Peer Feedback: Wolf in White Van

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When you provide feedback to your peer about the Wolf in White Van essay, you are not trying to be an “expert” telling them how to “fix” their essay and you are not acting as a teacher grading their essay. Instead, your role is to give the author a sense of how you, as one reader of that essay, react to their argument. There are specific questions below for you to address, but remember that at base what you are trying to do is to help them to make their essay better when they revise it because they have a better sense of someone who is not inside their own head and hearing their thoughts understands the essay when it is in front of them.

Read the essay by the student you’ve been assigned. Then create a document in the Peer Feedback Docs folder on Google drive. Title the document with the name of the student whose essay you are responding to and the title of that student’s essay (in other words, Mady will name her document Kino “[Kino’s Title Here]”).

Paste the list of questions below into the document and then provide a response to each.

  • What do you like best about the essay? (Be honest, but start by saying something positive about the essay.)
  • Reverse Outline: Make an outline of the essay’s major topics. Include the topic(s) of each paragraph.
  • What do you see as the essay’s controlling idea?
  • Does this interpretation agree with the author’s stated controlling idea? In what ways might the paper need to change so that its structure more effectively supports the thesis?
  • Is there sufficient evidence to support all the claims, and if not where is more evidence needed? Are there specific quotes provided as evidence? Are quotes sandwiched — introduced first with a signal phrase, reporting verb, or both; then the quote; and then further explanation — or otherwise integrated into the author’s text well?
  • Where do more connections or explicit contrasts need to be made between points?
  • Does the essay respond carefully to the assignment?
  • Is there something not mentioned in the questions above that you would suggest the author think about as he or she revises the essay?

Wolf in White Van Nuts and Bolts

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Due April 15

When you’ve finished your essay analyzing Wolf in White Van, publish it to your site as a page. Make sure if the page does not show up in your menu automatically that you add the page so that readers can get to it.

Then publish a short blog post that links to your essay and that includes the controlling idea for your essay.

Audience: You should assume an audience that has read Wolf in White Van and thought about it a little bit but who understands the novel not quite as well as you do.

Image: Make certain you have at least one image on your page. I would prefer that the image not be the cover of the novel but that instead you take a phrase or term that your essay addresses and search Flickr to find a CC-licensed image that you can use to illustrate your essay. Make certain you have a good image credit citation on your page.

Due April 17

Peer feedback: Each of you should read (at least) one of your peer’s Wolf essays. You must read the essay by the student you’re assigned to in the table below:

Then you will create a document in the Peer Feedback Docs folder on Google drive that I’ve shared with all of you. Title the document with the name of the student whose essay you are responding to and the title of that student’s essay (in other words, Mady will name her document Kino “[Kino’s Title Here]).

Here is a post with some specific questions for you to address in your feedback, but fundamentally you should approach this task as an opportunity to help this student make their essay better and, in the process to notice what they have done well or not that might help you to recognize strengths or flaws in your own essay when you turn to your own revisions.

Due April 19

Change the title of the draft you published on Friday to indicate that it is a draft essay.

By class on Tuesday, you should revise your own Wolf essay, taking into consideration the feedback you received from your peer and anything you observed in the process of providing feedback on your peer’s essay. Publish the revised essay as a new page and make the draft from Friday a subpage.

As you revise your essay, you should quote from one of your peer’s essays (probably that will be the essay you reviewed, but it does not have to be), which means revising your own argument in some way to include, respond to, resist, or build on something new that you saw in one of your peer’s essays that makes you think about your own argument a little bit differently. Include a link and a works cited entry for your peer’s draft essay.

Publish a reflective blog post that links to the final version of your essay.

Fiasco Reflection

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Due: April 4

(Edited to add: If you can’t get a substantive response as outlined below done by 4/4, then please put up at least a quick reflective post by then — at least write a paragraph or two in which you describe what was most interesting about the experience of writing this collaborative story together. I want you to at least take one pass at putting your thoughts down in writing before our class discussion on Tuesday.)

Once your Fiasco play group has finished playing, make sure as a group that you’ve filled out the Google sheet for your game session — note which playset you chose, the setup information, the dice rolls for Tilt and the Tilt details chosen, and the rolls for the Aftermath and the result from the Aftermath table. This information will help you to reflect on the game session.

Then each of you should write your own Fiasco reflection posts,in the form of an essay with complete paragraphs, not as a list of bullet point answers, about 500 words total. I’ve divided up the questions below along two lines, but structure your essay however is best for your argument. Your essay does not need to start with part 1 and then move to part 2. Ultimately, your reflection essay should be an argument where you explicate what you observed in the process, rather than a narrative.

As you reflect on playing Fiasco, I want you to think about the game session itself as a kind of writing while also thinking about the reflection on the experience as a writing exercise. In other words, for this assignment the primary text that you composed is the Fiasco game session and now you’re writing a reflective essay about that writing. Think about and explain in your essay how the game session itself and the reflection you are writing about it bring you to fulfilling the learning objectives for this course.

