Palomar: Shakespeare in Education

Group 1

Professor Barrett-Graves

English 6770-01

14 May 2012

Palomar:  Shakespeare in Education

            The Palomar Shakespeare website serves as a hub of information geared toward facilitating the learning of Shakespeare’s plays and poetry.  The Education tab of the site, both positively and negatively relays this information to both students and instructors through content, navigability, visual appeal, intent, and accessibility.

            The Educational tab for the Palomar Shakespeare website lacks visual interest and appeal.  The color scheme is predominately neutral and there are next to zero graphics.  This site is aimed at college students and educators, most likely, considering the lackluster appearance; however, the data collected on the page is clearly laid out and links are descriptive and in bold, suggesting an ease of navigation.  Visually, this site would not appeal to younger students -- high school and under -- but it’s clean appearance may be appealing to older audiences.

            The site design is simple and plain.  It uses text links to access other websites and information.  There are no graphics; the positive is that it doesn’t slow the process, while the negative is that it is boring. It is a point and click function which is easy to use. It is only one page.  The major drawback is that there are quite a few links that are either broken or link to out-dated sites with no working URL; this is very bad for website functionality.  The accessible information was decent.

            The Education section of the Palomar website does not have specific lesson plans or access for students facing learning disabilities; however, the site offers many lessons and web links for students of all levels: high school, college, and even home schooled students. Resources such as the graphic novel Shakespeare could easily be adapted to help students facing reading or learning disabilities connect with the material.

            The page hosts three useful links for teaching about Shakespeare’s use of language. One, “Triangulating Shakespeare” by Prof. Steven Marx, is directed toward college students from the introductory to the graduate level and provides links to resources for those levels. “You Kiss By The Book” is a site directed to high school teachers. This site is part of Edsitement, a humanities website that hosts various activities for a wide range of grade levels.  “Close Reading Shakespeare: A Course Portfolio,” by John Webster was the most useful of the sites for college teachers as he provides a detailed description of how to analyze how the passages work within the play.

            While a number of teaching materials -- ranging from lesson plans to commercial links for software, film adaptations, music, and sign language-based -- are referenced in the Education tab, making the page better geared toward the instructor's perspective, links to major websites, databases and community organizations for both students and teachers are also provided.  For post-secondary students of Shakespeare, this page of the website serves as an appropriate and navigable database of critical and supplementary sources, and provides a variety of tools and guides to facilitate the teaching of Shakespeare to beginners, when paired with other sources.

            The Education tab of the Palomar website would benefit from visual improvement as well as more regular updating; however, the information provided serves as an adequate resource for those interested in teaching as well as learning about Shakespeare and his work.
Group 1 members:  Janet Burns, Justin Lassen, Ashley Ondek, Kimberly Robertson, Sandra Vaughn