The novels of Roddy Doyle formed the primary curriculum of Professor Thomas Lockwood’s senior seminar in Autumn Quarter, 2003, his first attempt at adapting a traditional literature course to the CIC classrooms. It was a successful venture, with face-to-face discussions about the novels themselves interspersed with screenings of the novels’ film adaptations and, finally, with online research about a variety of subjects—from popular and critical receptions of the novels and their screen revisions, to Doyle’s composing habits for print and screen narratives, to Dublin’s topography and dialect, and, of course, to Ireland’s political history and cultural norms.
All of this research students eventually redirected into individual and group reports geared toward informing the class at large. One participant went so far as to build a Web page presentation that detailed the commercial and culinary foundations of typical Irish diets, a subject well in keeping with Doyle’s literary realism. And more than half of the students and groups opted to present their material via PowerPoint. About the presentation mix one student noted, “They were much more interesting, more organized than the index-card talks,” confirming the academic advantage of integrating at least a few technological options into traditional teaching methods.