Saturday, May 12, 2012

Greetings, 7th Grade Students!

Thank you for welcoming me into your classroom today. I was talking with some college freshmen, and they wanted to know what it was like to be a 7th grade student today. So, they came up with five questions, and I told them that you all would help them out. I will get you in to groups of three or four, then you will get a notecard with one question written on it. One person can be the designated "notetaker," writing on the back of the notecard all of the ideas that your group comes up with for this question.

Just think: What's so cool about being about a 7th grade student now? Probably a lot!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday, April 30

We began our English 101 Assessment today in class, which will continue through Friday. Make sure that you are saving your work in the correct folders in the STV 250 folders. See the post below this for more information regarding the procedure.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday, April 27

Today in class we finished up the learning blog presentations and begin to go over the information needed for next week, deemed "Assessment Week." Read through the rest of this blog post, highlighting the assessment and what is expected of you for this weekend. The two posts below this, regarding STV folders and the actual instrument used for assessment, will elaborate on this overview. If you have questions, please let me know. If not, we'll also have a chance to work through some of these things together.

The Illinois State University Writing Program Assessment
Spring 2012
The Assessment Goals: The Assessment instrument includes 8 items – which the students will be asked to respond to in a “report” format.  These items are closely related to our program learning outcomes. They encourage students to reflect on their composition practices, and to use their class productions to analyze and demonstrate their learning. With this assessment we are trying to get a sense of “what learning looks like” in a genre studies based writing course.  We will be analyzing (rather than evaluating) students’ answers to see how they use terms and concepts and how they use examples from their own writing to illustrate their understanding of these terms and concepts. We will not be assessing “writing mastery” in the student texts, nor will we be assessing teacher efficacy. Hopefully, our analysis will also uncover examples that we can use to extend our understanding of how our learning outcomes are being taken up and used by students..  It may also help us consider changes to our learning outcomes, and serve as a baseline for future assessments.

This Assessment is worth: 15 points (along with the various participation points)
When: You’ll get started on organizing and writing stuff. Then, we’ll have Monday-Friday of next week to get everything in order (although we may be finishing up blog presentations on Monday, as well)
What To Do (Some procedures to make our lives/class easier…):
·          This weekend: Gather up your work/main projects from this semester. Don’t forget about some selections from your learning blogs. This will be uploaded onto the STV folder (see page regarding access to STV folder at home) and is your student portfolio. Either:
o   Save them to your student folder (“your name”<Portfolios<Writing Program Assessment<Nicole Osolin) on your home computer. See the next sheet detailing how to get to these folders from hom
o   Or: Save them all onto a thumb drive, bring them to class, and upload them onto the STV folders from here
o   In the least: Have all this work collected
·          Also this weekend:  Begin working on the 8 questions for assessment, making sure to look over each one and see what types of work/examples you need to fully answer the question. I will look over your work in Monday’s class. You will have thru next Friday to finish this up. Keep in mind, your writing is not being graded, so it doesn’t have to be perfect, just readable
o   These documents/answers will then be uploaded to “your name”<Assessments<Writing Program Assessment<Nicole Osolin.”
o   This questions are the last two sheets of this document..

Assessment Instrument

Writing Program Assessment Spring 2012
The Assessment Instrument

The assessment instrument will be presented to the students as a series of questions, which they’ll address using a report-style structure.  At least one of the questions calls for student to create maps that illustrate their activities.
Question 1:  Identifying Genre
The response to this question should contain two parts:

Part OneUsing specific examples from class discussions about genre, explain your understanding of how genres are identified, constructed, produced. 

Part TwoThen, select one of your major compositions you did for your class this semester. Describe how you understand the specific elements of the “genre” (or genres) for that writing.  How was the content you created shaped by the boundaries and features of the genre?  Be sure to provide specific examples from the text to illustrate your points and makes sure to thoroughly describe the choices you made regarding complying (or not) with the genre in your writing.  (For example, were there things you couldn’t say about your topic because it didn’t fit with the genre? How did the genre affect the research you included?)  

Text Box: THINGS TO THINK ABOUT: Think about how you understood and made decisions about the following components of the genre writing you are using as your example:
• Use of language.
• Use of description, argument, or analysis.  Did you use any of these approaches?  How? How did your use comply (or not) with the expectations of the genre?
• Use of a specific tone or style of language.
• Use of a specific way of organizing the text (conceptually or visually). For example, transition sentences, headers, or other organizational structures.
• Use of a specific format or structure (the look of the text and/or how it appears on the page either on the page or in a nontraditional written media).
• In terms of design, how did the genre requirements impact how the text looked or was presented?

(NOTE: if you worked on a project where you deliberately did NOT fit your content to the genre, you might want to describe how and why you made choices to do something different, and discuss how your choices resulted in a text that didn’t fit the genre.)

Question 2:  Organizing Information in Multiple Genres
The response to this question should contain two parts:
Part One: Select any one genre that you worked on during the class and discuss how the organizational features of that genre work to shape the content.

Part TwoSelect a different genre (from the first one) and discuss/analyze how the features and requirements of the new genre might shape the content differently.  If your class has done this kind of “genre juxtaposition” (moving content from one genre to another) you can use examples of that work for this response.  Otherwise, you can choose any other genre you think would be interesting to discuss.

  • Describe the boundaries of the two genres (talk about differences and similarities – how the genres diverge or overlap).
  • Use examples of the genres (e.g., texts you talked about in class, or texts you created) to highlight specific features of the two genres.
  • Discuss how these particular genres mediate meaning (how they shape or alter the meaning an author can produce).
  • Discuss the audiences/users for these genres. Are they used by different people, or for different purposes?
  • Discuss the media/materials/tools use to create the genres.
  • Discuss how the genres have changed over time.
  • Discuss how texts in this genre are stored or archived or could re-purposed in some way (i.e., used for something other than what the author intended).

