Using Asynchronous Tools Cengage Phoenix 3 10


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  • Interdisciplinary in nature
  • Quasi-professional: multiple stakeholders in a conversation; My brother is a Unix admin and he estimates that he writes 15% of the time on his job
  • “Minute paper”—The minute paper can now be done outside of class easily without a paper shuffle
  • Should be at 25 at the start, 35 minutes at the end of this
  • You can’t be the bottleneck in the process!
  • Start this at 40, end at 50 minutes
  • Using Asynchronous Tools Cengage Phoenix 3 10

    1. 1. Using Asynchronous Tools in Your Writing Class[room] Scott Warnock, PhD Assistant Professor of English Director of the Freshman Writing Program Coordinator, Online Writing Teachers Drexel University Philadelphia [email_address] March 2010
    2. 2. Objectives <ul><li>Ideas that support the use of writing in these technological environments </li></ul><ul><li>Methods of using asynchronous writing tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Two workshop activities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Grading and assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Conversation: Please ask questions/make comments whenever you like </li></ul>
    3. 3. Recurring themes <ul><li>Writing and “conversational learning” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How can asynchronous tools work in the online writing environment? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Low-stakes writing and risk </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How can technology facilitate intellectual/creative risk-taking by students? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Assessment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What good is all of this if we can’t grade it effectively? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How do I not be the bottleneck in the system? </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Asynchronous tools <ul><li>These types of writing tools can be a central part of a class </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As opposed to synchronous </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Message boards, blogs, wikis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We’ll focus on message boards </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Easy-to-use for students and teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Pedagogical advantages in online writing environments </li></ul>
    5. 5. A step back into some core writing/learning principles… <ul><li>“ Writing to learn”—premise and mantra of WAC </li></ul><ul><li>Elbow: Risk </li></ul><ul><li>Fulwiler: WAC journals can be rigorous while allowing for speculative and imaginative thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Joseph Williams: Writers need written raw material to diagnose their own writing </li></ul><ul><li>Britton: A writing course should be about writing </li></ul><ul><li>Freire: Teacher as coach, rather than purveyor of knowledge </li></ul>
    6. 6. … and how they are given form by asynchronous tools <ul><li>Hanna: With well-structured use of boards your class becomes about having students “learn through dialogue” </li></ul><ul><li>Collison et al.: Message board texts are a conversational exchange of writing that help “clarify and extend the thinking” of our students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Initial posts may seem disjointed but can “be viewed as essential experiments” with course design, interface, or how their voices will “sound” online </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Seely Brown and Adler: Instead of “Cartesian premise of ‘ I think, therefore I am’ … ‘We participate, therefore we are’” </li></ul><ul><li>Asynchronous forums provide us with ways to place student texts—and thinking —at the center of a course </li></ul>
    7. 7. Use of tools must fit into your pedagogical philosophy and goals <ul><li>Ask yourself: What do I want to accomplish in my class? </li></ul><ul><li>My primary purposes/goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How can asynchronous conversations, specifically message boards, help me achieve these goals? </li></ul>
    8. 8. How asynchronous tools contribute to my philosophy and goals <ul><li>Conversation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nuanced, written dialogue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Give students time to think over complex points </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Allow students to think carefully about each other’s thoughts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Allow for all students to voice their thoughts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Allow me to see points of confusion, gaps, or moments of writerly brilliance </li></ul></ul></ul>
    9. 9. How asynchronous tools contribute to my philosophy and goals <ul><li>Writing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Practicing the skill of writing (20,000 words or more) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing to learn the material </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Negotiating multiple audiences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing in a simulated, quasi-professional environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing student authority (sources in papers) </li></ul></ul>
    10. 10. Method/strategy for message boards <ul><li>Create several open-ended prompts </li></ul><ul><li>Students choose among these prompts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Initial posts due mid week </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Response posts due at the end of the week </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Again, conversation is a primary goal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t worry about being too clever </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Let the students roam </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tip: Use teacher’s guides, friends, anything to generate prompts </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Weekly Discussion Options
