Presentation Title

Guided Writing in Content-Rich Disciplinary Electives

Streaming Media

Submission Type

20-minute Presentation

Abstract

This session promotes an approach to student writing that directs attention to those points in the writing process that can most benefit the student writer. It relies on the principle that it is far less time consuming to grade a well written essay than one poorly conceived and executed. The session will guide participants through each step in the process and make clear how we use rubrics, peer reviews, and the campus LMS to limit the amount of time the instructor needs to spend with each student’s work product and the amount of disciplinary “content” sacrificed to the writing process.

Start Date

5-24-2018 9:00 AM

Description

This 20-minute session will describe the steps involved in implementing a strategy to guide students through the process of writing short persuasive essays while minimizing sacrifice of the primary learning goals of a course.

Virtually all undergraduate departments worry that they provide insufficient support for students learning to write in the discipline. And there is ample evidence that student writing is an effective tool for mastering disciplinary modes of analysis. However, most instructors feel that they “can’t afford” the sacrifice of content coverage when class time is devoted to teaching writing skills and are daunted at the prospect of wading through piles of student essays.

This session promotes an approach to student writing that draws on available technology to direct faculty and classroom attention to those points in the writing process that can most benefit student learning. It relies on the principle that it is far less time consuming to grade a well written essay than one poorly conceived and executed.

We’ll illustrate the process we’ve been perfecting in a freshman-sophomore environmental economics elective with writing assignments due at the end of the first and final thirds of the semester. The class typically has 15-25 students; but the strategy could be implemented in larger classes with TA support. The session will guide participants through each step in the process and make clear how we use rubrics, peer reviews and the campus LMS to limit the amount of time the instructor needs to spend with each student’s work product.

In particular, we will take participants (with ample opportunity for Q&A) through a series of interventions in the writing process where students easily can go astray:

  • Paper topic -- feasibility check
  • Analytics -- is an appropriate disciplinary tool applied correctly?
  • Drafting -- is the student thinking through all elements of the assignment?
  • First draft -- identify strengths and weaknesses; develop a revision strategy
  • Final draft -- acknowledge excellence and identifying areas for growth

Guided Writing for BlendLAC 2018 (D-18-0002's conflicted copy 2018-05-24).pptx (5619 kB)
Presentation Slides

Guided Writing Presentation Paper.pdf (243 kB)
Implementing the strategy in Environmental Economics

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May 24th, 9:00 AM

Guided Writing in Content-Rich Disciplinary Electives

This session promotes an approach to student writing that directs attention to those points in the writing process that can most benefit the student writer. It relies on the principle that it is far less time consuming to grade a well written essay than one poorly conceived and executed. The session will guide participants through each step in the process and make clear how we use rubrics, peer reviews, and the campus LMS to limit the amount of time the instructor needs to spend with each student’s work product and the amount of disciplinary “content” sacrificed to the writing process.