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Friday 11/19 D-WRD Working Group meeting notes

** Our Friday 11/19 D-WRD Working Group meeting notes
Submitted by Michael Moore

Present: Scott Markwell, Eileen Seifert, Dana Dunham, Kristin Rozell, Tricia Hermes, Tom McNamara, Laura Friddle, Alex Naylor, Scott Johnson, Ana Ribero, Nancy LaFever, Michael Moore, Justin Staley

I’m collecting titles of working group members’ favorite pedagogical, teaching, or theory readings. You can send me either just the title, or if you have a copy of the reading, you can pass that along. We’ll start a D-WRD library with these readings — part physical and part virtual, I’m guessing — and in addition to it being a good resource for all of us, we can refer to these collective ideas when we’re talking about “why” we’re teaching with technology so that we don’t always get trapped in the “how.”

So please send along your favorite pedagogical reading on the teaching of writing.

We looked at a couple of Digication student portfolios currently under development and talked about the range of presentation types we’ll be seeing as students exploit the digital-portfolio interface, and how we might respond to them. Initially, it seems like digital portfolios are more ‘performative’ than text based hard-copy portfolios, which aligns with emerging research on portfolios, including the identity issues raised by our recent visitor and portfolio and reflection scholar, Kathleen Yancey.

I’ll organize a handout that instructors can use with students on audience-based presentation based on these conversations and the insights gleaned from student-feedback surveys in time for WQ classes. We can also beef up that presentation language in the FYW Digital Portfolio assignment:

You can see some Digication portfolios at DePaul here:

We’ll have more information on Digication — training and access for you and students — in early December.

We talked (too briefly) about pedagogical rationales for offering hybrid and online courses in FYW. Tom has been great about keeping this on our ongoing agenda. I think we have three on the table — the mode of delivery and interaction is writing (that’s an observation from Scott Warnock, who we read and then interacted with in a Wimba session during DOTS training); serving students at a distance; and opportunities for rematerializing literacy — but should always be thinking about and analyzing others.

Tom and Laura shared initial successes and challenges in the inaugural FYW hybrid class based on DOTS training.  Challenges included glitchy D2L issues and a lack of participation by several students. We’re working on an encouraging policy on expectations for participation to introduce students to the demands of hybrid courses; a draft was distributed — stay tuned.

Kristin and Tricia previewed their WRD103 course in D2L, which they will teach in the WQ. We saw how the interface compares with Blackboard, and how Kristin and Tricia designed assignments, activities, and readings.

Some strategies for course design & development:

  • Ensuring opportunities for both student-to-student interactions and student-faculty interactions
  • Preparing weekly and mid-weekly messages
  • Integrating both print and digital readings
  • Designing discussion-forum prompts that result in meaningful and generative responses (generative toward more complex, scaffolded paper topics and research projects, for example)
  • Setting up and guiding students through productive peer-review workshops and sessions
  • Reading and responding to low-stakes and higher-stakes assignments

 Who is the ideal candidate for teaching online?

  • Excellent writing teachers who understand the importance of — and different approaches to — providing supportive formative and summative feedback to student writing via multiple platforms, in both low- and high-stakes contexts
  • Demonstrated commitment to understanding and exploring, in an open-minded way, the concept of digital literacy
  • Awareness of the “rhetoric of the interface” context and the role it plays in student-to-student and student-teacher interactions
  • Sensitivity to cultural and market values that students might bring to their understanding of technology and, by extension, to your classes
  • Willingness to translate and revise materials, projects, and assignments from print expectations to digital expectations, including an active awareness of the social practices and student expectations underlying both
  • Willingness to share your planning, process, and outcomes with departmental colleagues

WQ meetings: we’ll continue with 1st and 3rd Fridays:

  • Friday, January 7th
  • Friday, January 21st: student portfolio roundtable
  • Friday, February 4th
  • Friday, February 18th
  • Friday, March 4th
  • Friday, March 18th

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