    12. 12. Clear expectations <ul><li>Describe your expectations in great detail </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You will get what you ask for </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do you want rules about </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mechanical correctness? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversation? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Length? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evidence? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Depth? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple paragraphs? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If so, require these traits </li></ul><ul><li>You can always add new twists: “Peeps” this term </li></ul>
    13. 13. Types of threads <ul><li>Thoughts and conversations about readings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hi everyone, Timpane makes the argument that we massively downplay the effects of depression on our society. He describes the results by using a slew of statistics. Do you agree that mental health disorders are an out-of-bounds topic in many aspects of our culture? Why? Be good to yourselves, Prof. Warnock </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Folks, Simple question: What did you think of Kennedy’s address? Let us know, Prof. Warnock </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. Types of threads <ul><li>Writing introspection/metawriting threads </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hi everyone, As you now know, essay #1 was designed to challenge you. Cutting is one of the most difficult parts of writing, which is perhaps why the most ruthless editors of their own writing are often also the most successful writers. Tell us some of your experiences--your woes and triumphs--working through the process of essay #1. What did you learn? What specific strategies did you use to reduce your word count? Why was this so difficult? How much do you now hate your professor? I have thick skin, Prof. Warnock </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Types of threads <ul><li>“ Minute paper”: What don’t they know? </li></ul><ul><li>Paper topic discussions </li></ul><ul><li>Peer reviews </li></ul><ul><li>Self-editing of posts </li></ul><ul><li>Favorite posts </li></ul><ul><li>Stances on controversial issues </li></ul><ul><li>Course lessons (e.g., logic, plot summary) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Tricks of the trade” </li></ul><ul><li>Class introspection threads </li></ul><ul><li>Questions about assignments </li></ul><ul><li>Student-generated topics </li></ul>
    16. 16. Types of threads <ul><li>Pose questions, find areas of confusion </li></ul><ul><li>Students evaluate/edit their own posts and create a portfolio </li></ul><ul><li>Writing “puzzles” </li></ul><ul><li>Using groups </li></ul><ul><li>The provoker: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dear students in English 902, I’m tired of hearing everyone complain about the cost of college. Considering how much people benefit earnings-wise over the course of their lifetime based upon the degree they have earned (see, college probably should cost MORE money. Yep, that’s what I think, Dr. Logoetho </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. Workshop activity #1: Create prompts <ul><li>Based on this editorial, let’s create several different types of prompts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Straight up” prompt about the text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reader response-type prompt using text to discuss “the” argumentative issue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing-based thread: Get them to think about the writing strategy used by the piece (indeed, a writing text might help) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clever “alter ego” </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Moderating: Instructor involvement <ul><li>Do you have to read every word of every post? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember your rationale/goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Just right”: a quarter of posts by me </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t be the bottleneck! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reply strategy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Post occasional short messages within threads </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Forum environment enables openness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustain the dialogue with additional questions or refinements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tip: Keep Word file open for notes </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Roles (from Collison et al.) <ul><li>Generative guide : Provide a spectrum of positions to indicate different avenues of questioning </li></ul><ul><li>Conceptual facilitator : Somewhat like a lecturer, but build not just from course texts but from posts </li></ul><ul><li>Reflective guide : Re-state, with different emphasis, elements of student posts </li></ul><ul><li>Personal muse : Offer personal insight </li></ul><ul><li>Mediator : Uncover students’ unstated reasons for their comments </li></ul><ul><li>Role play : Take on the role of different characters/voices </li></ul>
    20. 20. Workshop activity #2: Moderate <ul><li>Working from this brief sample discussion in which students were discussing revision, try out the roles (they’re reproduced at the bottom) in creating sample moderator posts that you might post to this conversation </li></ul><ul><li>My initial prompt </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hi all, We are looking at/reading about revision this week. Perhaps you could talk more about your own writing process (and maybe even some obstacles you’ve encountered along the way): What things do you find in the Sommers and Berkenkotter articles, the Andy Reid drafts, the A&B, or the Brief that are similar to or different from what you do? Also, perhaps you could talk about your writing training thus far, especially in terms of revision and process. Looking forward to hearing your side, Prof. Warnock </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. But…evaluation? <ul><li>How do you introduce these activities without adding a tremendous grading burden? </li></ul><ul><li>How much “writing” do you have to know to “evaluate” writing? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you achieve “coverage” while still meeting these goals? </li></ul>
