Course Collaboration Project—Part I

I am pleased to announce that I will be collaborating with Patrick Bahls on our spring courses. I will be teaching an abstract algebra course; Patrick will be teaching a topology course.

This will largely be a pedagogical venture. We hope to give each other ideas on the course set-ups, and we hope to critique each other’s ideas. This will be done by a series of postings at our respective weblogs, along with a minimal amount private emails through Facebook (note: I am “Cogswell” on his weblog). We would like to keep this process as transparent as possible.

A couple of my upcoming posts will be on “homework committees” and “writing a course textbook.” These are ideas that Patrick has previously done; I will post on them to help me understand how they might be implemented.

I believe that collaboration is the best way to innovate. Communicating ideas to other people forces me to clarify my thoughts, hear others’ perspectives, and have more fun. This is true of both teaching and research. Patrick and I have similar goals for our students, and I am grateful to have found someone with whom to share ideas.

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