Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What I'm Learning from my Grad Students

How about: way more than I thought I would?

I have a system for my M.A. exams for my grad students. I developed this system to try to balance student interests with me not going completely insane trying to make sure I knew all the material that they'd covered for their exams. I haven't been in the biz long enough to have an eight-page bibliography from diverse medieval stuff topics from memory or in my notes already, and since I'm the only medievalist, I've got to be able to cover students interested in stuff all over the continent, for the entire thousand-year period.

Here's how it works: Students taking a M.A. exam with me have to read about 45-50 items, spread out over 5 different subtopics. I have a list of about a dozen topics that I've got reading lists ready to go for.

But, here's the deal: if there's something they really, really want to explore, and it's not on my list, they can design a field of their own. They come up with the topic and a preliminary reading list; I tinker with the list to make sure it works, and off we go.

What this means is that, for most students, I end up reading up on a field that's totally new to me. Sometimes I couldn't care less about the field. Anglo-Norman institutions? Do. Not. Care. But I read them, and I try to design a question.  But sometimes, it's pretty interesting.

Which is a long way to say that this month, I'll be reading a whole heck of a lot on Islamic, Norman, Angevin, and Aragonese Sicily. And I think this is actually going to be one of those reading lists that ends up being a lot of fun.

6 comments:

Janice said...

We don't do comps with our M.A. students but we do have directed reading courses that culminate in a public presentation from their research areas. We have to create a reading list for the course in the first week of term: so my learning curve is really steep with recent supervisions on 19th c. British race history, WW2 British film, Elizabethan and Stuart theatre history, chivalry in late medieval chronicles and early modern werewolf stories.

If these weren't collaborative exercises, they'd be impossible, that's all I can say. Kudos on you for organizing such a smart approach to a difficult task that helps both student and professor!

Anonymous said...

I need to state about the photography sense which is so awesome and everything is looking so flawless in these photos. You fundamentally get the dumbfounding minutes. Check this get redirected here and get new thought and strategies.

Anonymous said...

Incredible site, Stress is most detectable horrendous that demolished the future and even the life of different understudies so this http://www.financehomeworkhelp.org/corporate-valuation-assignment-help/ site requires enduring work yet nothing can be changed by weight.

Anonymous said...

Great site, This article is reliably giving the estimation of the music and you generally share the photos of a wonderful picture. This click for info is useful to acquire systems.

Jacob said...

Truly, this is the article about female learning and I was looking such articles for a long time and you have satisfied to give on this site it on your site. I all around underline on this that female's arrangement is fantastically beneficial for our welfare and movement.

Jacob said...

A female can know the female superior to a male thusly, same as woman understudies and educators can bolster each get redirected here other well. A few young ladies confront issues offering the issues to male instructors so they can give to ladies teachers in the school.