I stole an idea recently from Brian Croxall who apparently stole it from Patrick Williams: http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/improve-your-course-evaluations-by-having-your-class-write-letters-to-future-students. Simply put, I asked my current third (and final) year BA screendance students to write a letter to current second year students who might be thinking about taking screendance in autumn 2014.
The students had a lot of fun with the task and wrote some quite choice things.
One student wrote:
I’ve noticed/learnt about myself as well as what’s around me. I think I see/observe differently now …
Another student wrote:
So here’s some advice: Don’t ever stop questioning. Be curious. Be open. Have an hour per day dedicated to this module. Read the blog! Ask questions. Question yourself. Keep going. Follow your interests. Be excited!!! When you get pissed off, keep going! And keep eating well!!!
Simon is extremely sarcastic1 so don’t take him TOO seriously. But he does know what he’s talking about so USE HIM! Squeeze the fucking juice out of him because before you know it the module will be over. Do your fucking thing, take fucking notes and fucking have fun! So if you’re willing to work your ass off then this module is for you.
The collection of letters are available as a single PDF here: 2013 letters to future students
The students mention my sarcasm quite a bit. I’m not proud of this at all (I seem to remember being taught never to be sarcastic in a teaching and learning environment). However, this ironic tone is so closely tied to my sense of humour, which in turn is tightly bound to my teaching style, which itself is about finding ways to make a fool of myself so that conventional power structures int he classroom might be undermined. Tricky.↩