Granted,  Technology Makes Better Writers Ken Ronkowitz and Greg Fallon Passaic County Community College
Historical Backdrop <ul><li>Recommendation from Middle States (April 2004) </li></ul><ul><li>Response:  The College Writin...
Historical Backdrop <ul><li>Faculty Survey  (FA 04,  80+%  response rate from faculty) </li></ul><ul><li>Development of id...
College Writing Committee Recommendations to the Academic Council   (Fall 2006) <ul><li>Student grad requirement of two  W...
Approval Of Title V Grant Application <ul><li>Title V grant proposal for $2.5 M over 5 yrs.  (Summer 2007) </li></ul><ul><...
<ul><li>Writing improves through writing </li></ul><ul><li>Technology can improve the teaching of writing and  </li></ul><...
Change Agents <ul><li>Low/No Tech </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing Intensive redesign of Gen Ed courses </li></ul></ul><ul><u...
PCCC’s Graduate Writing Exam <ul><li>Unique in NJ Higher Education (?) </li></ul><ul><li>Students are not awarded their de...
Accountability & the GWE <ul><li>Pass/Fail  1-12 holistic scale  7+ is passing </li></ul><ul><li>65% pass (mostly 7’s) on ...
Changing Accountability <ul><li>Reacting to U.S. D of Ed and Congressional criticisms of Middle States & other accrediting...
Changing Accountability <ul><li>Suggestions made include more objective measures be used in the accrediting process, such ...
Using Technology Tools Consortiums Collaboration Web 2.0 Online Apps
eTutoring.org <ul><li>Northeast eTutoring Consortium (30+ schools) </li></ul><ul><li>Shared resources among the participat...
eTutoring Platform <ul><li>Synchronous & Asynchronous </li></ul><ul><li>Synchronous  (using Macromedia Breeze™)   for chat...
eTutoring -  Online Writing Lab <ul><li>Students request help with written assignments by submitting their documents (see ...
The Freshman Year Experience <ul><li>A required 1-credit course (w/ plans to expand to a 2-credit hybrid) that can also se...
<ul><li>“ Library 2.0” – easy read/write and collaboration for librarians and faculty for resources and shared links </li>...
 
 
pccc.libguides.com <ul><li>Hosted service </li></ul><ul><li>Shared edit access to pages </li></ul><ul><li>Easily embed vid...
pccc.libguides.com <ul><li>Insert dynamic scripts for web forms, catalog search boxes, or online databases search boxes in...
 
LibGuides In Facebook <ul><li>first library app available to Facebook’s 50 million users </li></ul><ul><li>users select Li...
ePortfolios Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC)   <ul><li>student-centered platform </li></ul><ul><li>augment...
ePortfolios Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC)   <ul><li>Faculty, departments, and institutions can create p...
Entry Wizard Page
 
NJ Collaborations? <ul><li>Writing </li></ul><ul><li>Writing assessment & accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Using technolog...
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The Writing Initiative: Granted, Technology Makes Better Writers

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The Writing Initiative at Passaic County Community College in NJ. A review of the process of creating a gen ed curriculum of writing-intensive courses for the improvement of writing across the curriculum and college.
A presentation at the NJ Best Practices conference March 2008.

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The Writing Initiative: Granted, Technology Makes Better Writers

