Writing Assignments Across the Disciplines
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

Writing Assignments Across the Disciplines

on

  • 401 views

Campus Alberta Writing Studies Colloquium

Campus Alberta Writing Studies Colloquium
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
September 29, 2011

Statistics

Views

Total Views
401
Views on SlideShare
400
Embed Views
1

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
2
Comments
0

1 Embed 1

http://bb.alvincollege.edu 1

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft PowerPoint

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment
  • At the U of A, we work with faculty and curriculum administratorsWhich means we work in a disciplinary contextso the research that we do is conducted with faculty engagementMeaning that the data we’re sharing with you today is not of our own accord but jointly shared with the respective disciplineAnd we intend the research to follow other similar work, like that of Roger, Theresa and Boba , and to be shared publically at a later date
  • Since 2009; we have worked with six disciplines [name them]; collected 904 assignments and 298 courseTogether with the other study: we have about 1400 assignments and 370 coursesAgain, with the aim to create a reliable, thorough picture of undergraduate assignments in their disciplinary context
  • Today, I’ll give a summary of four completed studies. Last year Roger and I presented findings from Nursing, and this year, we have 3 more to share
  • We have one main guiding question: What assignments are students asked to write?sub-questions:How oftenHow do they differHow do they vary over 4 yearsHow are they structured in a course
  • What we found in regards to: What are students asked to write?roger, let’s discuss what to focus on for this slide: just dominant? or discuss periphery or least assigned genres
  • What we learned about: how often are they asked to write: range and averageMost frequently assigned genres: papers, presentations, journals, reportsLeast frequently assigned genres: bibliographies, proposals, abstracts
  • What we learned about: how often are they asked to write: range and averageMost frequently assigned genres: papers, presentations, journals, reportsLeast frequently assigned genres: bibliographies, proposals, abstracts
  • How do they differ?Genre: Volume: some disciplines writing significantly more than othersNesting: some more frequently and structured differentlyInstructor terminology: differs both between and within the discipline: eg., within the discipline: “paper” called “essay” -- between disciplines: scholarly paper – research paper – term paper
  • How do they differ?Genre: Volume: some disciplines writing significantly more than othersNesting: some more frequently and structured differentlyInstructor terminology: differs both between and within the discipline: eg., within the discipline: “paper” called “essay” -- between disciplines: scholarly paper – research paper – term paper
  • Overall, what we didn’t expect to find in our analysis:Volume: we did not expect nursing students to write as much as they do: avg. 6 per course; CSL 1st year 15 assignmentsLength: consistently short across all years and all disciplinesDominant genres: SELF-EVAL --- REPORT -- ESSAY/PAPER -- RESEARCH PAPERthere is always an exception:Nesting frequent except in Political ScienceFeedback infrequent except in NursingResearch component almost always secondary except in CSLAssignment length short except in Political Science
  • That’s our writing research at the U of A – and our approaches to group tutoring and faculty workshops – centers around that main driving question; WHAT ARE THEY WRITING? And we hope to hear your questions. We’re looking forward to discussing them with you. thank you. And I will give it back to Roger to close. Thank you.?
  • That’s our writing research at the U of A – and our approaches to group tutoring and faculty workshops – centers around that main driving question; WHAT ARE THEY WRITING? And we hope to hear your questions. We’re looking forward to discussing them with you. thank you. And I will give it back to Roger to close. Thank you.?
  • That’s our writing research at the U of A – and our approaches to group tutoring and faculty workshops – centers around that main driving question; WHAT ARE THEY WRITING? And we hope to hear your questions. We’re looking forward to discussing them with you. thank you. And I will give it back to Roger to close. Thank you.?

Writing Assignments Across the Disciplines Writing Assignments Across the Disciplines Presentation Transcript

  • Writing Assignments Across the DisciplinesFifth Campus Alberta Writing Colloquium September 30, 2011 Susan Chaudoir PhD Student, Interdisciplinary Studies University of Alberta chaudoir@ualberta.ca www.ualberta.ca/~graves1
  • Writing Assignment Researchat University of Alberta Consult/support faculty and curriculum administrators Disciplinary contexts: writing in the disciplines (WID) Conduct research with  faculty initiative (Light, 2001, p. 223)  scholarly consistency (Graves, Hyland, & Samuels, 2010) Describes the kinds of assignments undergraduates are asked to write in various disciplines (Anson &Dannels, 2009)  inform discussions of how to direct or improve disciplinary writing for learning
  • Our Series of Studies Writing ‘inventory’ Five (5) disciplines University of Alberta:  Faculty of Nursing  Faculty of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences  Faculty of Physical Education & Recreation  Department of Political Science  Service-Learning Program One (1) discipline from another Canadian institution:  Department of Geography 1,232 assignments and 350 courses
  • Today’s Presentation Summary:  Five (5) completed studies:  Faculty of Nursing  Faculty of Physical Education & Recreation (PER)  Department of Geography  Department of Political Science  Community Service-Learning Program (CSL) In process: Pharmacy
  • Our Research Questions What assignments are students asked to write? How often are they asked to write? Do writing assignments differ by discipline? How do instructors structure writing assignments within a course (e.g., scaffold, link, sequence)?
  • What We Found Students write: a lot in these disciplines (77 to 100%)  in every course of Political Science and CSL  more often beyond second year a variety of genres  almost exclusively for an academic audience
  • What We FoundWhat are students asked to write? Political PER CSL Geography Nursing(instructor’s label) Science Paper 16 32 22 25 18 Report 30 12 Essay 21 12 Teaching 22 Demonstration Self-evaluation 24 Handouts 11 Presentation 15 17 13 Journal 10 8 Note: numbers are reported in percent of all assignments.
  • What We LearnedHow often are students asked to write? Discipline Number of writing Percent of courses assignments with writing assignments PER 266 82% Political Science 198 100% CSL 163 100% Geography 186 77% Nursing 157 86%
  • What We LearnedHow often are students asked to write? PER Political CSL Geography Nursing Science Year 1 66 / 2.5 7 / 1.4 42 / 10 15 / 3.8 17 / 3.4 Year 2 46 / 3.2 39 / 2.3 12 / 4 40 / 2.2 33 / 5.5 Year 3 67 / 2.6 40 / 2.4 35 / 6 24 / 1.85 50 / 4.2 Year 4 87 / 4.6 112 / 4.2 74 / 6.7 107 / 3.5 57 / 4.4 Note: first number = total assignments; second number = average number of assignments per course.
  • What We LearnedDo writing assignments differ by discipline? Length in PER Political CSL Geography Nursing pages Science under 2 17 5 16 18 0 2-4 45 27 39 34 74 5-6 15 15 14 19 2 7 - 10 13 23 14 18 18 11 - 12 1 11 6 5 0 13 + 9 19 11 6 6 Note: numbers are reported in percent of all assignments.
  • What We LearnedDo writing assignments differ by discipline? PER Political CSL Geography Nursing Science FEEDBACK 7 21 41 12 96 RUBRIC 27 25 13 20 60 AUDIENCE 97 92 91 100 99 Note: numbers are reported in percent of all assignments.
  • What We Learned How often do instructors scaffold/nest writing assignments within a course? 80 71 68 70percentage of all assignments 60 50 50 40 37 30 30 20 10 0 PER Political CSL Geography Nursing Science Note: numbers are reported in percent of all assignments.
  • Most Surprising Pronounced disciplinary differences (dominant genres, nesting-linking) Course terms vary Nursing study:  feedback (96%)  scaffolding (71%)  short assignments (74%)  academic audience (99%)
  • Future Projects Meta-analysis: patterns within each discipline as well as across the disciplines SSHRC grant: national research program to document writing assignments given to students in a wide variety of disciplines PhD research project: small-scale qualitative inquiry to understand how students learn what they are asked to write  Theoretical frameworks  Curricular & pedagogical focus
  • My Research Topic How do students learn the genres they are asked to write? Theoretical framework: Genre as social action (Miller, 1984/1994) Analysis: Genre flexibility (Schryer, 2002)  students are ‘genred’ into the discipline Methodology/method: Case study My quandary:which to pursue? 1. across disciplines: comparative study 2. within one discipline: descriptive study
  • My Research Topic How do students learn the genres they are asked to write? Nursing:  Highest ratio of nesting (75%)  Highest ratio of feedback (96%)  Highest ratio of short assignments (74%)  Near-exclusive academic audience (99%)  Emphasis: writing “scholarly” (not expository, creative, provocative)  Emphasis: reading “research” (secondary not primary) genres: Dominant and periphery Perspectives:student - instructor – tutor
  • My Research Topic Firstquestion: what assignments are students asked to write? My research question: how do students learn the genres they are asked to write? What are your questions? Discussion
  • ReferencesAnson, C. A., &Dannels, D. (2009, December 3). Profiling programs: Formative uses of departmental consultations in the assessment of communication across the curriculum [Special issue on Writing Across the Curriculum and Assessment.] Across the Disciplines, 6. Retrieved May 30, 2011 from http://wac.colostate.edu/atd/assessment/anson_dannels.cfmGraves, R., Hyland, T., & Samuels, B. (2010). Undergraduate writing assignments: An analysis of syllabi at one Canadian university. Written Communication, 27(3), 293-317.Light, R. L. (2001). Making the most out of college: Students speak their minds. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Miller, C. (1984). Genre as social action. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 72, 151-167.Miller, C. (1994). Rhetorical community: The cultural basis of genre. In A. Freedman & P. Medway (Eds.), Genre and the new rhetoric (pp. 67-78). London: Taylor & Francis.Schryer, C. (2002). Genre and power: A chronotopic analysis. In R. Coe, L. Lingard& T. Teslenko (Eds.), The rhetoric and ideology of genre (pp. 73-102). Creskill, NJ: Hampton.