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Writing-Intensive Teaching
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Writing-Intensive Teaching



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  • WRITING-INTENSIVE COURSESStudents participate in a minimum of five informal writing tasks throughout the semester that engage them in good writing techniques and critical thinking to learn course content (e.g., summaries, annotated bibliographies, journals, lab observations, reflections, blog posts, discussion boards). These tasks may be done in or out of class; they require only minimal feedback and may be graded or ungraded.Course involves formal writing assignments that result in a minimum of 10 double-spaced pages that have been through the draft-feedback-revision process (the 10-page requirement of formal writing does not have to be a single project; for example, it can be one 5-page project and several shorter projects to equal the 10 pages of revised, edited writing.) Give students ample instruction on the conventions of discipline-specific writing, including detailed directions for the assignment itself and grading descriptions or formal rubrics for assessment.


  • 1. Writing-Intensive Teaching & Learning
    • Learning objectives
    • 2. Teaching techniques
    • 3. Assignment design
    • 4. Assessment strategies
  • Syllabus Design
    Topic Content Skills
    By the end of this course, students should know and be able to do the following:
  • 5. Sample Course Objective Statement
    Literature in History course
    This course teaches students toexamineproblems in the interpretationof literature through historical contexts. Intended for students with backgrounds in History and Literature, the course expects students to teacheach other about their own disciplinary training and assumptions. The class will enable students todevelop critical reading, oral and visual arguments, discussion skills, and critical thinking in order to writeabout art and its role in history.
  • 6. Related Communication Assignment
    In a team with 2 “history” experts and 2 “literature” experts,
    • explore a set time period and at least two pieces of literature related to it.
    • 7. individually, prepare a 10-15 page research paper explaining how knowledge of the historical period enriches interpretation of the literature and vise versa.
    • 8. as a team, prepare a 10-minute video documentary to teach classmates about your project, both the history and the literature.
  • Sample Course Objective Statement
    3000-level Ecology course
    Develop quantitative skills necessary for ecological data analysis.
    Learn field and laboratory techniques commonly used in ecological studies.
    Develop an appreciation of a current ecological problem.
    Learn to prepare a scientific poster and present it at a class forum.
  • 9. Resources for crafting student learning outcomes built on Bloom’s taxonomy
  • 10. Requirements for C-I Course, Writing Emphasis
    • ≥5 informal writing tasks
    formal writing assignments that result in ≥ 10 double-spaced pages that have been through the draft-feedback-revision process
    • instruction on the conventions of discipline-specific writing
  • Informal and Formal Uses of Writing
    Writing to learn
    informal writing
    • writing to see if students understand the lectures, discussions, or other materials or have done the readings
    • 11. exploratory or reflective in nature
    • 12. non-graded or +, , or –
    Learning to write
    formal writing
    • writing to have students demonstrate knowledge of disciplinary content in a professional style and genre appropriate to the discipline
    • 13. requires multiple drafts over an extended period
    • 14. graded
  • Kinds of Informal Writing
  • What makes a good prompt for informal writing?
    Ask students to
    • identify terms, concepts, or processes that are difficult to understand
    • 24. pose a problem that requires use of new knowledge to solve it
    • 25. give a preliminary answer to a problem or issue to be discussed in class. At the end of class, have them revise their responses and explain how and why their ideas may have changed.
  • Sample Informal Writing Prompt
    Psychology course
    Every morning, when Prof. Felina opens a can of cat food, her 6 cats run into the kitchen meowing and rubbing against her legs. What examples, if any, of classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and social learning are at work in this scene? Note: both the cats and the professor may be exhibiting conditioned behavior here.
  • 26. Sample Informal Writing Prompt
    Study the following table. What data surprises you? Explain why you thought that the statistic would be different.
  • 27. When should I use informal writing?
    At the beginning of class,
    • write about materials from the previous class
    • 28. answer an open-ended question about the day’s reading or homework
    • 29. explain what wasn’t clear about the reading or work
    • 30. solve a problem to prime the pump for the day’s discussion
  • During class,
    • reconsider responses to an earlier prompt
    • 31. write a question based on the discussion so far and see if a neighbor can answer it; discuss any discrepancies
    • 32. summarize what’s been covered
    • 33. explain how the knowledge presented applies in a real-world situation
    When should I use informal writing?
  • 34. Should I / How should I respond to informal writing?
    • +  – (Use writing to take attendance.)
    • 35. Use it to get feedback on students’ understanding
    • 36. Use it to give feedback at the beginning of the next class
    • 37. Have students respond to each other’s writing
    • 38. In a large class, read a random sample of responses
    • 39. Save efforts to teach discipline-specific writing for formal assignments
  • Writing to learn. . .
    • Motivates students to prepare for class
    • 40. Increases the academic rigor of a course
    • 41. Helps students learn and retain knowledge
    • 42. Checks student comprehension before the exam
    • 43. Makes learning more active
  • To design effective formal writing assignments, think
  • 44. Heuristic for Designing Writing Assignments (Lindemann)
    • What do I want students to do? Why?
    • 45. How do I want them to do the assignment?
    • 46. To whom are my students writing?
    • 47. When and how will students do the assignment?
    • 48. What will students do with the assignment?
  • Checklist for Effective Writing Assignments
  • cxc.lsu.edu
  • 54. Formal Writing Rubric
  • 55. Lightning Round with C-I Writing Faculty
    Carol O’Neil, HUEC
    Bob Mann, MC
    Gary King, BIOL
  • 56. Writing-Intensive Teaching & Learning
    • Learning objectives
    • 57. Teaching techniques
    • 58. Assignment design
    • 59. Assessment strategies