School of World Languages, Cultures, and Communications
Dual Credit English 1302/Composition II Hybrid
Featured Teaching and Learning Practice
Rachel Maverick’s hybrid English 1302 class reflects a new adventure in learning for high school students since neither RLC nor RISD offered a dual credit format dedicated to on-campus and online learning.
The course meets at Richardson High School once a week for lecture and activities. The remainder of the week is devoted to online learning, student conferencing, and small-group writing workshops at the high school. Ms. Maverick organizes students into readers' circles and crafts a rotation schedule whereby writers meet on campus in their readers' circles twice per semester.
Ms. Maverick’s emphasis is on teaching not just the subject matter, but also guiding her students in how to learn and to become active participants in their own education. She gives students this self-evaluation prompt from a speech by Adrienne Rich, “Claiming an Education”:
The first thing I want to say to you who are students, is that you cannot afford to think of being here to receive an education: you will do much better to think of being here to claim one. One of the dictionary definitions of the verb "to claim" is to take as the rightful owner; to assert in the face of possible contradiction. "To receive" is to come into possession of; to act as receptacle or container for; to accept as authoritative or true. The difference is that between acting and being acted upon…
This course teaches more than composition; it teaches personal responsibility. Students consider what they did during the semester to claim their educations, to act rather than to be acted upon. Students compare diagnostic essays to subsequent course writings and/or they explore other aspects of their preparation and performance to show how they were personally responsible for improvement in the course. In the essay conclusion, students make connections between what they learned about personal responsibility and what they will "take with them" as they think ahead to future college studies.This hybrid offers students chances to grow in responsibility by learning, discussing, and collaborating online while providing on-campus interaction with their classmates and one-on-one conferencing with their professor. There is a multi-layered quality to the assignments and format of the course that gets at improving not only her students’ abilities to read and write, but also their abilities to be high functioning adults in the real world. The rich diversity of learning opportunities – large- and small-group discussions, activities both online and at the high school, and one-on-one mentoring – encourage writers to engage in active learning. The model provides smooth transitions for students from high school to college and to online instruction, insuring their successes in both.