Posts Tagged ‘assignment’

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Trip Report Assignments

posted: 7.22.14 by Traci Gardner

Earlier this month, I wrote about Writing Center Trip Reports in my Ink’d In column, and I want to talk a bit more about trip report assignments. I developed the activity for professional writing, but I’ve adapted it to work for literature and first-year writing classes as well. [read more]

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Unlocking Grade Levels

posted: 7.15.14 by Traci Gardner

Since I returned to the classroom last August, I have been searching for assessment strategies that worked for me and for students. I tried Assessing Student Work with Rubrics, but found that they weren’t working for me. I had endless trouble Finding a Tool to Grade Online, and my worries about grade inflation and unhappy students led me to want to Forget about Grades.

As I wrote up the Professional Bio Assignment I am using in my technical writing class this summer, I knew I needed to address the issue of assessment for the work students would do. [read more]

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Professional Bio Assignment

posted: 6.11.14 by Traci Gardner

In July, I will begin teaching an online section of Technical Writing. The course takes place completely online. I’ll never meet with the students in a face-to-face classroom, and there will be no set meeting time for the class. Students will log in whenever they like and access resources on the course website and in Virginia Tech’s CMS. [read more]

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A Revision Plan Assignment

posted: 5.20.14 by Traci Gardner

I haven’t had the best of luck with giving students the chance to rewrite their assignments. Usually what I get back shows students fixing the errors I have marked. Rarely do they do any deep reimagining of their pieces. While I want to encourage critical thinking and engagement, what I get feels more like tedious busywork. [read more]

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Writing Assignment Evolution

posted: 5.14.14 by Traci Gardner

I am quite picky about the writing assignments that I use. A good writing assignment should focus on critical thinking, have an authentic audience, give students some choice, and provide support for the writing students are to do. I want my writing assignments to do all that, but I also want them to be engaging and, if not fun, at least enjoyable. [read more]

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Choice in Writing Assignments

posted: 4.15.14 by Traci Gardner

At CCCC last month, I found myself in my room one night, reflecting on all the wonderful sessions I’d attended and ideas I’d heard. In one session, Elisabeth Kramer-Simpson from New Mexico Tech and Elizabeth Tomlinson from West Virginia University inspired me with their discussion of internships and open writing assignments in the technical writing classroom. [read more]

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My Advice to Students

posted: 12.10.13 by Traci Gardner

With the semester nearly over here at Virginia Tech, I keep thinking about what will happen when the first-year writing students I am teaching move on to the second semester of the course and a new teacher. I worry about both whether they are prepared and how I can make that transition easier for them. [read more]

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The Value of a Real Audience and Purpose

posted: 12.5.13 by Traci Gardner

Students do better work when they are writing for a real audience and purpose. In the past, I’ve used assignments that ask students to write letters to the editor, to work in online forums that are read by everyone in the class, and reviews that are posted online. Students have a stronger understanding of their goals with these activities than they do when writing pieces with a less authentic audience, and as a result, I’ve had moderate success with them in the classroom. [read more]

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Pop Culture Dictionary Assignment

posted: 10.22.13 by Traci Gardner

This week, the students in my first-year composition class are finishing work on pop culture dictionaries. My goal is to ask students to think about and document the extensive language knowledge that they already have. On their way to demonstrating their language knowledge, students will

  • look at dictionaries and explore how they work. [read more]

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Instructions on Instructions

posted: 9.24.13 by Traci Gardner

To introduce a writing assignment on instructions this week, I asked students to analyze a rather generic set of writing instructions on the WikiHow site. The prompt I posted for the in-class activity was simple:

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