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Background

My Fall CSP is on modernism across the arts—we look at examples of paintings, musical compositions, literature, films, and plays which have been identified as being “modern” or “modernist.” As a special excursion we took a field trip to downtown LA for a modern architecture walking tour (lead by a docent from the LA Conservancy). This semester I had them each write a blog about the tour (focusing in on a building or aesthetic concept of their choice), but I’m toying with the idea of putting them in groups and asking them to collaborate on some sort of online “guidebook” that would include short entries on the various buildings and sculptures we saw on the tour.

Details

  • Groups of two or three students
  • Each group would be assigned a specific building (or set of buildings) from the tour and would be expected to do some small amount of research to determine the date of construction, architect, etc.
  • The bulk of each entry would be descriptive (rather than argumentative), and the expectation would be for them to connect the architecture with some of the readings and ideas we’ve discussed in the class
  • In addition to the text, they would be asked to post photos of their assigned building (which they can take while on the tour)

Questions

  • What’s the best platform (or platforms) for a collaborative assignment like this? Google Docs (so they have the option of working on the same document at the same time, regardless of the eventual format)? A blog? Maybe a private wiki?
  • Are there elements that are different when doing a collaborative assignment in a digital format than in traditional group work?
  • How can I make the assignment more dynamic/interactive?

This post grew out of a Digital Pedagogy Faculty Learning Community attended by Ron Buckmire, Hanan Elsayed, Edmond Johnson, Krystale Littlejohn, and Adrianne Wadewitz and sponsored by the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Center for Digital Learning and Research.