Note that there are way too many questions below for you to address all of them. You should read over all of them and spend some time thinking about all of them, then choose to specifically address the ones that will lead to the most thoughtful reflective essay.

Describe the Experience

Without just recounting the narrative in briefer form, describe what the game session was like. Identify some of the key choices that you made (for example, you should definitely indicate which playset you chose and identify the relationships you defined with the two players to left and right, at least) and give a sense of the type of story that you created with the other players in your group. Instead of retelling the story that your group wrote collectively, step back and consider the shape of that story and describe it:

  • What sort of story did you tell?
  • What sort of characters and conflicts did it contain?
  • How did the plot unfold?
  • What sorts of narrative moves did you all make together?
  • How did your Aftermath montage play out?
  • Are you proud of the Fiasco story that you crafted?
  • Look over the list of literary terms on the course site and think about how your story employed these devices.
  • How did playing Fiasco give you insight into elements of fiction or narrative structures, and can you apply these insights to other types of literature (video games, comic books, movies, or traditional literary texts)?
  • How was the experience of playing a tabletop RPG similar to, or different from, playing a video game RPG?

As you describe the experience, you should also explain your own feelings and choices during the process:

  • How did you feel at the start?
  • What were you expecting and were you surprised by aspects of the game session?
  • What sorts of roles did you individually take on during the game session?
  • Were there certain times when you were more active or more forceful versus other times when you sat back and invited others to drive the plot forward?
  • Did you take on particular roles during game play (were you the one always turning the story towards comedy? or the one always bringing darker elements in? were you the one keeping the group focused on moving the plot forward or always pulling off towards digressions? were you consistently narrowing or broadening focus?
  • Were you more interested in role-playing your character directly (acting the part) or in describing scenes from an outside perspective?

Pattern Recognition and Learning Outcomes

In your reflection essay, you should also identify patterns that you noticed in your own behavior and thinking and the story that you created. Identify which of the learning outcomes you fulfilled during the process of game play — name and link to the specific outcomes, while providing at least a sentence or two explaining how this composition speaks to that outcome.

You might also address some of these questions:

  • Were the strategies, skills and procedures I used effective during gameplay?
  • Do I see any patterns in how I approached my role in the writing of this story?
  • How was playing Fiasco similar to or different from the other work you’ve done this semester?
  • What have I learned about my strengths and my areas in need of improvement?
  • How am I progressing as a learner?
  • How can I apply the skills I used in crafting this Fiasco story to future writing projects? Where can I use these skills again?
  • What was the most interesting aspect of writing a Fiasco story?

Wolf in White Van Response

By Unknown - Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5250363

Due Monday, 3/14

Choose the single most important sentence in the first 75 pages of Wolf in White Van. Then write a response post of 150-250 words in which you explain why that sentence is so significant. Quote the sentence someplace in your paragraph, but be certain that you sandwich the quote using your own words. The sentence that includes the quotation must include words from you as well. You have broad latitude to decide for yourself what standards to apply in deciding what makes a sentence particularly significant.

Make sure to include an MLA in-text citation and a Work Cited entry for the novel at the end of your post too.

Unpacking Manuel’s Reflection

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Once you’ve completed your revisions on the Unpacking Manuel’s assignment, write a reflective blog post of 250-500 words.

Begin your post by stating the controlling idea for your analysis. Then explain how you went about connecting your close reading of the object to your controlling idea. In what ways did you make the revised version stronger than the first draft?

How do you see your work on the Unpacking Manuel’s assignment helping you to achieve the learning outcomes for this course? Link to one or more of the specific learning outcome posts that applied to your work on this assignment, and explain how you met that outcome with your work on this assignment.

Make sure you address the sets of questions above and then also consider some of the questions below and address them in your reflection (you definitely won’t be able to answer all of these, so go through the list and pick some that seem to be most of interest for you and write about them):

  • Were the strategies, skills and procedures you used effective for this assignment?
  • Do you see any patterns in how you approached your work on this assignment? How was your writing on this assignment similar to or different from writing more traditional essays?
  • What have you learned about your strengths and areas in need of improvement?
  • How are you progressing as a learner?
  • How can you apply the skills you used in crafting this analysis to future writing projects, in this class, other classes, or in other arenas? Where can you use these skills again?
  • What are you most proud of about the project?
  • How does the close reading analysis of your one object fit into the larger project of Unpacking Manuel’s, or at least of the readings of the Main North Wall that you and your classmates have produced?

dys4ia and Depression Quest Response

dys4ia

In “Empathy,” Bogost focuses on games that operationalize weakness, noting that “Critics might argue that frail situations are not fun. Feeble characters do not wear shoes anyone wants to wear. And that may be true. But when it comes to the world we inhabit today, it is the vulnerable […] who deserve our empathy” (24). Luke Winkie included dys4ia and Depression Quest (the games you are playing this week) on his list of “5 video games that could make the world a better place” from a couple of years ago because they build empathy and understanding. Before we meet on Tuesday, play through these games and then write a post in which you discuss some moment in one of the games where you can see the game designers focusing on creating empathy for the vulnerable. Explain what happens in that moment in the game and what happens to foster empathy, or not.

