the objectives of the course. However, I plan to explore these objectives in different ways that will enhance the creative skills of my students. As the professor of this creative writing course, this blog will share my experiences as captain/professor and those of my twenty (20) crew/students. 

As "captain" of this academic cruise, I was responsible to make sure my students learned how to work on this training ship so that they can sail on their own academic ships and become writers with something substantive to share. 

I was looking forward to the first day this ship launched, which was in January 2015. We cruised until May, when the course ended. Before we disembarked, each crewmember presented a final that was exemplary. Two in particular made an extremely significant impression, so much so that I asked both if I could use their works to begin a Short Story series on the MANA SUNRISER, the blog for (MANA), the self-publishing and marketing company where I also serve as writing coach. (Click on the MANAs SHORT STORY SERIES titles at the top of the MANA SUNRISER to read the short stories of my crew members). 

I had conferences with my crew, and to my delight, my crew members had positive things to say about their journey. One student wrote:  

I’ve learned to look at my own writing objectively. There was a time I didn’t respond well to having my writing critiqued negatively. I felt quite secure in the knowledge that my writing was better than most and required no substantial improvements. This, of course, has turned out not to be the case.

Another student wrote: 

I’ve seen the beautiful work I can create if I step outside of my comfort zone. Writing what was unfamiliar to me forced me to new subject matter and utilized new perspective. In doing so I’ve  created some things that I’m really happy with.

During our cruise, I had my crew members submit their best work for publication. At the end of the session, I presented to each member his/her own gratis copy of Community College Students’ Literary Collage. Yes, within this semester I was able to take their work, have it reviewed and recommended, or not, by a review board member, proofed, edited (always maintaining the writer’s voice), and submitted to the printer to yield this fine collection of short stories for children, short stories for adults, poetry, and short plays.

I believe so very strongly that if one believes in his/her crew (students’ skills) that individual must do more than just chit chat about it or tell them they are doing a good job. So, having the blessing to fulfill dual roles as a professor (captain) and publisher, I had the resources to make their work come to fruition as a professionally published piece that will be marketed to more than those just at their college. Their book is showcased and available to be purchased on the website. 

Most of the profit of this work will go to this crew’s college. Indeed, I am proud and so very humbled to have been the captain of the crew members of this Academic Cruise for Winter 2015.  

I plan to take another cruise, next time it will be an "online cruise." Let's hope it's as successful as the first one. Click HERE, To read "Dr. C's Academic Creative Writing Cruise - Part 1" in its entirety.

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