I haven’t been blogging much the last couple of months; this semester has been overwhelming. As the semester winds down and I begin blogging again, I thought it would be interesting to reflect on my experiences teaching Computation as an Expressive Medium.
As I described before, this class is a graduate introduction to programming for students coming from arts and humanities backgrounds. It contains a mixture of students in LCC’s Information Design and Technology program, as well as students in the HCI master’s program (many of the HCI students come from non-programming backgrounds). For the theoretical component of the class, I’m using Nick and Noah’s New Media Reader.
The initial syllabus was far too ambitious, both in terms of programming projects and readings. We ended up doing only the first four projects, not six, and reading about half the readings. Class presentation of the programming material took longer than I had initially planned.
It was challenging coordinating the readings with the projects. I tried to coordinate the readings with the conceptual backgrounds of the assignments. For example, while working on Project 3, the “build your own image manipulation tool” project, we read:
- Man-Computer Symbiosis (Licklider)
- Sketchpad: A Man-Machine Graphical Communication Systems (Sutherland)
- A Cyborg Manifesto (Haraway)
- The GNU Manifesto (Stallman).