Assignment Revisions

What worked best as you sought to help students learn course content through writing?

Providing feedback to students on their initial writing submissions, and giving students the opportunity to incorporate changes and resubmit their work for an improved grade. Leonhardt, TPSS492/NREM492, F12

Students are required to read, discuss, and summarize all of the weekly assigned readings. To help internalize the topics, students are required to write reaction papers for each week's topic and relate these subjects to their own personal knowledge and insights, including family and village experiences for heritage students. The writing of reaction papers enables students to develop writing styles representative of adult academic writing in the Samoan and English languages. Small group discussions enable students to incorporate shared experiences and additional insights into their re-writes. The use of written reaction papers rather than oral reports permits students to develop their thoughts and styles through several revisions and also lets them analyze the thoughts and styles of others in the class. Each student is also required to write a research paper. In this way, students further their academic writing and develop research skills and knowledge of the topic. Mayer, SAM452, F12.

A series of three writing assignments with revisions spaced evenly throughout the semester. Chin, ICS461, F12.

The best tools for supporting students' learning course content through writing has been the development of a multi-step writing process that requires peer review and oral critical feedback on work such as the "Getting to Know a Student" paper, lesson plans and reflective blog posts. Via the multi-step writing process students write, evaluate, reflect and revise. Participation in this process has supported students' development of meaningful conceptual and contextualized understandings of course content. O'Neill, ITE404H, F12.

What worked best as you sought to help students learn to be more effective writers?

The Self-Analyses and the Interview Plans and Materials are graded for organization, grammar and mechanics, and critical analysis. Students are encouraged to and many take advantage of my offer to seek out my advice before submitting their written work. Sharkey, COMG290, F14.

Critical editing. Leonhardt, TPSS492/NREM 492 F12.

Part I of the term paper is returned to students with very extensive comments as to how to revise it. Throughout the semester, there are individual and/or group sessions to discuss students' term paper projects. The final term paper (i.e., Part II of the term paper assignment), which is a revision of Part I with additional components of a research proposal, is also returned to students with my comments. Kim, COM401 F12.

Allow students to write draft reports and revise them based on the criticism, suggestions and remarks provided by the instructor and teaching assistant. Matsuno, PHYS274L, F12.

The draft system for the larger papers is given out for peer reviews (and instructor review). No grades are assigned to the drafts--only points if it was done (or not). Watanabe, EDEP411, F12.

Reaction papers are turned in to the instructor and are then re-written based on comments from the instructor. In small peer groups, students are allowed to share their writing and are able to get feedback on style as well as content. These activities work very well for this class, and students seem to benefit a great deal from the peer-level interactions. Each student is required to write a research paper on an approved topic related to Samoan language, culture, and sociolinguistics. Papers may be written in Samoan or English, but students must demonstrate an ability to use the Samoan language as a research tool in the completion of the paper. The first draft of the paper is handed in to the instructor by the 8th week. A conference is held with the student to discuss content, accuracy and grammatical form. The paper is then rewritten and presented to the class. Students can rewrite the paper again based on feedback. The process helps to develop an academic style of writing and revising papers. Mayer, SAM452, F12.

Students are required to write a weekly journal recording their reactions to or thoughts on the readings and class discussions. Questions, comments, disagreements, and elaboration on points made in class are some of the types of entries expected in the journal. Entries are submitted twice weekly and must be no less that 2 pages. Students are required to share their journal entries with the class in small group discussions. These entries are re-written and re-submitted to the instructor based on comments from classmates and the instructor. Thus students become better writers because they benefit from input from the instructor and their peers. All writing in 427C is in the English language. (Students may use the Samoan language with the consent of instructor.) Simanu-Klutz, IP427B, F12.

Three strategies have been most effective in aiding students in becoming more effective writers. The first is the development of a multi-step writing process. The second is my focus on providing significant and meaningful feedback on students' written work and allowing for multiple revisions of work based on my feedback. Lastly, I have found that providing students with samples of strong and weak writing for each writing assignment has supported the development of more thoughtful and detailed expression via writing. O'Neill, ITE404H, F12.

Because they are writing for one another, the students develop a sense of audience. Posting papers for their peers to read on the blog (under pseudonyms) holds them accountable for doing a good job. In the 2nd and 4th papers (Athens #2 and especially China #2), I require students to respond explicitly to ideas in other students' papers. I also found that the spontaneity of the games forces students to think on their feet. More than once, a student has prepared a carefully researched paper on a scientific proposal, but by the time they get up to present it, the dynamics of the in-class discussion has made their proposal moot. I have found that students who have already put time and effort into thinking through an argument by means of writing it are more flexible when it comes to adapting. This underscores my philosophy that writing is a dynamic process that is inextricable from thinking and listening. The students will beg me for an extension to revise their paper. I allow it, knowing they gained feedback from peers. Schwartz, HON291H, F12.

One-on-one meetings and detailed feedback on drafts with opportunities to revise. Franklin, ENG382/WS381, F12.

I meet with students individually and have them peer-review the assignments in order to improve their writing skills. Njoroge, HIST476/AMST440, F12.

The reading response paper is a formal paper in which students pay close attention to organization, presentation of subject and material, critical thinking, sentence structure, citation, and grammar. Students learn how to write a formal paper and have an opportunity to learn about writing by editing and resubmitting their work. This exercise provides students an opportunity to think and write critically, which is beneficial to them and helps them become good writers. Arai, WS446/SOC446, F12.

Please explain any changes you plan to make in the W aspect of your class.

I am going to move up the due date for the historiographical essay and annotated bibliography paper so that there is more time to give feedback in class before the end of the semester. Matteson, HIST396B, F12.