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Introduce Yourselves: Activity for the First Day of Class

Introduce Yourselves: Activity for the First Day of Class

For first day Introductions, we want to help orchestrate collaborative syllabus building in our class. In our experience, co-creating a syllabus goes much better when the activity is given scaffolding and structure. In this activity, designed by Professor Cathy N. Davidson, each person will take 5 minutes to fill out the below form, hand it to a partner, then interview in pairs before introducing one another to the class. Feel free to reuse, recycle, and revise it for your own class!

“Introduce Yourselves”: An Exercise for the First Day of Class

Designed by Professor Cathy N. Davidson

[Intended for a small seminar that requires collaborative group work.] 

No one likes group work and yet just about everything in the world beyond school requires collaborative skills. One problem is that, in school, we throw people into groups without regard for what they bring. Jobs do a better job of assigning tasks, hopefully according to ability. 

For the next five minutes, please fill out this questionnaire in a way you want the rest of the class to know and understand you. Be as open or as discreet as serves you best. There is no requirement for self-revelation and no stigma for revelation. It’s your choice. Make sure your writing is readable as you next will hand this to a partner who will ask follow-up questions for two minutes and then will introduce you to the class using your sheet. This information will be invaluable for future collaborative work. We’ll be transcribing this to a class google doc to guide collaboration the rest of the class.  

 

Individual:

Name and pronouns: ___________________________________________________________________

Major/Program/Field: __________________________________________________________________ 

One fun fact: _________________________________________________________________________

One defining feature about you (could be something you are proud of, something that defines you and fuels your work): ______________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

What else? (anything you wish to add): ____________________________________________________

 _____________________________________________________________________________________

***

Group:

Each student will have a function in a Group that will be responsible for one/two [depending on class sizes—to be revised later] class periods. (See syllabus for further explanation). You may use this as the basis for our Conference workshop as well as for your final project if you wish.

What (sub)field would you most like to focus on for your group presentation? (Ex. English, History, Urban Education, etc) List 3-4 top choices: 

  1. ______________________________________________________________________________

  2. ______________________________________________________________________________

  3. ______________________________________________________________________________

  4. ______________________________________________________________________________

What cross disciplinary topics would you most like to focus on for your group presentation? List 3-4 (Example 1: Black studies, indigenous studies, feminism, accessibility, other culturally-relevant topics; Example 2: Visual studies, sound studies, digital humanities, ethnography, quantitative social science, case studies, psychometrics, etc.): 

  1. ______________________________________________________________________________

  2. ______________________________________________________________________________

  3. ______________________________________________________________________________

  4. ______________________________________________________________________________

Each Group will be responsible for choosing/limiting a topic, selecting readings, posting those to our class evolving syllabus on the Google Doc, for finding appropriate active learning methods for addressing the readings, and making some kind of presentation. The group also will be required to post a detailed “recap” on HASTAC that includes your syllabus for the class, description of the methods, and visuals (photographs of materials, slide deck, or other media). You will all get a “byline” for this (impressive) post that you can list on your CV as a non-refereed publication but one person will be the posting person and needs to take that responsibility. 

What skills, talents, and/or expertise can you contribute to a group project? (Think of this like qualifications for a future job. Examples: Statistics, digital skills, PowerPoint skills, class (oral) presentation skills, graphic design, photographer for Group recap, professional writer, proofreader/copy editor, responsible poster to post to HASTAC.org within one week of the class presentation.):

  1. ______________________________________________________________________________

  2. ______________________________________________________________________________

  3. ______________________________________________________________________________

  4. ______________________________________________________________________________

What skills, talents, and/or expertise do you most value in others, and hope that they will contribute to any Group you are in? (Not everyone can do everything.  What do you most hope someone else in your group can contribute? At HASTAC, we call this "collaboration by difference."):

  1. ______________________________________________________________________________

  2. ______________________________________________________________________________

  3. ______________________________________________________________________________

  4. ______________________________________________________________________________

Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons.

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1 comment

Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities (GitHub version) #cureateching has an entire keyword on COLLABORATION! authored by @katinalynn @amandalicastro @DanicaSavonick 

https://github.com/curateteaching/digitalpedagogy/blob/master/keywords/collaboration.md

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