Work Cited

Bogost, Ian. How to Do Things with Videogames. Minneapolis: Univ Of Minnesota Press, 2011. Print.

Her Story Response

her story

For class on Thursday, play through the game for awhile. You might not be able to finish it in the time you’ve got, but play enough to get a strong sense of how it works. It’s a nonlinear crime fiction game, depicted through FMV (full motion video). In many ways, then, Her Story, might be the complete opposite of Beginner’s Guide. Before class on Thursday, write a post on your course subdomain in which you compare Her Story to Beginner’s Guide — is Her Story also an art game? Are there ways in which the two games bear similarities to each other?

Podcast Reflection

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Once you and your co-producer have each completed your podcast episode, you should each write separate reflection posts, published to your own sites. Embed the Soundcloud episode in your post (if I haven’t published the episode yet when you publish your post, just edit the post later to add the link once I have).

Your refection should be 250 – 500 words and should be in the form of an essay with complete paragraphs, not as a list of bullet point answers.

Reflection Questions

Include a brief description of your process for developing the podcast. How did you and your co-producer divide up the tasks involved and how did you structure your collaboration? In what ways does your episode respond to the other episodes in the series — in other words, compare your episode to the ones before it, explaining how you gained inspiration from, adapted, or resisted something that your peers did in their episodes.

Please describe your primary goals with the episode that you produced and explain the strategies that you used to achieve them. You’re producing these episodes under a number of time and technological constraints, so it’s likely that there will be some goals that you just cannot accomplish within those constraints — address what challenges arose for you and the choices you made to meet them and/or describe what you would have done differently had you more time/resources available for your episode (in other words, what are some aspirational goals that were perhaps unrealistic given the constraints of the assignment but that you would have liked to have tried to accomplish if circumstances were different?).

How do you see your work on the podcast episode helping you to achieve the learning outcomes for this course? Link to the specific learning outcome posts that applied to your work on this assignment, and explain how you met that outcome with your work on this assignment.

Make sure you address the sets of questions above and then also consider some of the questions below and address them in your reflection (you definitely won’t be able to answer all of these, so go through the list and pick some that seem to be most of interest for you and write about them):

  • Were the strategies, skills and procedures I used effective for this assignment?
  • Do I see any patterns in how I approached my work on this episode? How was producing a podcast similar to or different from writing more traditional essays?
  • What have I learned about my strengths and my areas in need of improvement?
  • How am I progressing as a learner?
  • What suggestions do I have for my peers as they go about working on their episodes to come?
  • How can I apply the skills I used in crafting this podcast episode to future writing projects? Where can I use these skills again?
  • What are you most proud of about the episode that you created?

Dear Esther Reflection

Dear Esther

In class, I asked you to spend at least a couple of hours playing Dear Esther and to keep track of your progress through the game — where do you go and what brings you to decide to follow the path that you do? Write a blog post with a 2-3 substantial paragraphs discussing your pathway and the patterns that you notice in the game as you play. As with Gone Home, pay particular attention to how the game establishes setting and time, both at the start of the game and then throughout and how the game establishes character. Do you feel like Dear Esther is very similar to or very different from Gone Home? In what ways?

Create an avatar

Avatar Power

Now that you’ve created your subdomain, you need an image to represent yourself and/or your site for the class: a player character avatar. Your avatar can be whatever you want it be but try to create something that both reflects you’d personality and speaks to the topic for this class in someway.

Start by choosing one or more of your own photos as the basis of the avatar, drawing something yourself and scanning it, or finding one or more CC-licensed images on Flickr that you can modify. Make certain to keep a note for yourself of the URL for the photos you use if they are not your own.

Crop and otherwise edit the photo(s) in a photo editing application (like Photoshop or PicMonkey). You can create a layered or collage effect, if you’d like. Add your name on your badge in such a way that it’s legible. You might also include your domain URL, but that’s not required.

Your final badge should be square and at least 512 pixels wide and high.

When you’re done, you’ll need to put the image two places, with an optional third:

First, load the badge into your Media Library and publish it to your site in a blog post. Include information and links in the post about the source(s) for images included in your badge. Write a paragraph or two about why you chose those images, what aspects of yourself and your interests are represented in your badge, and/or what difficulties you faced in creating the badge.

Seconly, go into your dashboard to Appearance > Customize > Site Identity and load the image as your favicon/site icon.

Finally, if you do not already have a gravatar (which is almost all of you), create a gravatar account connected to whatever email you use when you comment on sites for this class and load your avatar there. From then on, your avatar will show up as your picture when you leave comments here and on other students’ sites.

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