Back in February, KF posted a question to Palimpest: “How do you get your students to engage actively with a small piece of a long text before they’ve read the whole thing?”
I have the opposite question, I suppose: When you’ve assigned 2 or 3 articles of secondary reading, how do you provoke, manage, promote, (what-have-you) class discussion?
In my course on “Histories of Writing, Reading, and Publishing,” we’re reading a good many secondary articles here at the beginning of the course (like Darnton and Feather). Discussion is going pretty well, but I feel like we’re perhaps moving a bit too quickly through the material and that we might not be doing it justice.
One way I try to frame discussion is through some basic questions:
- What are the main points of this essay?
- What are its strengths and weaknesses?
- How does it differ from / disagree with other material we’ve read?
- How does it apply to the issues we are considering?
So what do you do?
[Cross-posted at Palimpsest.]