For others who may be interested in teaching this course again, I’m keeping a running list of possible changes I’d make if I taught again, as well as resources I found useful for the course. Enjoy!
Emily Short creates Interactive stories (I used her “Galatea,” which is supposed to be kind of a classic) and has a whole page on her site of resources for teaching IF: https://emshort.wordpress.com/how-to-play/teaching-if/
Syllabus for an English class at the University of Toronto on “The Digital Text”: https://individual.utoronto.ca/adamhammond/
Syllabus for “Electronic Literature” English course. I didn’t take a lot from this as it’s more focused on literature rather than writing, the aim of this course: https://dikult203.tumblr.com/syllabus
The Medium is the Massage by Marshall McLuhan — I might have this be a required text for the course next time. I didn’t encounter it until midway through, and so ended up not using it. But it’s good! And may be better than some of the more dense academic articles I used, which many of the students complained were out of reach for the class (legitimate – many of them were media studies or otherwise specific and used language and references our class hadn’t built toward)
One book I might have assigned for the course if I’d found it earlier is Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Community
A brief and basic blog post on digital lit, here called “new media lit” — could be helpful as part of the intro to the course. Also, it has a list of the writer’s favorite pieces of dig lit.
A student sent this “online graphic novel” to me after the course was over. Maybe of interest?
New publisher for digital-born fiction! https://editionsatplay.withgoogle.com/#/
Changes to the course:
Keep “My Body” as an early text – really got students thinking and talking about the choices writers make. Maybe pair it with a critical text that is more about hypertext.
Katherine Hayles stuff didn’t go over well 🙁 Her intro to e-lit is valuable, but more a survey than an intro. Maybe save it for later in the semester? I also bought her book, which I found to be so heavily into the discourse of her field that is was inaccessible/not appropriate for my class
The wikipedia assignment didn’t go over very well but I THINK that’s because I didn’t introduce it enough or give quite enough time. I would do it again and do more in class to scaffold, but also revise the assignment with clearer expectations. For example, I tried not putting a word count on that assignment, but I should have. At the end of the course, many students said this was their favorite assignment because of its real-world applicability and impact.
I used this blog as well as Google Drive for the course. Students liked Drive as a place to collaborate and work together in/out of class, but wanted a clear line. Drive is a collaboration space and the blog is where all final assignments get posted.
Start the final project earlier — maybe doing proposals before spring break so that groups have more time afterwards to work.
Students didn’t like the “loooooong academic articles.” Their suggestions: break them down into sections or do more unpacking of them in class. “Especially for the jargon ones, tell us which sections or paragraphs we had to focus on — it wasn’t the amount, it was the intensity of the material”