Friday, April 19, 2013

Final Thoughts on a Class Well Done

Just wanted to give myself a little conclusion post with my post final, post class thoughts.

  • First, this class was a success in dozens of ways. It was a success in different ways for different people too. The one I think most importantly affected me was the structure (or perhaps lack there of...or at least the flexibility of it).
    • We went from a generalized goal of having an eBook to a jumbled mix of ideas to videos.
    • I don't do well with disorganized classes; with that said we were still able to, over the course of the semester, narrow our focus from one eBook and six themes to just one playlist on Youtube with one theme. I could work with how chaotic everything got because in the end, we were still based on our themes, our primary sources, and the goal to get the Renaissance out into the digital world.
    • As we saw examining this whole semester (hard to think sitting in the HRCB classroom to the lab in the JFSB were all one semester; it feels like two separate semesters), our class went from individual students focusing on their own grades to a collaborative group focused on getting a prototype project done. We relied heavily on each other to get our thoughts and research out there. All things we've said in class and mentioned in our final, but this probably the biggest point in our success as a class. It wasn't my success as an individual student. It was ours.
    • I mentioned this in the chat of our final today, but I'll mention it again here in a bit more detail for anyone who missed it. Finland has scored either first or second around the world for scientific, math, and reading literacy for the last three years. Its graduation rate for secondary students was 93% in 2008. Their upper secondary schools use a structure allowing students to "design their own learning programs based on their individual needs and interests." ( Our class really did exactly that. The students were in charge of their learning, what they contributed, and how. Even as Josh and Lauren chose to do the research paper instead of the video project, our class allowed for each individual student to learn the best way they could and took charge of their own learning.
    • With me personally, I know all of our themes well and will remember them. I went from being in the Ad Fontes and Humanism groups to Typographia, and then in our final ended up talking about Brave New Worlds. There's no way I could have done that without everyone doing so well in researching and explaining their own themes, as well as integrating them altogether with other themes.
  • Second and finally, a thank you so much to Dr. Burton and you all in the class! It was incredible. I learned a lot more here than I have in any other class I've taken at BYU. Our collaboration and camaraderie is something I wish I had in all of my classes. The roller coaster ride in our class might have driven me crazy sometimes with frustration and time commitment, but in the end it was a good kind of crazy!
PS - Our chat was the best part of the final. #diazombie
PPS - Chuck Norris asked permission from Alonso to be Chuck Norris