Communication is participating in the 2007-2008 4×4 writing initiative (Gina, Leah, Ralina, and me). Notes from the first meeting. History: Writing center started two years ago. Fourth year of this program – integrating writing across the curriculum.
Writing has been identified as a way of thinking. Issue of sub-skills — how people in a discipline think, what works as evidence. More like playing the piano: the instrument and notes are the same but playing jazz is much different from playing classical.
- What teaching issues or obstacles have you found yourself dealing with in designing, teaching or evaluating writing projects for your classes?
- Scalability – weekly reading response reflection
- How much and what kind of feedback to provide on graded papers (ie, dangling participles versus issues of structure or argument)
- How much should I expect them to know about how to structure an argument and how much should I try to teach?
- Balancing content versus writing
- In what areas of designing, teaching or evaluating writing assignments would you find discussion with colleagues or additional resources particularly helpful?
- How to design assignments for how to think versus how to demonstrate knowledge
- How to create authentic assignments
- Best practices
- Most people describe themselves a s having strong affective responses to writing — share anecdote.
John’s themes (this group has more sophisticated questions than the first year)
- Grading issues
- Time issues
- Expectations/knowing audience
- Sequencing as writing practice
- Authentic writing
- TA training
Integrated writing assignment versus add-on writing assignment, for example find and critique a scholarly article
- We forget the sub-skills required, for example, in finding a scholarly article
- Then we’re asking them to make sense of the article
- Fisheries example of success
- Low-stakes writing is primary tool (+/-)
- Best is no stakes writing, esp for grading
- Students need to know why the writing assignment is relevent
- Some I’ll read, some you’ll read
- High stakes writing (traditional writing)
- Publication is the least-used tool for motivation or assessment
- Either one half-day on Saturday or two 2-hour meetings (Oct/Nov)
- One Dept small group meeting (Dec) – first assignment
- Feb meetiing – second assignment
- May meeting – third assignment
- June reports due
Look for note from John in the next day or two RE good meeting times – two-hour blocks.