SLIS Student Micah Bateman Teaches Distance Learning Poetry Seminar

SLIS Student Micah Bateman Teaches Distance Learning Poetry Seminar

This summer SLIS student Micah Bateman had the privilege of teaching a distance learning poetry seminar for the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program. Applications to the seminar were open to anyone in the world with Internet access, and the program received close to 90 applications from 26 countries. The course was free and ungraded and Bateman taught 14 students from five continents, all but Antarctica and Australia.

"As a graduate student in library and information science, teaching the synchronous course using web cams, microphones, and a Blackboard web platform led me to fantasize about the multimedia-rich library’s future role in distance learning," said Bateman. "Right now, distance learning models and platforms (MOOCs, for instance) are being discussed as The Future of Higher Education, but it’s unclear what academic agents will house and regulate them. To me, it seems like an obvious job for us librarians.

"Teaching poetry to such a diverse group of students also led me to think on literary collection practices and canon formation. I was exposed to amazing new international poetries, and many of the poets whom I took for granted as part of ‘the canon’ were unfamiliar to my students – how refreshing!"