How can we empower our students to engage critically with our course materials?
One of the most exciting results of teaching--but most challenging to achieve--occurs when students are able to express curiosity about your course’s subject matter. Check out the following ideas for using writing to encourage your students to think more critically about their work.
How can we use technology in the classroom to enhance students' understanding of composition and communication? Technology is constantly changing how we communicate and how we do our scholarly work. In the context of what are sometimes radical changes, it is important for us to help our students think critically about the ways they use technology and the ways technology affects how we produce, disseminate, and value knowledge. This doesn't mean, however, that we need to jump in and grab the latest gadget or adopt the most recent application to generate buzz. If we carefully consider how technology affects our teaching and our students' learning, we can find ways to help students not only enhance their written work through technology, but also provide them with the capacity to adapt and innovate in a rapidly changing environment. Here are some examples from some of your colleagues at Ohio State who are using technology to both enhance student learning and help students hone their writing skills.
Question: How might I fix the kinks in my writing assignments this quarter? What has worked for my colleagues?
Activity Idea: Take some time at the end of this quarter to think about what writing assignments worked well and reflect on some of the challenges you faced teaching writing. Your colleague in the office down the hall might be your best resource for this, and you might be hers as well. In our work in WAC, we have the privilege of talking to Ohio State's most creative and resourceful teachers every day. For this tip email, we've collected a few approaches from three instructors we've worked with this quarter that have really inspired us:
How can I find out more about what exactly my students are learning throughout the quarter?
Evaluating student responses to formal assignments alone only tells us so much about what students are learning, and usually tells us very little about how they are learning. Informal, reflective writing can give you a window into student learning: how they go about tackling a problem or question, what challenges they face in an assignment, and what about their work sparks their personal interests and passions.
Since we have a lot to say on this topic, I'm going to divide our summary of the workshop on this into two posts, beginning with my introductory remarks, and then following with an overview of what was shared by our guest presenters, Vicki Daiello from the Department of Art Education and Professor Scott Dewitt of the Department of English.
On April 17, I had the pleasure of talking with Caroline Su's Women's Studies 215 students about developing good thesis statements. The students were preparing to work on an essay assignment for the following class, in which they were required to analyze gender issues in the novel The Bell Jar.
This was our second year in a row working with Theatre graduate students. For this workshop, we were asked to come and discuss "Creating Effective Writing Assignments."
First, Iâ€™d like to say thank you to all who attended our Drawing to Learn workshop. I think we had a great conversation about how and why to assign visual composing assignments for students. I also want to thank David Staley (History) and Vicki Daiello (Art Education) for sharing the visual composing assignments they have used with their students and for talking about the challenges and rewards of teaching visual composing in their disciplines.
This presentation was designed for students in Art Ed 367. At the beginning of the quarter the instructor asked students what they wanted help with writing. A large majority of students responded that they were confused on how and when to cite sources and what exactly constitutes plagiarism.
On Oct. 20, we held a workshop on responding to and evaluating student writing for instructors in Art Education. First, let me say that Shannon, Lisya and I had a great time; working with ArtEd is always fun for us. Also, thanks to Dr. Eisenhauer for arranging the workshop.