Tag Archives: critical viewing

M7 (Michael-Come-Lately): OERs and student time

I fell out of step with my colleagues while traveling and missed posting on this module–now, in the race to the finish, I wanted to add only this: I suppose I’m already supposed to be a dab hand at this, since I was the editor of online resources for the old “Bible” of theater history in English, Brockett and Hildy’s History of the Theatre (I should remember which edition, but just now I don’t ). So I have some sense of what is or has been out there in my field, and have referred my students to some of these resources in the past.  But I’m not sure how much I want to rely on the OERs I’ve found for my particular course.

My problem is that none of the online resources I’ve found takes the particular point of view I’m pursuing in my survey course–neither in the historical-materialist method of integrating the historical context that I choose to focus on, nor in doing the comparative work between European and Asian theaters.  And there are always historical disagreements and contentious terms, like “feudalism” and “primitive,” to struggle with.

So for this particular course I’m stuck with a lot of resources that I could refer students to only provisionally or with caveats. And there are many, many resources out there, but–sigh–it feels like an entirely different pedagogical (heutagogical?) task to prep them with the critical skills they would need to question these sources and view or read them critically.  Useful skills? Sure! But this is a 200-level survey course where I feel I need to focus the inquiry. It’s not a research methods course. I would gladly offer them many of these resources as extra credit or as illustrations to pursue at their leisure–but it’s summer and I’m racing them through centuries of material: what leisure?

There are other courses where OERs might integrate more easily . . .