Intercultural Extraneity

The course needs a meta narrative

Throughout the course of this subject we have discussed a vast panoply of ideas, ranging from socioeconomics to politics, to digital culture etc. Whilst all of these topics merit a scrupulous investigation into the effects they have on our daily personal lives and the lives of those around us, they require a enormous investment both in terms of time and effort to properly apprehend which ultimately results in a superficial reading of the given material once you account for the nature of our time restrictions as college students.

The course starts with the assumption that we are all already engrossed and absorbed in this mode of cultural thinking and reasoning. This unfortunately has the negative effect of overwhelming a student early on which later proves to be detrimental to their interest in the subject. It would be highly advantageous for the course to have a more structured way of laying out the relevant facts. This could be accomplished by presenting us with some form of an overarching meta narrative which would assist us in integrating the data we have accumulated into a coherent whole. For instance a progressive meta narrative underlying the foundational myth of America as a lens through which we can view the ongoing debate over what constitutes a proper code of conduct online.

Another problematic aspect of this course would be the somewhat vague grading system. Plenty students have had a rather difficult time, myself included, with understanding just what distinguishes a well-written reflection from a poorly written one. The pass and fail mechanic is also disconcerting given the fact many of the topics we are discussing are completely new to the vast majority of students. Perhaps one way to alleviate this anxiety over grades is to, instead of a simple pass or fail on a certain post, allow a participatory boon to all those who tried to engage with the material thus providing them with some sort of incentive to continue working hard in order to improve their understanding of the material.

We should strive to valorize effort as a first step in the process of learning something new, we cannot succeed this mission by accentuating the potential of a work to be dismissed if it does nor meet a certain set of requirements.

The course certainly deals with topics that pose important questions for our future intellectual development, this is the primary reason it stands out in comparison to all the other courses we have taken thus far. It is for this reason that I believe it needs a more beginner friendly approach due to its extensive topical breadth, a more integrative system of both grading and learning comprehensiveness is required to fully actualize the true potential of this course.

As for my engagement with the course material I have attempted to synchronize the knowledge I have previously accumulated with new course information to the best of my abilities. Oftentimes this proved to be difficult as my vision about the the course was mostly skewed by my perception of what the course should be, nevertheless I do believe that delineating a clearer vision as to what the course aims to achieve would prove beneficial to avoiding such confusions in the future.

This post may be used for research purposes.


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