Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Implementation of Activity:

So far, I have created the "hub" ePortfolio which will serve as the center of activity and shared work for my BTN195 (Business Urban Study) class and Professor Fernandez's BTM110 (Business Law) class. I have uploaded some readings for students which will be viewed by both classes. The eP has been shared to both classes and the three photography students who will be providing original photography for the app. (I met with these students and gave them the specs for the photos) Additionally, Jetmir Troshani has agreed to help us upload the content (as it comes along) to the app. Finally, my BTN195 independent study student is helping all of the groups with research (providing links to articles, websites, etc. on ePortfolio) as part of her class obligations.

Tonight, my class is discussing the readings.

I am exhausted.

Bottlenecked - Reflection on Bass and Elmendorf

My activity is an example of the model in practice, particularly in the design layer where constructing and communicating understanding to an authentic audience interplays.  Students construct their speech materials (constructing) and then communicate with other students and interact (communicating their knowledge in applied practice) and are thinking not only of the professor, but of the intended audience for our purposes, the students.

My only criticism of the design layer is that visually it doesn't create much of a sense of the interplay that exists between all three phases, most notably the construction and communication aspects.  Knowledge deepens and is altered when we leave the comfort and rigidity of the construction and apply it in different ways, receive feedback, etc.

One additional criticism of the white paper, it discusses how social pedagogies help to cure bottlenecks and the issues they present.  It states this in a very generic way, with no direct evidence as to how.  It's not that I can't believe that this occurs, but this section feels more prescriptive than descriptive of actual student progression.  Instead of believing what someone says 'something' can do, I'd prefer to hear how it has succeeded in helping move students through bottlenecks, whether qualitatively or quantitatively, I mean... something...?

But the paper is a good one, in premise, and helps to contextualize our efforts to use technology to assist our students to achieve.

Representational Knowledge for an Authentic Audience

Bass and Elmendorf suggest that at the heart of their theory of "social pedagogies" is the development of "authentic tasks," which allow for the "representation of knowledge for an authentic audience" and contributes to the "construction of knowledge in a course" (2). Our activity will connect two ENA 101 courses and ask students in each to select (and revise) paragraphs from their upcoming research papers. These paragraphs will be written for an "authentic audience," i.e., an assigned student who is not familiar with the course material. Consequently, students will have to ensure that their paragraphs (according to the "sandwich method") have a clear claim, a well-introduced quotation with an accompanying citation, and a explanation of the quotation's significance in relation to the claim they have made. The "authentic audience" will evaluate this paragraph based on these component parts and determine if they create a unified whole. They will not be able to assume any prior knowledge of the subject matter or topic of the essay, and so the construction of the paragraph (as with the construction of knowledge) is essential.

Implementing my acitivty

I sent an invitation to my regular MAT120 class to join the google group 'LAGCC-MAT120-Spring 2013'. They have to accept the invite and join the group by this Thursday. I just sent the invite to my MAT120 Hybrid class. They will be joining the group this afternoon during my computer lab hour. I will be posting my first assignment this weekend for both the sections. So far good, I have to see how it goes once students start posting their repsonses. Excited :)



Enhancing Social Pedagogies (Bass and Elmendorf)

My "connecting activity" (using Facebook to facilitate writing feedback between two Composition I courses) would enhance Bass and Elmendorf's sections on "authentic audience." A key passage: "...students are developing their knowledge in contexts that centrally ask them to think of their audience as someone other than their professor...whether it is other students or some external audience" (2). As a long-time writing teacher, I've long emphasized -- with mixed success at best -- that effective writing needs to be as broadly accessible as possible. Thus, the author must provide the reader with necessary background information or context throughout the discussion. Although this seems like a straightforward concept to me, many students have struggled to make the cognitive and imaginative leap into their audience's mind. We all knew this was a fictional situation, and that I was the only person who'd read their work.

Web 2.0 technology might provide a more "authentic" context for writing, one which somewhat foregrounds its communicative -- rather than merely performative -- dimension. As Bass and Elmendorf write, such a context gives the "sense that something is at stake in sharing one's ideas other than getting a grade" (5). While this might be stated too optimistically (I doubt that most students ever lose sight of the grade as the primary motivating factor), sharing one's writing with an unknown peer does raise the "stakes" for one's writing. At the very least, students probably don't want to be embarrassed by attaching some unacceptably poor sample to their names. Here, peer pressure is the teacher's friend! In short, the creation of a "broader context beyond a private transaction between teacher and student" is a tailor-made pedagogical context for the kinds of activities we're piloting in Community 2.0.

