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Class 2.0
Digital technology & digital rhetorics
in the undergraduate classroom.
Daniel Paul O'Donnell
with research from
...
Premises
●

●

●

Undergraduate English instruction is not
working well for most students
Problem is how we are teaching, ...
What we've been doing
●

Deemphasising and fine-tuning grading
practices

●

Introducing Blogging

●

Offloading responsib...
Grading
●

Additional premises
–

Students are terrified of grades

–

Fear of grades creates intellectually poor behaviou...
Grading
●

Two approaches
–

Reduce number of grades that count while
increasing those that don't (formative vs.
summative...
Formative and Summative Grading
Blogging
●

Use them to prep for class (student and me)

●

Create community of practice/research

●

●

Teach that schola...
Blogging rules
Offload responsibility
●

●

●

Assume your students have the judgement to
know what to do (and guide them if they don't)
...
Unessay
●
●

●
●

●

Unessay is the most radical example
No requirements except submissions be
“compelling” and effective”...
Unessay rubric
Results
●

Anecdotally, extremely positive

●

Very high attendance

●

High student satisfaction

●

Evidence of much bet...
Requires effort
●

Trust students

●

Have patience

●

Grade positively and constructively

●

Be trustworthy
Thank you.
daniel.odonnell@uleth.ca
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Class 2.0: Digital technology & digital rhetorics in the undergraduate classroom

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This lecture discusses some preliminary results from an ongoing research project on the use of digital technology and digital rhetorics in the undergraduate classroom. The goal of the project is to explore how these technologies and rhetorics can address common problems in the literature classroom: weak composition skills, lack of engagement, poor preparation. Initial, at this point still largely anecdotal, results suggest that the committed integration Web 2.0 technologies and rhetorics in the classroom can greatly improve outcomes in this area.

The lecture discusses how these techniques are used and some of the results we have seen.

Published in: Education
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Class 2.0: Digital technology & digital rhetorics in the undergraduate classroom

  1. 1. Class 2.0 Digital technology & digital rhetorics in the undergraduate classroom. Daniel Paul O'Donnell with research from Jessica Bay Emma Dering Matt Gall Heather Hobma @DanielPaulOD daniel.odonnell@uleth.ca Funding: University of Lethbridge Teaching Centre Teaching Development Fund; Faculty of Arts and Science; School of Graduate Studies
  2. 2. Premises ● ● ● Undergraduate English instruction is not working well for most students Problem is how we are teaching, not change in quality of student Goal of teaching is to help individual students grow and improve on their own terms
  3. 3. What we've been doing ● Deemphasising and fine-tuning grading practices ● Introducing Blogging ● Offloading responsibility on students
  4. 4. Grading ● Additional premises – Students are terrified of grades – Fear of grades creates intellectually poor behaviour ● ● ● ● Hiding weaknesses Masking interests Sycophancy Underperforming and avoiding challenge
  5. 5. Grading ● Two approaches – Reduce number of grades that count while increasing those that don't (formative vs. summative) – Reduce reliance on qualitative grades for summative purposes (and emphasise them for formative)
  6. 6. Formative and Summative Grading
  7. 7. Blogging ● Use them to prep for class (student and me) ● Create community of practice/research ● ● Teach that scholarship/research is a public activity Teach them that it is a regular activity
  8. 8. Blogging rules
  9. 9. Offload responsibility ● ● ● Assume your students have the judgement to know what to do (and guide them if they don't) Set % and purpose of essay but very little else (format, topic, length, etc.) Encourage them to discover what is appropriate for task (through you, through research, colleagues)
  10. 10. Unessay ● ● ● ● ● Unessay is the most radical example No requirements except submissions be “compelling” and effective” Goal is to show students they can write And that goal is to learn to turn their writing into something that we understand Treat writing problems as a generic/register issue
  11. 11. Unessay rubric
  12. 12. Results ● Anecdotally, extremely positive ● Very high attendance ● High student satisfaction ● Evidence of much better performance – Lack of errors – Idea generation
  13. 13. Requires effort ● Trust students ● Have patience ● Grade positively and constructively ● Be trustworthy
  14. 14. Thank you. daniel.odonnell@uleth.ca

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