I really wish we lit folks here at NWU had more time and energy to talk about lit stuffs together. We're an unwieldy group, a lot of us, spread all over lit, theory, and pop culture sorts of stuff, but I'd really like to know what sorts of assignments my colleagues assign at different levels, how we see our assignments building skills and knowledge (if we do), how much reading we think is reasonable for our students at different levels, how much time we expect our students to spend on our courses, and so on.
It's hard, also, I think, because we're often a bit defensive. The older folks are worried that we're not cutting edge enough, not theoretical enough, or doing the "wrong" theory. The younger folks are worried that the tenured folks will use information against them somehow. And we're all a bit worried, maybe, that people will think we're not working hard enough. (I think I've mentioned, critically, a colleague who decided to use multiple choice tests for her intro courses?)
And we're all feeling absolutely overworked and looking for ways to make things a bit easier.
How much do you communicate with colleagues in your field about work loads and assignments for students? About managing your own work loads?
Is there a good way to facilitate this sort of discussion?
(I'm thinking of inviting my colleagues to my house for hot cocoa and cookies during the winter "break" period to talk about lit and share assignments and such.)