How might enhance article...

"All too often, the connection between content and community goes missing."

I'm not sure how my activity (student peer review feedback on a wiki) would necessarily contribute to this article but the above quote, and surrounding paragraphs, highlighted to me an aspect that is missing from my activity.  And that I will try to implement in the future (perhaps next term).

This particular activity is primarily content driven and lacks in the community aspect.  An easy way to deal with that would be to utilize the "discussion" function that most wikis offer.  This way students could communicate in another forum, and create community, away from the specific feedback itself.

How the activity is going

So far it has been kind of a mixed bag with the activity.  But that's to be expected, really.  I'd say just over half of the students have posted their outlines which obviously is going to affect many students' ability to provide feedback.  Excuses have run the gamut (difficulty with wiki/technology, didn't get it done by deadline, etc.).

Of the people who posted their deadline on time and given their peers feedback...  a lot of the feedback has been good, but some of it has been a little light.  Again, to be expected.  You can't expect these things to run perfectly the first time around, so it is good that there is a second round to this.  A lot of these exercises are merely to get students to be receptive to these kinds of interactive activities.

Progressing Slowly

There is not much to report. We are still having students work on the same assignment but on separate platforms; Porsha’s CSZ class have been posting on blogger and my CSE students have been posting their responses on Facebook.

We have since changed the activity to one that we feel best fulfills the course objectives and students needs.  Students will either be working on   a wiki or Blog Post on a Guide to the ACT Types of Questions.  Students were placed in groups and each group was assigned a type of question.  

Monday, April 29, 2013

getting things together...

I am planning to meet my other side of the connection at the end of the week... but as the week is developing I might postpone for early next week. In any case, I would like to meet Cindy Casey from the CUNY Immersion Language Program to nail down the details and meet her class to introduce the activity soon.

I am still debating to use a Web 2.0 tool where students have to create new accounts. It will somehow delay the push and intensity of participation. I would like to use something cool but I might end up using Blackboard, which still I am not sure if the students enrolled in her program have access to.

Meeting her will make my life easier and will reduce the uncertainty to zero. It will also stop all the procrastinating that I have been having lately about it. What will be left is to finally create the connection and make live. It will be exciting!

I will be very grateful to receive any insights and opinions about wiki tools.

Reflection on Facebook Group Activity

Irwin and I have discussed the activity in more detail. Via Facebook groups, students will exchange paragraphs that will be excerpted from their upcoming research essays, and will be evaluated according to the principles of the "sandwich method." The students will (probably) not be told the details of the essay assignment that the other class has been given. However, this will be the point of the group activity. Students will have to develop paragraphs that are able to "stand alone" (containing a claim, a quote from one of their sources, and an explanation of the quote's significance in relation to the claim). If they are not able to "stand alone," one of the parts of the "sandwich" probably needs to be revised and/or clarified. I have just begun to prepare my students for this activity. Today, they were given the essay assignment and research methods were discussed. Subsequently, I will introduce the Facebook group activity once they feel more secure in their topic and have begun the research process. Thomas

Community 2.0 - Activity Update - King

Happy Monday everyone - For now, I'm simply connecting my provided grid.  I'll be honest, my plan is to implement this within the final speech (persuasive), not the primary large speech.  I am trying to mesh this with what we do here in Community 2.0 but my timeline may be a little off.  My purpose for this, is that students will meet with me, develop their speech, deliver and then have a better understanding of the foundational skills at that point.  

This will enable them to more insightfully evaluate each other for their final work.

The only part that needs completed at this stage are the rubrics.  I don't foresee any issues, as the students have been using the platform all semester in different ways.  (Of course, there will be issues!  Yay for issues!)

Activity (Pedagogy)
Connection (Community)
Platform (Web 2.0)
What is the lesson plan?

To provide students with an understanding of appropriate feedback (rubric) and interaction within the Box.com structure.

What are you goals/outcomes?

There are several goals…

First, that students, by evaluating other student work, will better understand the fundamentals of speech development in a different capacity through peer evaluation.

Second, that students who receive feedback will be able to edit their work accordingly, understand the suggestions of their peers (whether technical or one’s perspective).

