Sex and Gender in Popular Media
MACS 356 – Fall 2016-Spring 2017
I taught this course with a fellow cohort member as the course consisted of 80-100 students. We co-designed the schedule, projects, and assignments and divided grading labor and responsibility for weekly lectures and reading assignments. While we consulted and gave input to one another, we took ownership over half of the weeks, deciding on readings, screenings, and writing lectures for our weeks. I was in charge of: Overview of Media Studies, Visibility and Intersectionality, Introduction to Audio Project, Normativity, Gender and Production, Cultural Appropriation, Resistance, and we shared Weddings and Fat Studies weeks. I also took the lead on the podcast project, as we adapted it from projects I had done in previous courses.
I also produced a story for the Cinema Journal podcast Aca-media on the podcast in which I interviewed my fellow instructor and our students in order to reflect on what we learned the first semester we assigned the project and to give examples of finished projects, which you can listen to here.
Our goal with the course was to create opportunities for student interaction and contribution even within a larger lecture environment. We did this through weekly reading reflections on which we gave written feedback, the use of iClickers to allow students to answer poll questions and register their opinions, and the encouragement of the asking and answering of questions in class. We also assigned a semester-long group project, which while it was at times a logistical struggle, helped the students create more a community within the class. Our blog post assignments and podcast project also encouraged students to not only critique and analyze popular culture, but to contribute their own voice and work to the public sphere.
Fall 2016 – 3.5 / 3.6 Spring 2017 4.2 / 4.1
Co-teaching and teaching in a large lecture hall for the first time proved relatively challenging. We worked hard to improve our teaching style and syllabus for the following semester, which showed in the teaching evaluations.
Sample Student Comments:
“Despite the large room, I think Stephanie did a great job making the lecture engaging and thought provoking”
“I loved lecture topics and video examples. It helped me relate to things easier”
“Thank you for giving a lot of explanation as to why I got the grade! You provided specifics for me to improve upon in my rewrite. I wish my other professors did this.”