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Wednesday, June 18 • 11:00am - 12:30pm
PSD.24 – Performance, Feedback, and Revision: Developing Effective Writing Skills in Introductory classes

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Teaching and modeling effective writing – and its attendant skills, e.g. mastering the essay genre, argumentation, critical thinking, ethical and moral reasoning – is an ongoing challenge across disciplines. As educators, we constantly explore ways to intentionally teach – and model – clear written communication skills in a transparent and accessible manner. With this challenge in mind, I implemented a model of assessment in my introductory survey course with objectives that sought not merely to assess effective writing but to 1) teach students to be more reflective about assessment, and 2) to use assessment to inform their essay writing. I accomplished this through a series of assignments. During class time, students were given “real” undergraduate essays (essays written by past students, and whose names had been erased) at 3 stages of the term (roughly 3-4 weeks apart) on a topic/text that the course had just covered (e.g. Beowulf, Chaucer, Shakespeare). Students were given criteria for assessing essays (agreed upon by members of the English department in advance) and asked to assess the paper and assign it a mark. There was a qualitative and quantitative aspect to this assessment, and the assignment was marked based on clear criteria provided to students in advance. Students were then asked to write an essay and submit an assessment of it that followed the same structure as the first three assignments. In this round table session, I will briefly outline the objectives, assessment, and outcomes of this initiative and workshop how one chooses criteria for assessment, and the various challenges my colleagues have teaching essay writing.


Wednesday June 18, 2014 11:00am - 12:30pm EDT
A234 McArthur Hall

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