How much time will the activity take?

One session to explain the rubric, provide examples together of appropriate feedback, and verify standardization of feedback rules.

With whom with you connect? 

Two of my sections of HUC 106: Public Speaking

What do these two groups have to learn/gain/ experience from each other?

Perspective, application of professional speech writing and working together to craft a better formulated speech product.

How will you coordinate?

Will all take place within the classroom for one session.  The feedback will take place on Box.com by creating folders for each group to place documents.  No live editing should occur, only suggestions and feedback which will then be applied by the author.
What platform(s) will you use?


What do you need to do to set it up (e.g., are you already using it? Do you need to learn it?)

Nothing, already using, students already plugged in.

Where will you do it (e.g., do you need to reserve a computer lab)?

No accommodations necessary.
Identify the strengths of your activity. Where do you still need to work on it? What questions do you have? What support do you need?

The strengths include having students benefit from thinking as the editor (or teacher) allowing them to shoulder a different responsibility as compared to only being the writer.

I need to construct a rubric to provide to students to give direction and hone appropriate feedback.

In terms of support, none necessary.

Identify the strengths of your connection? Where do you still need to work on it? What questions do you have? What support do you need?

N/A on strength of connection. 

Identify the strengths of your platform. Where do you still need to work on it? What questions do you have? What support do you need?

Box.com does what it needs to do very cleanly and doesn’t have excess tools.

Reflection on Connecting Activity for 4/29

Not too much to report so far. Thomas and I agreed to have our ENA101 students exchange key paragraphs from their Essay #3 drafts via Facebook in mid-May. My students have just gotten started on Essay #2, which I'm planning to use as rehearsal for the connecting exercise. I'm still working out the plan. We're going to do peer review, but I haven't decided if we'll do it face-to-face or "asynchroneously" via Facebook. While using Facebook would be the logical way to practice for the connecting exercise, I think learning to give useful feedback best occurs in person, since there's no substitute for face-to-face interaction. Then again, using Facebook might free up some students to give honest and helpful comments, since they could feel less pressured to be "nice" and give perfunctory praise if they aren't sitting in front of the writer. There are advantages either way. I'm going to wait and try to get a feel for the students' preferences before making the decision.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Agenda 23 April

2:30 - 2:35 Welcome and Announcements

2:35 - 3:45 Connecting the Dots:  One activity, one connection, one platform (Access the Connecting the Dots template HERE; but please "Rename" it before you edit! Begin filling out Group Form-Grid.)
3:45 - 4:25 Discussion: Bass and Elmendorf’s "Social Pedagogies" White Paper

4:25 - 4:35 Break

4:35 - 5:25 Privacy, Evaluation and Fun with Labels

5:25 Homework  
1a. By Tuesday April 30: Post on blog: Enhancing Bass and Elmendorf’s “Social Pedagogies
How might the connective activity you (and your colleagues) do enhance the Bass and Elmendorf Social Pedagogies White Paper? Where in the article would you reference your work? Why? 
If so inspired, you are welcome to insert the activities of other C2.0 colleagues as well. Don’t forget the labels!

1b. By Monday May 6: Comment on 3 or more posts
Keeping in mind the themes addressed by Bass and Elmendorf such as audience, the social core, informal learning, constructing and communicating understanding, disciplinary understanding bottlenecks or other concepts you find interesting, please comment on three or more of your colleagues' posts.

2. By each Monday midnight (for 4/29, 5/6, 5/13, and 5/20) post a reflective Blog post: How is it going with planning and/or implementing your activity? (OR: How did it go?) Don’t forget the “labels!” Please respond to the person who posted just before you. (And others as you feel inspired.) First person to post, please comment on the post of your choice!

3. By (noon) Tuesday May 28: Activity: Finalize and do at least one connection activity before May 28, our next meeting. Fill in the Group Form-Grid


Our next and final f2f this semester will be May 28. Your activity needs to have *happened* by then. 

Before you leave today: 
1. If you have not yet done so, post your link and course title: HERE
2. Fill in your COURSE and SECTION # HERE so we can process your stipend!  

Fall Semester Dates are:

Tuesday, 9/10, 2:30 - 5:30 pm
Tuesday, 10/8, 2:30 - 5:30 pm
Tuesday, 11/5, 2:30 - 5:30 pm
Tuesday, 12/3, 2:30 - 5:30 pm


Computers and Compostion

Just wanted to share this online journal, in case you haven't seen it.


