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NCTE 2019 MDIP Presentation


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Multigenre digital inquiry projects in literacy education courses.

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NCTE 2019 MDIP Presentation

  1. 1. Bringing Inquiry Into Teacher Education Courses: The Multigenre Digital Inquiry Project Amy Piotrowski, Ph.D. Marla Robertson, Ph.D. Jennifer Smith, Ph.D.
  2. 2. What is a Multigenre Digital Inquiry Project? ● We had our preservice teachers choose a topic related to literacy teaching that they wanted to learn more about. They then researched their topic and created a website with pieces in multiple genres to share what they found.
  3. 3. Why the MDIP? ● We wanted to engage our preservice teachers in researching topics about teaching that they were interested in. ● We also wanted preservice teachers to write up their findings in a format other than the traditional research paper.
  4. 4. Inquiry ● Inquiry empowers students to explore topics that they are interested in and to share their learning in varied ways. ● Authentic topics, interesting questions, scaffolded instruction, opportunity to reflect, and sharing findings with people beyond the classroom are hallmarks of effective inquiry learning.
  5. 5. Multigenre Writing ● According to Tom Romano, multigenre papers arise from “research, experience, and imagination . . . composed of many genres and subgenres, each piece self-contained, making a point of its own, yet connected to other pieces by theme and content and sometimes by repeated language, images, and genres . . . may contain many voices, not just the author’s . . . the challenge for the writer -- is to make such a paper hang together as one unified whole.”
  6. 6. Multigenre Writing ● Past work with multigenre writing suggests that it engages students, gets students to cross genre boundaries in their writing, and get students to expand their view of what counts as text.
  7. 7. Digital Multigenre Writing ● Having preservice teachers write digitally draws on Lankshear and Knobel’s assertion “it is increasingly imperative for teachers themselves to experience and understand what it means to be fully engaged in new literacies practices”
  8. 8. Digital Multigenre Writing ● We also draw on Tyner’s assertion that digital tools “collapse sight, sound, and motion” which then “accelerates experimentation” in multiple media
  9. 9. Our Classes ● Amy’s class - a class on teaching writing for English Teaching majors seeking 6-12 English certification ● Marla’s class - an elementary Language Arts methods class that focuses on teaching writing and consists of students who will be teaching elementary grades K-6 ● Jen’s class - a graduate literacy course and consists of students who will be teaching either elementary or secondary grades
  10. 10. The Project ● Once students had their topic, they found 8 sources and wrote an annotated bibliography. ● Our preservice teachers had a create a website with a Dear Reader Letter, an essay, two substatative pieces, and three shorter pieces. Our list of substantive and shorter pieces modified from Wickstrom (2013)
  11. 11. The Project ● Each of the five pieces had an accompanying memo. ● See example project:
  12. 12. Data ● We got informed consent to collect data from a total of 33 participants ● We analyzed Beginning of Semester Questionnaire, MDIPs, End of Semester Questionnaire.
  13. 13. Themes ● Choice and inquiry lead to expansive views of writing ● Support throughout the project was essential ● Affective experiences illustrate academic, personal, and pedagogical growth
  14. 14. Choice and Inquiry ● Among our 33 participants, they chose 26 different topics related to teaching. ● One student commented that it was “surprising to see what kind of information from my research was expressed in different genres.” ● Another student: “Different genres take on different perspectives and ways of thinking that involve deeper understanding of the topics and allow you to look at the ideas in new ways.”
  15. 15. Support ● Choice with structure - students found genre list useful. ● Modeling of genres and tech tools key to project success. ● Peer collaboration: it was helpful to “talk to someone about problems I came across, frustrations I had, share new things I had learned, or get a second opinion on things.”
  16. 16. Affective Experiences ● Student comments on questionnaire and in memos show high levels of engagement with project and excitement to share their work. ● One student said that the poem she created was her strongest piece because it “allowed me to express something very important in a very visual and meaningful way.” ● One student remarked, “I have learned that writing is not just some separate, sterile thing. It crosses into art, reading, speaking, science, etc.”
  17. 17. Conclusion ● Through this assignment, our preservice teachers learned the difficulty of finding a genre to fit the purpose of the writing, but simultaneously reconceptualized the definition of genre and expanded their view of writing. The technology tools that were daunting at the beginning of the project were used successfully, and preservice teachers began envisioning how they might use these same tools in their classroom
  18. 18. Questions? And Contact Info ● Amy Piotrowski ○ Email: ○ Twitter: @piotrowskiamy ● Marla Robertson ○ Email: ● Jennifer Smith ○ Email: