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Writing Intensive Emphasis in School of Management
 

Writing Intensive Emphasis in School of Management

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    Writing Intensive Emphasis in School of Management Writing Intensive Emphasis in School of Management Presentation Transcript

    • WI Emphasis in the School of Management George Mason University Fairfax, Virginia, USA WAC Conference, March 2002 Karen Hallows, School of Management Ruth Fischer, Department of English, CAS David Beach, Dept. of English & School of Mgmt. Alison O’Brien, School of Management
    • SOM WI Course Development
      • Early 1990s
        • One WI course in each SOM discipline
      • Late 1990s
        • Internal assessment
        • External assessment
      • 2001
        • Development of entry course: SOM301
    • SOM WI Course Development
      • Rationale
        • Faculty perception of poor written and oral communication skills
        • New general education requirements
        • External forces reinforcing importance of written and oral competency
    • SOM WI Course Development
      • Faculty Perceptions
        • “They can’t write!”
        • “They can’t give a presentation!”
        • Insufficient and inconsistent skill development in writing
        • Unsatisfactory student preparation
        • Poor communication skills in capstone course (SOM498)
    • SOM WI Course Development
      • University’s General Education Requirements
      • Ensure all undergraduate students develop skills in:
        • Information gathering
        • Written and oral communication
        • Analytical and quantitative reasoning
        • Making connections across boundaries
    • SOM WI Course Development
      • External Forces
        • Self-assessment for reaccredidation
        • Task Force assessment
        • University-wide review of academic programs
        • Feedback from Northern Virginia business community
        • State mandate for writing competency
    • SOM Coordination with WAC and English Department
      • Identify common goals and objectives
      • Set ENGL302B (Advanced Composition—Business) as prerequisite for entry to School of Management
      • Revise ENGL302B curriculum for better transition to SOM301
    • SOM Coordination with WAC and English Department
      • Identified five major reoccurring assignment categories:
      • Term/research papers
      • Analyses
      • Reports
      • Descriptions
      • White papers
    • SOM Coordination with WAC and English Department
      • Identified Most Frequently Reported Student-Writing Concerns
        • Content
        • Organization and structure
        • Style and format
        • Basic mechanics
        • Grammar
        • ESL issues
    • SOM Coordination with WAC and English Department
      • Revise Outcomes for ENGL302B
        • Apply understanding of language in order to write in different rhetorical situations
        • Apply objective and critical thought to inquiry-based research
        • Observe, explain, analyze, and synthesize material
        • Use information technology for communication
    • SOM Coordination with WAC and English Department
      • Revise Outcomes for ENGL302B (continued)
        • Write extemporaneous analysis
        • Revise and edit written work
        • Work effectively with peers to investigate problems or issues, to compile data, to create, revise, and format documents, and to present findings
        • Present a short, oral presentation based on research using visual aids effectively
    • SOM Coordination with WAC and English Department
        • Research proposals
        • Research studies
        • White papers
        • Group case studies
        • Literature reviews
        • Critical analyses
        • Field reports
        • Critiques
        • Reading journals
        • In-class analytical essays
        • Essay exams
        • Memos
        • Executive summaries
      Opportunities to Guide Learning
    • SOM Coordination with WAC and English Department
      • Sample Assignments for ENGL302B
        • Data Analysis
        • Literature Review
        • Collaborative Field Project: White Paper on Workplace Writing & Culture
        • In-Class Writing
    • Development of SOM301
      • Budget for business communications faculty
      • Develop course
        • Diagnose writing competence using WritePlacer ™
        • Emphasize written and oral communication
        • Emphasize functional business areas equally
        • Stress integration of communication skills with business functions
    • Development of SOM301
      • Communication Intensive Structure
        • WritePlacer ™ administration at start of semester
        • Weekly writing assignments
        • Weekly group assignments
        • Four-part business plan assignment
        • End-of-semester portfolio of select writings evaluated holistically by key faculty
        • WritePlacer ™ administration at end of semester
    • Development of SOM301
      • Fall 2001
        • Focus written & oral assignments on form
          • Memos, summaries, letters, reports
          • Persuasive speaking, conducting meetings, presenting
        • Introduce business functional areas with guest faculty
        • Integrate communication and business as in the real world
    • Development of SOM301
      • Feedback from Fall 2001
        • Overviews of functional areas of business too brief
        • “Too much writing!”
        • Course structure frustrating for both faculty and students
        • However, students’ increased awareness of the importance of written and oral communication in business
    • Development of SOM301
      • Spring 2002: SOM301
      • New and Improved: Part I
        • Communications “Boot Camp”
          • Week 1:
            • Writing Assessment
          • Weeks 2-4:
            • Oral Presentation Skill Development
            • Writing To Explain, Summarize, Inform
          • Weeks 5-7:
            • Group Presentations on Oral and Written Business Communication
            • Writing To Persuade, Analyze
            • Multicultural Communications
    • Development of SOM301
      • Spring 2002: SOM301 New and Improved: Part II
        • Integration of Communication and Business
          • Week 8-15
            • Group Presentations on Functional Business Areas
            • Application of Communication Skills to Business Areas
              • Writing Resumes and Cover Letters
              • Data Analysis and Interpretation
              • Writing and Presenting a Business Plan
    • Writing Assessment in SOM
      • WritePlacer ™ vs. Manual Scoring in SOM301
        • Matched: 41%
        • +/- 1 point: 47%
        •  2 points: 12%
        • In all cases of outliers, the computer scored higher than the manual score.
    • Writing Assessment in SOM
      • WritePlacer ™ Statistics from
      • Fall 2001 SOM301
        • August
          • Average: 8.07
          • Median: 8
          • SD: 1.79
        • December
          • Average: 8.46
          • Median: 9
          • SD: 1.66
        • Change
          • Average: +0.51
          • SD: 1.79
    • Writing Assessment in SOM
      • SOM498 SAMPLE GRADING CRITERIA
        • UNDERSTANDS AND APPLIES CONCEPTS Demonstrates application of key concepts from assigned readings and class discussions
    • Writing Assessment in SOM
      • SOM498 SAMPLE GRADING CRITERIA
        • ANSWERS QUESTION CLEARLY Predicts industry growth and identifies three factors that support predictions
    • Writing Assessment in SOM
      • SOM498 SAMPLE GRADING CRITERIA
        • ORGANIZATION
          • Clear thesis statement
          • Topic sentences
          • Conclusion
        • SPELLING & GRAMMAR
          • Free of spelling errors, typos, and grammatical errors
    • Writing Assessment in SOM
      • SOM498 SAMPLE GRADING CRITERIA
        • CONFORMS TO PAPER STYLE GUIDELINES
          • Word processed
          • Professional appearance
          • Proper business tone and style
          • Appropriate length
          • Paginated
    • Writing Assessment in SOM
      • SOM 498 Capstone WI Course
        • Minimum 3,500 written words (write-feedback-revise)
        • Outline, short paper, long paper
        • Strong WI research component for oral presentation
        • In-class writing
    • Writing Assessment in SOM
      • Rationale
        • Writing diagnostic pre-test – indicator of expected effort
        • Course performance
          • 70% WI content
          • 30% writing assignments
      • Findings
        • Low mathematical correlations between pre-test and final grade
    • Future Writing Assessment in SOM
      • SOM301 Effects
      • SOM498 Improvement Expected
      • SOM Writing Intensity Indicator for every course