In the current issue and archives, most essays are dedicated to exploring how to move writing instruction into the digital sphere.  

There's also the Basic Writing Electronic Journal. The current issue focuses on multimodal composing.   http://bwe.ccny.cuny.edu/

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sharing an experience...

Last Friday I had the honor to be invited to be part of a panel discussion in the 3rd Annual English Language Learners Forum about English Language Learning across the Disciplines at Hostos Community College. It was very interesting.

The key note speakers were Drs. Michelle Thomas and Cynthia Schuemann of Miami Dade College on Accelerated Content-Based English Project.

They were entertaining and interesting, illustrating many ideas using video and quotations from "Gloria", the Hispanic character of Modern Family. I am not very familiar with the show but I knew about her, Gloria, one of the latest Colombian prides (in one of the comments, you can find a short intro about me and Gloria).

During their talk, I started to feel hesitant about the moment when I have to do my short minute presentation. I was starting to feel that my destiny on that day for me was to be Gloria. I introduced myself as the proxy for Gloria in the discussion Panel, just to break the ice. Did the presentation, went well, and it was very well received. I also included a short pitch about our Community 2.0 seminar and all the interesting stuff we do. As result, Cynthia E. Casey from the CUNY Immersion Program at LaGuardia was in the audience and she will be very interested to connect her students with my MAT96 students. I still have to get the details but we will do a short trial this semester but I am very excited for that.

If you would like to see my presentation, click here.

Online Journal

Hi everyone,

I am very sorry for the delay. It's been a rough couple of weeks as a daddy.

I am hoping to begin working with this cohort on an online journal that chronicles their experience working in the CUNY Fatherhood Academy and allows them to connect with folks from the previous cohorts. A blog would be great, but it's difficult to find the right time to get everyone in the same room to work on it. We want to keep it relevant to their interests and to what is current in the classroom (much emphasis on classroom) and where those two things might intersect. Frankly, as I fight off infection, this sounds like quite a chore. But I think the folks who signed up for the task will have many interesting things to say.

And I'm still trying to get on top of putting together a wiki as a resource. I was planning on connecting two classes, but one of those classes has been pretty inconsistent. Is anyone who is teaching an English class interested and ready this semester to have a bunch of people looking over your shoulder?


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Planned C2.0 Learning Activity(-ies)

My ideas are still pretty amorphous, but:

1)  As I'd posted on my dance card response: Lisa and I have plans to team up: she teaches Images of Women in the Media, and I teach Images of Women in Literature.  We're going to get our classes in community with each other this semester, to show that 1) images of women are pervasive and dangerous regardless of medium, and 2) for my purposes, Literature Is Relevant to the "real world."  

I'm afraid that I haven't had much time to think about this beyond our initial conversation--Spring "Break" wasn't!

2) I'm uncomfortable with committing to doing too much with new ideas and new technology this semester, for fear of shorting my students on what I've seen they need, the development of critical thinking and writing skills, but there's still plenty of the semester to go.  

I'm looking ahead to Fall more, though, when I'll have three ENG 101 (Composition I) classes to work with.  I know I want to do some sort of cultural literacy Web 2.0 forum, probably a Wiki of some kind, where the students just share knowledge: there would be/will be a list of topics (80+ since it'll be three sections of 28 students each) that the internet helps me decide are things worth knowing about (examples coming to mind right now are the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, Watergate, Higgs-Boson, and the Berlin Wall--basically, Jeopardy! answers) and students will research and post and read and learn and it'll be awesome.  That sounds way more kumbayah than I hope it will actually be... 

Also, I found this in my email drafts with a note that said "C2.0 post as comment later," but as I have absolutely no idea what it is referring to, I'll post it here:
I think that the most valuable element of the exercise is that we reach the same goal that we'd have with students in a Web 2.0 world/class/what-have-you, which is finding connections that we didn't see in actual conversation, getting the space to let ideas play out.  This hits on all of the elements of the C2.0 trivium, and we see it in action and can measure in some way its success before we quite understand it.

Dance Card

I'd forgotten that I was unable to post my dance-card responses during our last meeting.  Apologies for the delay.

