Archive for the ‘Steve Bernhardt’ Category

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Peer Groups in the Technology-Enabled Writing Classroom

posted: 4.21.15 by Steve Bernhardt

I suspect we all use peer review in some form or other. If we can help students become effective peer reviewers, then we give them a skill that helps them improve their writing without a teacherly intervention. Peer review makes writing public, so students see what others are doing and learn indirectly. We also help students become valuable workplace writers, because they know how to interact with others to improve writing within an organization. [read more]

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Categories: Collaboration, Pedagogy, Peer Review, Steve Bernhardt, Teaching with Technology, Writing Process
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Personal Learning Networks

posted: 3.3.15 by Steve Bernhardt

We had a faculty development workshop at UD over three days in early February, where we welcomed keynote speaker Ann Hill Duin from the University of Minnesota. Ann is in technical and professional communication and has held various administrative positions at UM, especially focused on teaching and learning with technologies. Ann’s talk was about how central connections, connectivity, and connectionist theory relate to learning.

An activity she suggested is likely to have high value in one or more of the classes you teach. She suggested having students draw a personal learning network (PLN), a diagram of where a person’s learning connects to resources, groups, situations, individuals, experiences. [read more]

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Look it up!

posted: 1.27.15 by Steve Bernhardt

Working on some medical texts last week, I was continually impressed with the ease of looking up unfamiliar words. Pretty much without fail, if I right-clicked on a medical term, Adobe Acrobat would drop a box with the last choice being Look up “xxx”:

[read more]

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Writing about Campus Rape

posted: 12.2.14 by Steve Bernhardt

I am having a hard time not thinking about the disturbing Rolling Stone exposé on the rape culture at the University of Virginia. If you have not read it, stop right now, follow that link, and think about your campus culture.

Reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely doggedly pursues a story focused on the experience of a first-year woman student, Jackie [read more]

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TED Talks Grammar

posted: 10.28.14 by Steve Bernhardt

My friend and colleague, Barb Lutz, who directs the Writing Center at the University of Delaware , recently linked a Facebook post to TED Ed: Lessons Worth Sharing. A subset of lessons on grammar and usage are worth a look. TED-Ed brings together the volunteered work of educators and professional animators to create short (3 to 5 minute) lessons on a variety of subjects. The results are quite professional: brisk scripts, clever animations, high quality voice-over narration. [read more]

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A Plethora of Words

posted: 10.7.14 by Steve Bernhardt

Reading sets of first-year essays typically offers teachers some curious insights into the minds of new college students. For several terms, I’ve found myself wondering about the word plethora. It’s of Greek origin, meaning fullness, and it has a specialized medical meaning related to profusion, or excess blood. It’s also a word that turns up more frequently than I would expect in the writings of more than a few of my students. I can only speculate why. [read more]

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On Affirmations

posted: 9.16.14 by Steve Bernhardt

An important New York Times article has been circulating that focuses on questions of persistence in college. I called attention to it a couple weeks back on our new LinkedIn group College Writing Collaborative. (Join if you haven’t yet.) The lessons of the new lines of research as represented in this article are important for those of us who teach writing to first year students. [read more]

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On Using the Handbook

posted: 8.20.14 by Steve Bernhardt

I’ll be visiting the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse (and perhaps University of Minnesota-Duluth) next week to talk with their instructors about using Writer’s Help. Lacrosse was an early and enthusiastic adopter; Duluth’s decision to use WH was much more recent.

It would be a shame to adopt a book and not get good value from it, but I know that happens a lot. You may remember when we used to require that all students buy a college desk dictionary such as Merriam Webster’s (and many arrived with such graduation gifts for their dorm rooms), but we seldom did much with the dictionary. We presumed students would use it as needed. I don’t think that works. [read more]

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Language "Decline"

posted: 7.15.14 by Steve Bernhardt

After teaching English for 40 years, I’ve grown accustomed to the predictable responses I get when I meet someone and reveal my occupation. Many say “Oh, I better watch my grammar,” while others say “That was never my best subject.” Increasingly, the response I am getting goes something like this: “Isn’t it something the way students have lost the ability to write a decent sentence? They do so much texting and tweeting that all they know how to do is write shorthand messages, full of internet slang and acronyms.” I get this response from people outside the academy, but also from instructors in other disciplines. [read more]

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Writers as Class Guests

posted: 5.20.14 by Steve Bernhardt

Teaching can be an isolating profession, as Dan Lortie underscored in his classic Schoolteacher (U. Chicago, 1975, reissued 2002). Teachers tend to be isolated inside classroom walls with only their students. But classrooms can also be connected—the walls can be porous.

Three guest speakers joined my Introduction to Professional Writing class last week, and I think we all connected. [read more]

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