The completed rough draft (and an updated framing essay) have been submitted to my committee as of yesterday! I already got feedback from my director, which I've implemented.
The next stage of the process is making additional revisions from my other two committee member's feedback, then scheduling my defense (and filling out the paperwork for it). When I asked what the defense process would be like, here is the answer I received:
What happens at the defense:
I'll come back later and reflect on the process of finishing up the draft (what happened between my last post and this one).
I have decided that I'm perfectly content with this project not being linear whatsoever! I now have five pages of my essay written, but stopped after that to make my sample syllabus (because I was assigned to make two for my Teaching English in the Two-Year College class, I decided one would be the syllabus I would use for my CAP).
I had been dreading making a sample syllabus and thought I might just skip it all together. I didn't realize at first that I'd have to make sample syllabi for my classwork anyway. I think my hang up was finding the right way to phrase course goals and how detailed to make a class schedule, if I made one at all.
Since the ones I make for class will get feedback and will have revision built in, I'm much more confident about having the sample syllabus now. Otherwise I'd have to make appointments at the writing center and hope someone could get me good ideas for the revisions, but I'd hate to put that kind of assignment on the writing consultants!
I've also compiled all the texts I would use from Skyrim (for one unit).
I realized I had a lot more male authors in my working bibliography than women, so I have been working to change a few of my sources so that my working bibliography favors women. I hope to have my updated bib and notes done by the end of next week. With the drama and controversy surrounding the typical male gamer's hatred of girl gamers and the lack of women and people of color in literary canon and in leadership roles in higher education, it is important to me to uplift these marginalized voices in this project.
I also got answers to my questions:
Today I discovered that I was missing certain parts of the CAP process, so there were preliminary documents that I didn't know I needed. By the third week of the semester I was expected to have a working outline of my CAP's main essay and my working bibliography ready for an initial meeting with my committee. This is the third week of the semester.
I became even more worried about being behind. I thought I might have to schedule an in-person meeting at the last minute, write up lots of extra material I wasn't expecting, and all those horrible thoughts you have when you realize you've missed some crucial details.
As it turns out, I just needed to put together basically everything I had already done for my first post in a more refined format (turning my initial ideas into a framing essay wouldn't take long).
So whereas yesterday I was feeling a bit behind and concerned because I was thinking I should probably finish an initial rough draft of my entire 20+ page paper by the end of the month, today I realize that I'm totally okay.
I revised more of my working bibliography and am working on what will become my framing essay (more on that below). I will be able to email both of those, along with the draft of some journal prompts that I posted yesterday, and my questions thus far about the CAP process tomorrow or Thursday. That email should serve as my meeting. Other than the fact that my outline is a little short, I'm right on schedule! I'm hoping a short outline is okay. I prefer a sparse outline because too much detail in an outline can overwhelm me.
The questions I'll be asking are as follows and I'll post all the answers in some upcoming posts:
Below is a little screenshot of all the main requirements for the Professional Project version of the CAP for ECU (found here, under the listings for each concentration's requirements: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-cas/engl/Masters.cfm). There are a few additional details in the Graduate Student Handbook and on the page that tells the difference between a thesis and a CAP here: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-cas/engl/FAQsEnrolled.cfm
I have not been quite on the ball about my project so far. I do not know if I will have a draft of my essay complete by the end of the month, because I haven't started, but I'm still hopeful. I have drafted my working bibliography (a requirement for all CAPs) and drafted some possible journal prompts.
For my final semester of my Master's degree, I decided I wanted to take the "non-thesis" route and make a CAP (comprehensive assessment project). My goal is to make a blog post of my progress approximately every week to keep me accountable and on track. I also like the idea of making blogs as I go, so that in the future, other students can view my blogs and get an idea of what the process is like.
You know I'm all about helping people know what to expect in grad school!
It's important for me that I can bring both my literature concentration and my composition certificate into this project by making lessons that could be adapted for both literature and composition English classes.
Another important part of the project will be convincing my audience that using video games as a source of texts is incredibly worthwhile especially for reluctant readers and students who just don't care because most of their experiences with English are basic studies/foundations curriculum classes that they are required to take. Bringing in pop culture is a sure fire way to help engage these students and video games are a totally untapped resource and a treasure trove of fresh texts. Video games have become so prolific over their relatively short history compared to other types of media/texts that there is definitely something interesting waiting to be discovered for every student.
The next most important feature will be troubleshooting the potential obstacles that will come with bringing new texts and new technology into the classroom. Even for that classroom that would not ever bring a video game console into the classroom and would rely solely on watching recordings of others playing, I need to share ideas on how teachers can pick the appropriate player to watch and how to incorporate the videos into the class. Beyond that, I even need to explain the use of wikis and walk-through guides and how teachers can use those as a basis for investigation/research and a place to experience the game without ever needing to see the game play.
I also have ideas for how to keep this type of media accessible for students who have disabilities. For example, in the class where a teacher would like to bring a console and let students experience the game first hand, students who can't operate the controller because of problems with their hands can still feel the vibrations of the controller during battle or other intense moments (same for students who can't hear). Students who can't see can listen with headphones to have the full surround sound experience that most video games today use and can have a partner in the class describe the game world to them.Captions for dialog can be turned on for hard of hearing/deaf students and color adjustments are available in many games today for colorblind students, etc.
I'm just your average fictional creature, living in a swampland by the sea.