Sunday, February 28, 2010

All About My Wiki

I designed my Wiki to be used in a course that I will be teaching in the fall (Literature of the American West). I genuinely hope to use it as a way for the students to collaborate and to contribute to the content of the course. I also see it as a really great repository of resources that we can use as supplemental to the primary texts that we will be reading in the course.
The pages that I created were for things that I already see as resources that will be useful for the class. I really want to focus the course on how the concept of the “American West” has been reinterpreted through (mostly contemporary) literature. We are going to start out by watching Shane and probably end with No Country for Old Men. In between, we’ll be looking at all sorts of literary reinterpretations of the West that go beyond the typical “Western” and take a look at the many populations and genres that are often ignored when we think of “Western Literature.” I added a page on my Wiki for students to upload video clips, pieces of writing and images that portray the West. There is no way that I can thoroughly cover the topic in class, and there are so many available resources, that even by having students upload two things to a page like that, we will create a great resource for them to use while they research their final essay.
Next I created a vocabulary page for Cormac McCarthy’s book, Blood Meridian. The novel uses very sophisticated language, which will more than likely challenge the students (heck, it challenges me). The language is very important to the novel, and having a resource where students can look up words and contribute will help them feel like they aren’t going it alone, while still forcing them to engage on a deeper level with language and wording in the novel.
Finally, I created a page for students to add criticism and other resources that they find about all of the texts that we will read in the course. The students will each also be responsible for giving a group presentation on one of the texts, so this will be a great place for them to gather information and collaborate with their groups as well. I may actually create a separate page for each of the texts, so that it can really become a more collaborative space for that particular group.
Each of the students will be responsible for contributing to each section of the Wiki and there will be points attached to each contribution. Not only will the Wiki be a great resource for the papers the students will write for the course, as a teacher I am very excited to have a resource that doesn’t disappear at the end of the semester and can be shared with future students in the same course. I really enjoyed creating my Wiki and I am excited to use it in my online sections of ENG 102 this summer as well. Yea Wikis!


  1. I can't wait to see all this. The link below is a wiki made for a journalism class. You'll note there are blog links on the home page and then each student has a page in the wiki for a final project. It was this teachers first attempt at using blogs and wikis.

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  3. I love this wiki Laura! Each page is a wonderful idea. It made me want to take your class and I do not even like Westerns! Great job!