  1. 1. Granted, Technology Makes Better Writers Ken Ronkowitz and Greg Fallon Passaic County Community College
  2. 2. Historical Backdrop <ul><li>Recommendation from Middle States (April 2004) </li></ul><ul><li>Response: The College Writing Committee </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information gathering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>focus groups </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Surveys </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Visits </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>research) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Historical Backdrop <ul><li>Faculty Survey (FA 04, 80+% response rate from faculty) </li></ul><ul><li>Development of ideas (63% dissatisfied) </li></ul><ul><li>Support of ideas (64% dissatisfied) </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation in research (65% dissatisfied) </li></ul><ul><li>Editing, proofreading (82% dissatisfied) </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation in grammar (79% dissatisfied) </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to evaluate info (66% dissatisfied) </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to synthesize info from various sources (71% dissatisfied) </li></ul><ul><li>Develop thinking best through writing (81% agree) </li></ul>
  4. 4. College Writing Committee Recommendations to the Academic Council (Fall 2006) <ul><li>Student grad requirement of two W-I courses ; </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty training in writing and critical thinking integration for W-I instructors; </li></ul><ul><li>Establishment of college-level writing center ; </li></ul><ul><li>Ongoing assessment of student writing and critical thinking skills development; </li></ul><ul><li>Online resources (eTutoring, ePortfolios, and others) to aid students in improving writing and critical thinking skills; </li></ul><ul><li>Writing partnerships formed w/ 4-yr schools and other institutions; </li></ul><ul><li>Writing activities developed in coordination with College’s own developmental and ESL programs along w/ local high schools ; and </li></ul><ul><li>Advisory board , made up of PCCC faculty and staff members, formed to help guide the College Writing Initiative. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Approval Of Title V Grant Application <ul><li>Title V grant proposal for $2.5 M over 5 yrs. (Summer 2007) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop 20 distinct, W-I gen ed courses (w/ multiple sections); </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide comprehensive training (w/ stipends) for faculty; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create and staff college-level writing center for student and faculty support; and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop and provide extensive online resources and writing support. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Writing improves through writing </li></ul><ul><li>Technology can improve the teaching of writing and </li></ul><ul><li>the resulting student writing. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Change Agents <ul><li>Low/No Tech </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing Intensive redesign of Gen Ed courses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing Center </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Standardized rubrics for writing, critical thinking, info literacy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tech-Driven </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ePortfolio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LibGuides </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>eTutoring </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blackboard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Portal COL 102 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media – FMG, wpunj.edu/ njvid </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Podcasting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and… </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. PCCC’s Graduate Writing Exam <ul><li>Unique in NJ Higher Education (?) </li></ul><ul><li>Students are not awarded their degrees without passing an essay examination near the end of their degree program. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Eligible to take the exam upon successful completion of Composition II and upon having attained at least half of the credits needed for graduation. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Offered throughout the year </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Given two topics from which to choose: one pertaining to their major and a general topic </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Students who fail on their first attempt are strongly encouraged to arrange to work with a tutor from the testing center before taking the exam again. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Accountability & the GWE <ul><li>Pass/Fail 1-12 holistic scale 7+ is passing </li></ul><ul><li>65% pass (mostly 7’s) on first attempt </li></ul><ul><li>The Initiative hopes to improve </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The average to 8 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Passing to 85% </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An increased number of essays at 9-12 </li></ul></ul>The GWE is not THE measure of our success, but… WHY?
  10. 10. Changing Accountability <ul><li>Reacting to U.S. D of Ed and Congressional criticisms of Middle States & other accrediting agencies… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Are they truly holding colleges accountable? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are they too collegial?  </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Changing Accountability <ul><li>Suggestions made include more objective measures be used in the accrediting process, such as standardized exams for students. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The proposals in some ways are similar to the “No Child Left Behind” programs for K-12. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>While the exact impact on colleges is not currently known, we can expect a far more rigorous review in the future with particular emphasis on Institutional Effectiveness and Student Learning Outcomes . </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Using Technology Tools Consortiums Collaboration Web 2.0 Online Apps
  13. 13. eTutoring.org <ul><li>Northeast eTutoring Consortium (30+ schools) </li></ul><ul><li>Shared resources among the participating members; we provide writing tutor </li></ul>
  14. 14. eTutoring Platform <ul><li>Synchronous & Asynchronous </li></ul><ul><li>Synchronous (using Macromedia Breeze™) for chat with whiteboard, application & file sharing, audio & video </li></ul><ul><li>Asynchronous tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>online Question Queue where students can submit questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online Resource Center - links, tips, & techniques for improved writing skills. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online Writing Lab  </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. eTutoring - Online Writing Lab <ul><li>Students request help with written assignments by submitting their documents (see online form) </li></ul><ul><li>All correspondence is archived—a complete document revision history exists (students may submit 3 drafts of all assignments) </li></ul>Interested in being an eTutor?
  16. 16. The Freshman Year Experience <ul><li>A required 1-credit course (w/ plans to expand to a 2-credit hybrid) that can also serve as an introduction to the aims and resources of the W-I courses: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>information literacy; online library databases; LibGuides; eTutoring; ePortfolio; online journaling… </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>“ Library 2.0” – easy read/write and collaboration for librarians and faculty for resources and shared links </li></ul><ul><li>Community - 130+ libraries world wide, 2,500+ librarians who share ideas, content, and collaborate on creating guides. </li></ul>http://www.springshare.com/libguides/
  18. 20. pccc.libguides.com <ul><li>Hosted service </li></ul><ul><li>Shared edit access to pages </li></ul><ul><li>Easily embed videos, RSS feeds and podcasts </li></ul><ul><li>Import Del.icio.us tag clouds </li></ul><ul><li>Enables tagging of content and </li></ul><ul><li>organizing guides by subject categories. </li></ul><ul><li>LibGuides browser button to quickly add weblinks to your Guides. </li></ul>
  19. 21. pccc.libguides.com <ul><li>Insert dynamic scripts for web forms, catalog search boxes, or online databases search boxes inside your guides. </li></ul><ul><li>Widgets to embed library content into any blog, website, social network, or courseware system. (Flash components that can be placed inside any page with a simple <object> tag) </li></ul><ul><li>Track usage statistics for your Guides </li></ul><ul><li>Share Guides on del.icio.us, and  </li></ul>
  20. 23. LibGuides In Facebook <ul><li>first library app available to Facebook’s 50 million users </li></ul><ul><li>users select LibGuides from apps list </li></ul><ul><ul><li>app will recognize the user's school affiliation and present them with their &quot;home&quot; system. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>distribute library content across the web </li></ul><ul><li>meet students where they are </li></ul><ul><li>improve visibility of resources & services </li></ul>
  21. 24. ePortfolios Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC) <ul><li>student-centered platform </li></ul><ul><li>augmented by a Project Builder and an Assessment module </li></ul><ul><li>Students create and customize portfolios for academic, career, or personal uses </li></ul><ul><li>maintain their plan of study </li></ul><ul><li>share their work, goals, and achievements with advisors, career counselors, and employers </li></ul><ul><li>ePortfolio.org is a hosted application (no additional IT hardware or staffing) </li></ul><ul><li>enterprise level Data Center 24/365 </li></ul>
  22. 25. ePortfolios Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium (CTDLC) <ul><li>Faculty, departments, and institutions can create portfolio assignments linked to scoring rubrics. </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment committees can randomly select portfolios, score them with rubrics, and generate assessment reports. </li></ul>ePortfolio is integrated with Blackboard or Vista allowing for Single Sign-On & students may select previously uploaded files in Blackboard’s Content Management system to be included in their electronic portfolio.
  23. 26. Entry Wizard Page
  24. 28. NJ Collaborations? <ul><li>Writing </li></ul><ul><li>Writing assessment & accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Using technology to improve writing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ePortfolios </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2.0 tools </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consortiums </li></ul><ul><li>Northeast  NJ? </li></ul>

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