My first partner was Lisa, and we discovered that we teach classes that would be perfect classes to team up: she teaches Images of Women in the Media (that class is HUC 130, I think, plus she also teaches HUC 101), and I teach Images of Women in Literature.  We're going to get our classes in community with each other this semester.  She has a great lesson plan that I'm going to steal and adapt for a lit class, where she shows music videos against non-staged videos of women being objectified; she is thinking about moving some element of this to Facebook, since the platform is ideal for a discussion of a video.  I don't recall if I am making this up or if she said, since she does a version of the assignment in both of these classes, that she will link her two classes.

Then I danced with Mark, who introduced me to box.com, a stripped-down file-sharing and commenting platform.  He Is teaching two sections of Public Speaking, and is looking to get them in virtual conversation throughout the process of preparing work for class.  It sounds like he wants students to use each other as resources as well as sounding boards, with which I fully agree. 

Finally, I joined Maria & Priscilla, and got to brainstorm and talk about my ideas for the entire time.   I definitely see that I need to clarify not just the role of any C2.0 activities in my classes, but the eventual pedagogical purposes.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Making Reading Connections

Melissa and I have decided to bring together my CSE 099 (Essentials of Reading II) course and her CSZ 099 (Academic Reading Strategies) course. We have determined that the stronger of the two courses is the CSE 099. In both courses students are preparing to take the ACT in Reading at the end of the semester. However, the students in Melissa's class have already taken CSE 099, but have yet to pass the ACT (repeaters). 

Our class communities will connect through the use of our Blog EZ READING CONNECTIONS (Blogger)and the text "America Now" which we have assigned to both of our classes. The text focuses on the use of technology and how it has changed the way we read and write. Students in my class have already begun to communicate with me and each other through Blogger about readings in the text. They already have a sense of providing feedback to their peers.

Melissa's CSZ students will receive a writing asignment which they must collaborate as a whole class on. (Students will be broken up into groups, responsible for a particular section of the writing assisgnment). The final product will be posted on Blogger. My CSE students will provide feedback and responses adhering to our rubric for blog posts. We will take turns with the responsibilities of assigning a task and providing feedback.

Digital Journal & PSE Transitions

I've been working on a print student journal for Adult Education students.  One of the projects I'll work on this term is moving the next edition online, and creating a method for digital submission that's not an email attachment.  By moving to a digital version,  I'll create an opportunity for students to comment on "published" works, either in writing or by adding some other media that is a reflection of their peers' work. To get some help with this project, I am going to invite students in Daryl's GED class to serve as guest editors.

Over the summer, I will work on some activities that GED Bridge to Health students can complete on online.  I'm hoping to work on a new epidemics unit, so some of that work can happen in the computer lab.  I have to work more on the the contents of that unit before I can be more specific here.

Finally, we are making some shifts in our work to move students into the credit side of the college.  To help train new staff and provide a single clearinghouse for information, I am going to create a transitions wiki with both staff and student pages.  I hope to have this up and running in May.

Collaborating with EZ Reading Connections

Porsha and I are connecting our developmental reading courses CSZ 099 and CSE 099 (see Porsha’s post for course description) via blogger.  Porsha's class has been actively posting to blogger but my students have just been "learning by leaking."  Our students are using the same text ( America Now by Robert Atwan) this semester hence this makes collaborating much easier.  The biggest challenge so far has been trying to figure out what assignments best fulfill the course objectives and ours students' needs.    

A tentative lesson plan is to have my students collaborate on a research paper using Google docs.  This research paper will include an overview and comparison of the Dictionary and Worknik.com. We haven't quite worked out how Porsha's class is going to contribute to this assignment but the plan, for now, is to post the final paper on blogger to get feedback from Porsha's students. 


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Plans for Learning Activity

How will you connect two communities of students in a learning activity through the use of a web 2.0 platform?

My plans for a learning activity using a web 2.0 platform are centered around having students from my Profiles and Prospects: Businesses in NYC (Urban Study) course and students from Hector Fernandez's Introduction to Business Law course work together to examine the works and life of Robert Moses through the following perspectives:

- the man (political beliefs, character, ethics)
- the money (monetary costs of projects, revenue generated)
- the legend (short- and long-term effects of projects on NYC stakeholders, legal battles)

Students will share resources, research and questions via a shared course ePortfolio. The ePortfolio will connect students from two different courses, at two different times of day (evening and day students) by providing an interactive "hub" where students can communicate and help one another with their research and understanding/interpreting their findings.  Faculty and student efforts connected with the project will also be documented using the eP.

We hope to use the research and findings to create a free, informational App on Robert Moses, solely authored by LaGuardia students. We are awaiting a response from faculty from the Photography department, as we plan to expand the community of this project by having select photography students provide original photos for the App.

Right now, we are in the preliminary stages of creating the framework of the shared course ePortfolio (determining the layout, how to group information, how to best elicit student participation using this tool, facilitating use, coordinating a support system in case tech issues arise).

This is the first time that I am embarking on a project like this. Although I have used eP before, and I have developed a sense of community within a single class, I have never ventured out to connect two class sections- particularly two different courses- to work on a project. Needless to say, I am very, very nervous about it.
Application -

I have a couple of plans for tying in web 2.0 into my class.
I am looking for a partner to tie my class into another.

Class student in the class will do a webinar tied to a final research paper using e-portfolio and powerpoint.

Each student will research a condition, a type of creative arts therapy, and a specific patient population for a 10 page research paper. (i.e. using comic book heroes in art therapy for treatment of a 14 year old young man with self-esteem issues.)
Final Project: Create a Powerpoint presentation based on the research paper and record an accompanying voice-over speech discussing their topic. These will be presented in class for their final exam.

It seems as though most are using their own classes to work with each other. I have one class, so that is not a possibility.

So here's my personals ad:
Seeking partnership with oral presentation class to coach the voice over section of the project while Human Services students in my class monitor group dynamics of the oral presentation class.

Second Project:
Students are assigned research on creative ways to manage anger. Students will use blogger to journal about anger and their own experiences with it as a secondary emotion.

Still working out details here, but getting it out into the universe.


Facebook Collaboration

I plan to use Facebook groups to connect my ENA 101 course with Irwin's ENA 101 course (see Irwin's post for a description of this "Accelerated Learning Program" piloted English course).  I have never used Facebook before for pedagogical purposes, in part, because I could never quite figure out how to keep the discussion and/or postings private.   Irwin has assured me that the privacy of the group discussions will be maintained and the students will be familiar with the format.

Our collaborative group activity will be a targeted peer review that will address a specific stage in the writing process.  There are many advantages to having students respond to the work of students from a different class.  Most notably, the writing assignments will be different and the students won't be comparing their work to the writing they are critiquing.  Instead, they will evaluating written work objectively, which means each paper's argument and supporting evidence will have to be explicit (i.e., for a more general audience).

I think the accessibility and familiarity of Facebook will help students feel more comfortable posting and encourage them to generate longer responses/threads to each other's writing.  It will be interesting to compare the results to the kinds of discussions and responses that have been produced, for instance, on Blackboard's Discussion Board.


Plain English Math

This is a difficult post. I have been thinking about it since our last meeting, searching for cool Web 2.0 tools, and re-thinking again. 

Originally I thought of connecting my MAT96 course (Elementary Algebra, developmental math course and no credit bearing) with my MAT120 course (Elementary Statistics I) in an activity where different level students connect in both directions: 

Down-Up: MAT96 (lower level math) students have a quick peak of what the MAT120 (less low level math) students  get to do in their Data Analysis Projects via Blogger, or another cooler Web 2.0 tool.

Up-Down: MAT120 students edit, comment, and give feedback to MAT96 students’ compositions on mathematical procedures. For this I would use Wikispaces or something like collaborative Prezi (if something Prezi-like exists where collaboration is possible). Is there is no collaborative-Prezi exists, then I will summarize all the “short math poems” in a Prezi presentation. 

I am happy with these two but I believe I won't be able to do it with this semester with my MAT120 class. This section of MAT120 is special for many reasons among others: we are trying couple of things new like the Open Learning Initiative as our [online] textbook and later in the semester we will use Via Response. In addition to this, my MAT120 class contains a disruptive group of students that will make the implementation of any of these ideas more difficult. The bottom line is that I want to avoid any “extra-stress” to the students and me. 

As a result, I thought of taking the connection Up-Down where instead of connecting MAT96 and MAT120 students, I could connect MAT96 with an English composition course (in that case depending on the class it could be a horizontal connection). 

If this is not possible to arrange, I will implement the Up-Down connection any away but only inside the MAT96 and me.This will lose the interest of having feedback from outside and not only from the instructor. It will be the best comprise I could think of.