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Instructional Design & Support

Joel Crombez, Sociology

Topic:
Visualizing Sociological Theories: Learning How to Think About, Make Use of, and Illustrate Abstract Concepts with the Aid of Graphic Novels

Course:
Sociology 321: Sociological Theory

Abstract: 
I am developing a visual learning component for my sociological theory course that integrates graphic novels as a learning aid and their creation using a web-based software as a course assignment. With the use of Pixton (www.pixton.com) drag and drop comic creation software, I will assign groups of students to make graphic novels that illustrate each theory or theoretical tradition we cover in the course. Each graphic novel will include a brief written introduction followed by visual illustrations with select quotations and commentary on the theorist’s biography and scholarly credentials, the socio-historical context in which the theory was developed, the major concepts and themes developed in the theory, any major critiques of the theory, its contemporary relevance through an empirical case study, a conclusion, and finally, a bibliography. We will meet online once every other week throughout the semester to train on the software, brainstorm and share ideas for ways to visualize the material covered in the readings and lectures, workshop each group’s projects, and present the finished products in an online conference. To accomplish this I need to develop an online space that has screen and file sharing capabilities so that students can follow along with the software training, participate and share ideas as we develop them in class, and allow them to work on their group projects in a shared space that lets them have access to the group’s resources on their own time.

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