Rubrics

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

The Interview Plans and Materials helped student learn how to prepare for interviews (i.e., guides and schedules of questions) and how to develop employment related written materials (i.e., job description, resume, cover letter, completion of employment application)...Students consistently state that the Self-Analyses are extremely beneficial because they get to view their interview performances and can actually see and hear how they handled themselves as both interviewers and as an applicant interviewee...The Observer Evaluations allow the students to critique/evaluate other students’ performances by providing written feedback to their fellow students. Sharkey, COMG290, F14.

I clearly laid out in a rubric what was expected of them. I also did short writing and editing workshops to help them clarify their thinking. I focused on helping them first understand the main point of each essay, then follow steps in a media ethics case analysis to help them organize their essays while at the same time using writing as a way to navigate through a critical thinking thought process as they evaluated an ethical issue. Auman, COM460/ACM460, F12.

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

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.

Having the students turn in a thesis and outline to me and providing them feedback at this critical juncture in the writing process helped them turn in more polished papers. Unfortunately, I found that in an online class, having students complete peer reviews for each other is a rather cumbersome process. While beneficial, many students don't take advantage of the option, so it is likely that I will discontinue that in favor of continuing to provide very detailed feedback to the students on the track changes tool in Microsoft word as well as using a writing rubric for both the midterm and the final papers. Mironesco, WS384/POLS384, F12.

One of the best ways I have found is to provide students with writing tools. I have developed 2 short tools which the students find valuable as a reference. This past year I also posted writing examples of similar past writing assignments on Laulima. Watters, FSHN451, F12.