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Friday, 11/5: Notes from DWRD/Digication meetings

Notes from our two Friday meetings: our bi-monthly D-WRD meeting, and our rescheduled post- Kathy Yancey meeting. I’m sending them together because there is some overlap, and because we’re going to combine the two groups in the WQ:

Notes from DWRD meeting — Friday, 11/5:

We workshopped Tricia’s teaching portfolio and Justin will bring his next time (Friday 11/19, 10:00-11:30 a.m.). We focused on audience issues such as professional identity, visual arrangement, integrating materials such as syllabi and assignments, rhetorically appropriate banners, and readability. Very productive. It turns out that we have many of the same questions and concerns that students do. Imagine that! (Thank you, Tricia, for sharing that great material.)

We discussed arrangements for WRD/FYW-specific DesireToLearn (D2L) training on Tuesday, 12/7, focusing on fundamentals, checklists, discussion forums, and gradebooks

We discussed our next meeting’s agenda — during which Tom has suggested a discussion on the rationales for hybrid and online teaching & learning (We could go back and revisit Feenberg, Warnock, and Selfe). We will also discuss foregrounding and modeling student participation; Kristin and Tricia will show their WQ WRD103 courses, which are in D2L.

Finally, related to Tom’s request, two readings appeared this week that related to the “rationale” question:

— in the New York Times, “Learning in Dorm, Because Class Is on the Web”
— in the Chronicle of Higher Ed.: “Virtual Education Goes Mainstream”

If you do not have a CHE subscription, you can access it and other issues through our Library:

In neither case, is the teaching and learning discussed as we do — as a pedagogically driven or literacy-practice enterprise. It’s no wonder they’re all grumpy.

Notes from Digication Pilot Working Group  meeting — Friday, 11/5:

Using course key terms as a digital-portfolio organizing principle in Digication?

We discussed Kathy Yancey’s excellent insight into course key terms — are students in your class thinking in the same terms that you are? how do you know? — and how we might use that concept. One possibility is to try organizing course portfolios around key terms and concepts. Another is to ask them to brainstorm in small groups and report back specific key terms they are getting from the course and then compare. (My example, from WRD103:

Providing models of reflection for students and for colleagues?

Another Yancey followup: how and if we should provide models of reflection to students as we ask them to reflect on their own work. The consensus was that we could do that — not as a model to copy or necessarily to imitate — but as a way of showing that professionals reflect, too, and that models of reflection can be used to support what you’re already doing in your course.

Does Digication support our collective purposes for reflection?

The emerging consensus seems to be yes, and it’s a mindfully tentative yes: we’ll revisit this again during the WQ

Privacy issues

Beth Ann raised privacy issues. We discussed it at length. There seems to be at least three complementary and practical ways to think about it:

[1] pedagogy: since WRD First Year Writing focuses on audience- and reader-based academic writing, students are unlikely to be in a position where they are writing personally revealing or highly intimate materials. If they are producing personally revealing or highly intimate materials, they can revise them for an appropriate academic, professional, or civic audience (which is good for portfolio entries)

[2] pedagogy: in the iterative portfolio-development process that we use in First Year Writing – select, design, reflect, assess, present – students can show good judgment by not selecting material that they would prefer not to select and to present

[3] technology: students can, if they choose, limit access to their digital portfolios to classmates and the instructor

Student survey: workshopping is done and I’ll send out the URL as soon as the faculty survey version is complete, so that you have them together

Finals Week: collecting “Downloaded” versions of digital portfolios. For this quarter, collect downloaded versions of students’ Digication portfolios. (In future quarters, we may have a way of permanently archiving student-portfolio URLs.) Students select Settings > Download > Export and can submit the resulting .ZIP file to you, which you can open on a MAC or PC. That way, you have a permanent copy of the portfolios.

For example, in my WRD103 sections, during our scheduled exam time, I will collect ZIP files from everyone in class, one by one, and make sure that they open on my computer. If you would like help or practice with this process, let me know.

The First Year Writing Assessment Committee will be sending out a request soon, asking for five randomly selected digital portfolios from your classes. They will happily receive five of your .ZIP files.

That last bullet was so important that I’m going to copy and paste it so you have it twice:

The First Year Writing Assessment Committee will be sending out a request soon, asking for five randomly selected digital portfolios from your classes. They will happily receive five of your .ZIP files.

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