    22. 22. Instructor involvement/evaluation <ul><li>Informal writing/HLC/ELC can become significant (25% to even 40%) of course grade </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Primary posts: “Substantive mini-essays” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Detailed: 125 words </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Essays: Multiple paragraphs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Semiformal (some attention to grammar/mechanics) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Referenced </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Courteous: No flaming </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>10-point/5-point grading scale </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weekly total/holistic grade </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grades as form of constructive communication </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Evaluating (not always grading) student writing <ul><li>What is your assignment goal ? </li></ul><ul><li>Take the pressure off: Even experienced, dedicated, talented writing instructors can’t address everything—nor is that productive. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Uh oh, I don’t know how to fix grammer (or spell it).” Now what? </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on macro issues </li></ul><ul><li>Alternative approaches to evaluating this type of writing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Key strengths and weaknesses (remember goals) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Portfolios: They can self-assess </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Peer review </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student evaluation-type posts </li></ul></ul>
    24. 24. Evaluation <ul><li>Use the technology </li></ul><ul><li>Use the students—especially in the technological environment </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be the bottleneck in the system! </li></ul>
    25. 25. Questions <ul><li>Let’s keep the conversation going: [email_address] </li></ul>
    26. 26. Bibliography and resources <ul><li>Bean, John. Engaging Ideas: The Professor’s Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1996. </li></ul><ul><li>Britton, James, T. Burgess, N. Martin, A. McLeod, and H. Rosen. 1975. The Development of Writing Abilities (11-18). London: MacMillan Educational for the Schools Council. </li></ul><ul><li>Collison, George, Bonnie Elbaum, Sarah Haavind, and Robert Tinker. Facilitating Online Learning: Effective Strategies for Moderators. Madison: Atwood, 2000. </li></ul><ul><li>Conceição, Simone C. O., ed. Teaching Strategies in the Online Environment. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2007. </li></ul><ul><li>Dawley, Lisa. The Tools for Successful Online Teaching . Hershey: Information Science, 2007. </li></ul><ul><li>Elbow, Peter. 1981. Writing with Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process . New York: Oxford University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Flores, Juan F. 2006. The First Letter in Individual: An Alternative to Collective Online Discussion. Teaching English in the Two Year College 40.4: 430-44. </li></ul><ul><li>Fulwiler, Toby. 1982. The Personal Connection: Journal Writing across the Curriculum. In Language Connections: Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum , eds. Toby Fulwiler and Art Young. Urbana IL: NCTE. 15-31. </li></ul>
    27. 27. Bibliography and resources <ul><li>Hanna, Donald E., Michelle Glowacki-Dudki, and Simone Conceicao-Runlee. 147 Practical Tips for Teaching Online Groups. Madison, WI: Atwood, 2000. </li></ul><ul><li>Harrington, Susanmarie, Rebecca Rickly, and Michael Day, eds. The Online Writing Classroom. Cresskill: Hampton, 2000. </li></ul><ul><li>Hewett, Beth L., and Christa Ehmann. Preparing Educators for Online Writing Instruction: Principles and Processes . Urbana: NCTE, 2004. </li></ul><ul><li>Hislop, Gregory W., and Heidi J. C. Ellis. “A Study of Faculty Effort in Online Teaching.” Internet and Higher Education 7 . 1 (2004): 15–31. Print. </li></ul><ul><li>Ko, Susan, and Steve Rossen. Teaching Online: A Practical Guide. 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton, 2004. </li></ul><ul><li>MERLOT: Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching . Web. </li></ul><ul><li>No Significant Difference . Web. </li></ul><ul><li>Palloff, Rena and Keith Pratt. Collaborating Online: Learning Together in a Community. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2004. </li></ul><ul><li>--. The Virtual Student: A Profile and Guide to Working with Online Learners. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003. </li></ul><ul><li>Salmon, Gilly. E-Moderating: The Key to Teaching and Learning Online. London: Kogan, 2000. </li></ul>
    28. 28. Bibliography and resources <ul><li>Sloan-C. Homepage. The Sloan Consortium. Web. </li></ul><ul><li>Smith, Robin M. Conquering the Content: A Step-by-Step Guide to Online Course Design. San Francisco: Josey-Bass, 2008. </li></ul><ul><li>Warnock, Scott. Web. (self-promotional item I) </li></ul><ul><li>--. Teaching Writing Online: How and Why . Urbana, NCTE: 2009. (self- promotional item II) </li></ul><ul><li>White, Ken W., and Bob H. Weight, eds. The Online Teaching Guide: A Handbook of Attitudes, Strategies, and Techniques for the Virtual Classroom . Boston: Allyn, 2000. </li></ul><ul><li>Williams, Joseph. 2005. Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace . 8th edition. New York: Pearson. </li></ul><ul><li>Wolf, Patti. “Efficient and Effective Organization of an Online Class.” Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Maryland University College . Web. </li></ul>