Wednesday, December 9, 2009

As a Gallatin student, I had no idea what to expect from this course. I chose it because of subject matter that seemed interesting, plus timing that fit my schedule perfectly. However, "intro to media criticism" was seemingly deceptive, at least to a non-communications major. Prior to receiving the syllabus, I was expecting a course on written criticism in the context of reviews (which come from critics). In other words, an introduction as to how and why critcs formulate their reviews in certain ways. Needless to say, I was taken aback by much of the material being covered, but this course was probably more educational for me than one closer to my original idea would have been.

I'm definitely a fan of the blog format, especially after having been in multiple courses which required posting to and reading from Blackboard, a system which seems to be down as much as it's functional anyway. Especially in a media course, where images and links are so crucial to the subject matter, this is definitely the way to go. However, since blogging seems more informal than writing a formal response to something and posting to Blackboard, I've found that the blogs have sometimes been treated as such, something that's perpetuated by minimal authoritative responses to postings. It must be impossible to find time to read and comment on 30 blog posts weekly, but a little more feedback would have been useful. It also seems awkward to expect equal level posts on Tuesdays (when we've had four days to read) and Thursdays (when we've just had one day)--perhaps Tuesdays can be lengthier or prompted posts, while Thursdays can be briefer or free of a prompt?

The absence policy works well, and I used them sparingly and only when truly necessary, rather than trying to come up with a legitimate excuse, or having to worry about whether or not a valid excuse sounded legitimate enough.

Part of this may have been the terrible acoustics of the classroom, and part of this may have been the gradual waking up seen within a 9:30 class, but I would have liked to have seen and heard more from my classmates. Especially in such a conversation based class, a reconfiguring of the seats (perhaps circular?) would have been useful, and we could have used the conventional seating arrangement for powerpoint lecture or screening days.

I feel somewhat rushed now to produce an excellent presentation and final paper (which are weighted more heavily than our other assignments), with very limited group time. Perhaps you could assign the groups slightly earlier in the semester, so that initial screenings take place outside of class prior to the end-of-semester crunch, even if all concepts haven't been fully covered yet?

All in all, though, definitely an interesting and educational class, one I would recommend, and one I'm glad to have regularly woken up for.

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