Syllabuses

The following is a representative sample of courses I have designed and taught throughout my seven year career. Each course listed includes a link to its syllabus and calendar, a brief description, and a few representative comments taken from student evaluations. This is nowhere near an exhaustive list, but it is representative of my pedagogy, which is focused on creating classes that explore how arguments, beliefs, cultures, and identities emerge from the creation and circulation of public texts. Keeping to the ideals of publicness, most of my classes operate as discursive publics where students engage in well-reasoned and respectful debates rooted in the values of volition, opennes, preparation, adaptation, and bricolage. If you would like more details on the pedagogy informing these syllabi, please click on the teaching philosophy link above.

ENGL 101-048: Critical Reading and Composition (Fall 2017) . This is an asynchronous online course I designed for freshman at the University of South Carolina, and which I am currently teaching. The routine structure of assignments and sequencing is designed to encourage students to regularly engage in reading and writing activities, while also keeping a distinct rhythm so that students are never caught off guard by due dates. I decided to supplement readings and assignments with brief audio lectures that students could listen to whenever was convenient for them. I intentionally kept these lectures brief because current research shows that audiences lose focus after about ten minutes. I upload lectures for each unit at the beginning of that unit in order to better serve the changing needs of students; since this course is currently ongoing, only about half the lectures are currently available.

ENGL 102-A81: Researching and Writing about Popular Music (Spring 2017). This was an introductory writing course designed for freshman living in a small community-oriented college on the University of South Carolina campus. Students were asked to create, brand, and maintain their own music blogs throughout the semester. They were invited to write a variety of posts on the cultural impact of music, the evolution of genres, and album reviews. The above link allows you to see the student’s blogs but does not include all of the multimodal invention work they produced for the class which included audio mash-ups, visual collages, and a Kapferer Identify Prism. This was the third time I created a blog for a class, and as usual it helped to facilitate a unique sense of community and participation.

  • “Teacher does a good job of engaging entire classroom. A lot of people in this classroom engage in meaningful discussion led by the instructor”

  • “The writing assignments really did help me blossom as a writer, and if anyone in the class says that they didn't it is simply because we all hated doing it."

  • “Comes off as a good, honest, guy who really likes what he's teaching about that wants to help people get a grip on it as well. Comes like he wants people to see options and perspectives and he's good at working that into everything.”

ENGL 102-CO2: Researching and Writing about Popular Music (Fall 2015). This was a freshman writing course designed for an honors college on the campus of University of South Carolina. This was my first time running this course in which I asked students to create and maintain blogs on music. Students chose fascinating concepts such only discussing break up songs, choosing to review every Beyoncé album, and only reviewing albums to which their parent’s listened in college. This was the first class where I had students engage in in-class writing in the form of responses to class blog posts. I was impressed by the skill in thinking and writing that my students displayed and the way this exercise sparked conversation. This class encouraged me to continue the practice of cultivating hybrid educational spaces.

  • “Enjoyed class and would recommend it as a better alternative to standard English class were students can learn more practical uses of writing besides the standard academic essays one is usually accustomed to. The blog feature of turning in assignments was the best part of class. Not only was it easy to turn in and be able to see all assignments in one place, but being able to see other students' writing as well, made for a more enjoyable and easier learning experience. By being able to read other students' writing, the interaction between classmates extends beyond the classroom.”

  • “We were never just sitting in classes doing nothing and other people's participation definitely helped me better understand what we were talking about. I like how everything is already planned out clearly in the syllabus so I knew what to expect for each class.”

  • “Using a blog as the main way that assignments are completed was very interesting and definitely helped me to learn how to write about music in an academic way, but also in a way that a normal blogger or album reviewer would write about music in their day-to-day life. The different versions of assignments served to challenge me to think differently and write differently."

ENGL 102-CO2: Composing a Nation: Researching and Writing the American Dream (Fall 2014) . This is another syllabus designed for freshman in an honors college at University of South Carolina. In this class I wanted to explore the rich rhetorical history of America and the myth of the American dream. In hindsight, while I paid attention to issues of gender, race, and class, I would like to have spent more time discussing Aboriginal peoples, immigration, and the contemporary civil rights struggles faced by millions of Americans. Despite these shortcomings, I found that many students’ understandings of this country and who composes it expanded as we tried to make sense of rhetorics, histories, primary sources, contemporary politics, and dominant ideologies. This class was quite rewarding to teach because it was a microcosm of contemporary public conversations in which all the participants were respectful and open to each other’s opinions. I had a student in this class who would come to my office hours just to argue about the first amendment, and her papers demonstrated how her thought was influenced, but not converted, by those conversations. The whole class was filled with such open discourse.

  • “One of the things I loved about this class is that it is alive. It's the first English class where the conversation is present and relevant and intersting."

  • "Without the comments he has written, I am sure that I would be lost. His comments on the final essay draft were crucial in how I revised it. He goes into depth on what needs to be changed and provides valued insights."

  • "This course is rigorous, but I believe we all learned an exceptional amount and furthered our writing/rhetorical abilities."

ENG 122-006: College Composition (Fall 2011). This is the first class I designed; it was a freshman composition class at the University of Northern Colorado. I based this course on the master syllabus provided to teaching assistants by the Director of First Year Writing, Sarah Allen. However, I changed the textbook to something that reflected a wider range of writing styles, focused more attention on how disciplinarity influenced discourse, and asked students to move from the analysis of texts to interacting with those texts. While not an amazing example of my pedagogy, it does demonstrate my early interests in how public conversations influence how texts are created and how students can learn to insert themselves in discussions by taking the written opinions of others as exigence.

  • “I thought he did a really good job of helping us improve as writers. He made the class very enjoyable and got all of us to work together and help each other. It was a really good atmosphere. I think my writing improved a lot through this class. He wouldn’t tell me what to do but instead helped me focus my thought process & go off my own ideas which I really liked.”

  • “I liked how we could always ask him questions.”

  • “I have never left a class feeling so much improvement. My writing has grown to be so much better thanks to Mr. Harley.”