Preparing was definitely important in this class. I'll be honest--in the past I've been more of a finish-it-right-before-class kind of girl, and that definitely showed in the beginning of this course. As the term progressed, however, I learned the importance of preparing in advance so that I could then be taught by my peers. It helped SO MUCH when I did that. Then I was also able to help my peers more with theirs and, in my own small way, teach them. I think as far as teaching one another, I had a great experience with my cohort, Holly and Whitney. The three of us got very involved in each other's research and were able to help each other a lot. I also got very into self-directed learning. I wasn't just learning the exact amount that I needed to; I went beyond and found out a lot of things that maybe weren't even necessarily the exact right quote or whatever, but were just interesting things that were indirectly related, even if they didn't necessarily make it into the paper. I think that helped me focus the paper a lot more and round it out.
Writing the blog definitely helped me to meet this learning outcome. I invited my friends on Facebook to read the blog quite often and sometimes they did--many of them mentioned the blog to me. Blogging, I think, actually helped me to write a lot more substantially than I would have if I had just written the paper.
I definitely developed a LOT of research skills in this class! Visiting the library helped a lot as far as scholarly research--I learned to use a lot of different databases whereas before I didn't necessarily use a lot of different resources. I also learned to do more informal, less traditional research that helped a lot in clarifying my topic and my points in the research paper.
This is kind of an extension of that--doing more "informal" research. It was awesome to be able to get responses from some very influential people who really knew what they were talking about, each in different areas. Again, it helped a lot to clarify my topic and narrow it down to something that would be relevant and helpful. It was great to get feedback that reinforced what I was trying to say--as we say in class, social proof.
I definitely did this! I used a lot of different websites, a lot of the websites Dr. Burton recommended, and also some that he didn't mention. What was really cool was that by the end of the course, I now feel confident that I could, with a little time, figure out how to use and navigate pretty much any website. I feel like I have a lot more autonomy in that way so I can continue to learn more and continue to become more digitally literate.
We did this throughout the class. I found a lot of great book blogs and sites where people are discussing literature in a very scholarly, but untraditional way. It's been really cool for me to see the way that people are approaching literary study differently--and also how literary study is thriving a lot more than I ever thought, rather than going obsolete. I tried very hard to keep this in mind as I was writing the blog in order to be in keeping with the way that people are approaching literature and how to study it. People are having a lot of great discussions about literature, and now I have the chance to be part of it more than I ever have before.