Question 3:  Technology/Media
Respond to one of the following writing situations by describing the decisions you might need to make regarding technology or media – What tools would you use to create and distribute the text?  Keep in mind that tools/media/technology can include any material object you use to produce or distribute the text.  What “things” would you use to create the text, and what (perhaps unconventional) tools/or venues might you use to distribute it?  Also consider how these technology/media choices impact the text you create.

To do this, imagine you need to produce a text about one of the following topics (choose only one):

  • An advertisement for a personal hygiene product.
  • A review of a film, play, music album or song.
  • An instructional how-to guide for a game (board game, video game, etc.).
  • A scrapbook chronicling the experiences of your first year of college.
  • A billboard addressing a proposed change in some policy/practice within the community.

Note #1:  Please explain in as much detail as possible. You can use examples from choices you made on projects during the semester – if applicable – to illustrate how these decisions can have important effects on the text one produces.
Note #2:  Be sure to consider who the audience would be for this hypothetical document, and how that might affect your choices.
Note #3: Keep in mind that “technology” doesn’t necessarily mean “digital.”

Question 4:  The Trajectories of Literate Activity
We’d like you to create a visual map of one your major textual productions from this semester (could be a production that you did outside of ENG 101) and discuss the text’s trajectory.  Consider these three elements: 1) everything that went into to making the text, from your previous knowledge to the resources you used, and even what was necessary to create those resources, 1) what genres is your text connected to or derived from and how might you map these genres in connection to your text, and 2) what are some of the future interactions that individuals might have with your text.  Keep in mind a person need not physically see your project to interact with it.  Think about the following:

·         How did the text begin and how did it move out into the world?
·         What other genres (generally) or specific examples of genres did you use to inform/understand your production?
·         Who read it?
·         Who do you anticipate might read it in the future? 
·         What might those readers do with the text? 
·         How might the text be stored, or disseminated to others? 
·         What new kinds of texts (if any) could the ideas in the text be used to create?
·         What cultural institutions or organizations (if any) does the text help to support or challenge?

Your visual map can be done digitally or in some kind of “print-based” form.  Instructors and students can (and should) discuss how you want to approach this mapping process.  Be sure to include some kind of key and/or a written discussion of your mapping process.

Question Five:  Flexible Research Skills
Imagine that you plan to do research on a more specific variant of one of the following topics, but not as an assignment for school.  Discuss where you would go (physically and digitally) and what you would do to find the information you need.

Your choices Include:
  • the current U.S. economic crisis
  • a genealogy or family history
  • potential careers in your major or area of study
  • the body of work of a particular author/filmmaker/artist
  • the causes of and treatments for autism
  • the cultural/community values/rituals/beliefs of a particular group
  • The aftermath of the “Arab Spring”
  • Ramifications of the “Occupy” movement

Note: You’ll probably need to make these topics more specific before you begin to respond to this question.

In your response to this question, try to describe (in as much detail as possible) some (or all) of the following issues:
·         What kinds of technologies or media might you make use of in your search?
·         Who are some of the people you might gather information from (either as informants or as experts)?
·         How would you decide what kind of information is applicable to your project?
·         What criteria would you use to make decisions about the types of information that would be useful or valid for this project?
·         Using the possible texts for this topic discuss some examples of sources that might or might not be credible to use for this project.
·         What might you do with this information? Why and how?

Question Six:  Using Citation Formats/Citing Source Material in Multiple Genres
Explore how citation functions within one of your projects from this semester.  What citation format did you use, and how did it work within your text?  Why was this source cited in this way?  Then, discuss the purpose of citation methods in general.  You may want consider how your evaluation of sources affects the purpose of citation.

Question Seven:  Grammatical Usage and Sentence Structure
Discuss a particular issue/concept or “rule” of style or punctuation that you learned about during ENG 101?  Try to provide examples of how you worked with these concepts in specific projects or writing activities during the semester (both in 101 and perhaps in other classes). Explain specifically the rule of this convention as if you were going to teach it to someone.  Consider how you came to this knowledge.

Question Eight:  The issue of Transfer
Take a few moments to consider the kinds of genres you use to write outside of school.  What kinds of skills have you developed to help you use those genres?  Now take a moment to consider the kinds of genres you’ve used to write in ENG 101.  What kinds of skills have you developed to help you use those genres?  In what ways are the skills you use to write outside of school similar to or different from the skills you use to write in school? Please use examples from your writing to illustrate your discussion.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Uploading Assessment/Portfolio Stuff from Your Home Computer

Using the STV250 folder system from outside the lab

Go to Log in using your ULID and password. In the top right of the page you will see a text box; enter “\\datastore\stv250” and click browse. The contents of the STV250 folder will appear.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday, April 23

Today in class, we turned in our final projects for Unit 3. On Wednesday, you have your final learning blogs due and will take a few minutes to briefly present about your learning blogs, how far you've come in this class regarding writing, what you still have to learn, etc, If you have questions regarding this presentation, please see a subsequent blog post detailing these requirements.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday, April 16

Today, we had our final peer review session of the semester--on our rough drafts for the grassroots article. Hopefully this session was helpful to all. On Wednesday and Friday, we will hold our individual writing conferences with me, so remember to meet with me on your designated date/time. I will post/email you all those times soon.

Happy Writing!