Posts Tagged ‘email’

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Teaching Email Courtesies

posted: 3.31.15 by Traci Gardner

I receive a lot of email from students. Sometimes it’s messages that I have requested, like links to their work. Other times, students are asking questions about assignments or telling me why they will miss class.

More often than not, these messages are not students’ best writing. I don’t care that the messages are informal. That’s fine with me. At times, however, they wander into telling me far more than I need or want to know. Worse yet, the messages can leave out the crucial details or attachments that would have made the message successful. [read more]

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Categories: Activity Idea, Audience, Classroom Challenges and Solutions, Purpose, Teaching with Technology, Traci Gardner
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Multimodal THURSDAY: It’s all Greek to me…until someone writes an e-mail

posted: 9.25.14 by Andrea Lunsford

Guest blogger Diantha Smith is a PhD candidate in English and the Teaching of English at Idaho State University. She teaches both online and face-to-face composition classes and loves incorporating a variety of media into both. In this post, Diantha offers a digital writing assignment to introduce students to rhetorical terms and concepts. [read more]

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Categories: Uncategorized
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Multimodal Mondays: Introducing the Academic Environment with Email

posted: 2.3.14 by Andrea Lunsford

Today’s multimodal assignment comes to us from Molly Scanlon, an Assistant Professor of Writing at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Shanti Bruce, Associate Professor of Writing at Nova Southeastern University, found that her colleagues were turned off by the informal and unprofessional writing in student emails, so she designed an assignment that would be taught in all composition courses in the first week of classes each semester. [read more]

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Categories: Andrea Lunsford
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5 things I do with email

posted: 2.28.08 by Barclay Barrios

About 90% of my job as Director of Writing Programs involves writing and responding to emails. In fact, I answer so much email for a living that my friends know better than to email me—I rarely have the energy to answer emails at home. For me, email is both boon and bane. It’s also ineluctable, and so I’ve given a lot of thought to the role I want it to play in my teaching. Here are some of the practices I use to make it more boon than bane:

1. Create clear email policies

When I am orienting our new teachers, I stress the importance of good email hygiene, which includes a clear statement of email policies on their syllabi. For starters, I encourage them all to separate personal and work email by using their university email address for teaching and a separate email account for personal email. Otherwise, they’re going to be confronted with student emails when they really want to be answering an email from their best friend. Then, I ask them to include information on their syllabus about accepting work through email (I will do so only if the student has made arrangements with me in advance and only if a paper copy is provided the next class) and the times they check email (I only do so while in the office and never on weekends). Setting these boundaries from the start guards sanity while providing students reasonable electronic access to you.

2. Student email addresses

In my business and technical writing classes, I often discuss the importance of a professional email address. Many students will create resumes that include a personal email address that may create a poor impression on future employers. In order to help students realize the potential damage an informal email address can do to their future careers, ask them to research the problem on the Web—a search for “unprofessional email address” is a good start. Have them bring in examples of inappropriate email addresses, which can generate a lot of laughs in class, but then also have students alone or in collaborative groups create a list of resources for free email or tutorials on setting up a new email account.

3. Audience awareness in email

We’ve probably all received email from students with informal syntax, grammar, and spelling. Have students review the material in their handbooks on audience, tone, and (if available) electronic correspondence. Bring in some examples of these emails (with identifying information removed) to use in a discussion about these issues. Work with your students to determine the appropriate tone to use in emails to you but also use this as an opportunity to discuss writing to an audience in general.

4. Spam revisions

One really fun way to work on issues of grammar is to bring in some examples of email spam for students to revise. For homework or in small groups in class, ask students to first identify any errors in the spam and then to revise it.

5. Informal peer groups

Email is a quick and easy way for students to work and collaborate outside of class. Assign students to email peer groups, having all members of the group trade email addresses. Then have students email small portions of their drafts to each other over the course of an assignment—perhaps just the introduction. Working through email creates a peer group that can be available as students work on their drafts; sending only small pieces of the paper keeps the workload manageable and targeted.

How does email impact your teaching? Do you use it in class?

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Business Writing, Revising, Teaching Advice, Teaching with Technology
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