Week 11 – Seeing the Forest From the Trees

Welcome back. I had planned to see you a week earlier, and per Dr. Rao’s announcement earlier this week, we’ll be learning remotely for the remainder of the semester.

This is our first week of remote learning. Here’s how this will work: each week before noon on Monday I’ll post instructions for the week here on our course website. It will usually include two assignments due throughout the week. This week this is what you can expect:

  • Wednesday: a zoom session during our regular class meeting
  • Friday: a FlipGrid post wrapping up your research.

Before you launch into this week’s work, please read the amendment to our syllabus that covers our COVID-19 adjustments. It may take some getting used to our new online format. That’s okay, please email me if you have any questions (kreed at vcu dot edu). We can do a live video or text chat in lieu of office hours if you need any support.

Wednesday: a zoom session during our regular class meeting

On Wednesday our class will meet for a zoom call just to check in and take any questions. This does not count toward attendance, but it will give us a chance to see each other live and talk through what we’re doing. To join your class follow the directions below:

Note: If you don’t have unlimited data you can call in with your phone instead of logging in with video. Zoom supports call in attendance, or live video attendance via laptop, desktop, or mobile device. You can download zoom for your computer or find the zoom app in your phone’s app store.

Friday: a FlipGrid post wrapping up your research.

For Friday we’ll jump back into the core work of our course: drafting a substantial research project in response to our original inquiry questions. Before we left for break you had put together a research library filled with valuable insight into your question. Now its’ time to start thinking about the story we tell with our research. Here are your steps for Friday:

  1. Develop a claim! What, ultimately, is the answer to your question?
  2. Imagine a path from point A (your question) to point Z (your claim)

Once we’ve built a bridge from our questions (Point A) to our conclusions (Point Z), all that’s left is to build a path connecting them. This week is about constructing that path.

Your only task this week is to create an outline for your final paper, and then walk us through the visual representation of that outline. I have a sample outline below, laid out almost like a board game. You ware free to assess what’s the best kind of outline for you. My ask is that it show a clear starting point (your inquiry question) a clear ending point (the answer to your question), and illustrates the path of your thinking from point A to point Z.

Picture of a full paper outline, from question to conclusion.

My outline might look a little wild to you, but that’s okay. Our outlines only need to make sense to us. This board game starts with my research question, ends with my conclusion, and includes four major sections, plus an intro and a conclusion:

  1. Intro – the 2019 Rally
  2. Section 1 – Social Movement History
  3. Section 2 – Backlash in the South
  4. Section 3 – Why Public Education?
  5. Section 4 – New Populist Movements
  6. Concl – the 2020 Rally

These four sections are all I need (with an intro and a conclusion) to really make my argument. I made my outline with pen and paper. You can use whatever medium is best for you.

For Friday I’d like you to have two things: 1. A visual outline in your Unit III – Essay folder (this can be a photo or other document) and 2. A video on Flipgrid walking us through that outline!

This is our first time using FlipGrid! Here is a link to our assignment post. You will need to log in using your VCU email. The video will be capped at 5 minutes long. You can record live in the app (easy on laptops, somewhat dicey on mobile) or record a video however you want and upload it once it’s created (recommended).

Note: I use one FlipGrid channel for all of my classes. This means you’ll be able to see videos from your own classes, and all my online classes. I’ll post there directly introducing you all, but when you log in for the first time you might share your name and topic! I’ve asked my online students to submit their videos a bit earlier than you all so you’ll have some sample videos to look through. I’m also posting my own sample there for you today.



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