Intro to Fiction, Fall 2003
This is a review of MIT Introduction to Fiction, Fall 2003 course: https://louis.oercommons.org/courses/21l-003-introduction-to-fiction-fall-2003 completed by Ginger Jones, Professor of English LSU Alexandria
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This course has a clear and enthusiastic syllabus that explains what is expected of students and how class time will be spent. Students read eight novellas in sixteen weeks, so the reading is brisk, but they should appreciate the lengths and superb and diverse selection that includes contemporary as well as classic works. I did not find any short stories among the selections, though the course description mentions them. And while there were two novels built around military men, in my opinion they are not about war but about “violence and violation” as the syllabus calendar states. There are four well-designed writing assignments of five pages each that would I think inspire students, who are carefully directed to close readings, recognition of images and themes, plot analysis, and narrative closure. While there is no grading rubric for assignments, there is a sentence or two about what will be considered in grading the submissions. This is a well-planned, comprehensive course.
All of the downloads are from Gutenberg, but a quick check found several online in PDF files (I did not check all of them), which could be checked for accessibility. The novels are separated into one of four topics pertinent to each novel’s theme.
The careful selection of texts and the through writing assignments make this introductory course continuously relevant, though updates to the Gutenberg downloads would make the assignments easier to read, as would hyperlinks to relevant literary terms.
Complex philosophical and literary concepts are organized thoughtfully, making both accessible for readers encountering them for the first time. I would hyperlink those concepts to the Penn State Online Writing Lab (OWL) because of its clear introduction to literary analysis.
Language is uncomplicated and consistent with a first- or second-year college course.
While the texts are studied under key assignments, those could be placed under headers. Still, students should have no problem understanding what is to be studied and for which reason. The course is well-organized, though could be updated with hyperlinks, as I’ve mentioned before.
Organization Structure Flow
The course is systematic in its presentation.
There is one interesting image, but otherwise little compelling interface like hyperlinks or graphic elements.
There were no grammatical errors
Cultural varieties are represented.