When students recall the definition of a concept or apply a formula or principle to a problem, we are presented with a challenge. While their answers may be correct, how do we know whether they have a developed sense of the concept or can simply provide solutions in clearly defined contexts? Similarly, while students may recall learning about a concept, method, or tool in a prior course, is remembering a topic the same as conceptual understanding?
In previous years, August blog entries have focused on using syllabus descriptions to clarify purposes, tasks, and audiences for student writing, describing writing expectations in your field, and
Now is an opportune time to work on your course syllabus. As you do so, we invite you to consult with a colleague in the Writing Across the Curriculum Program.
Faculty and instructors tend to be divided over the use of rubrics and scoring sheets to assess writing. Some instructors appreciate the sense of consistency that rubrics provide and how they simplify grading. Others find scoring rubrics artificial and confining, and worry that splitting hairs between categories increases assessment challenges. In this blog post, we’ll look at the question of scoring rubrics from the perspective of student performance and recent research on how scoring rubrics can help students learn.
As we prepare for the beginning of the Spring Semester of 2022, the Teaching With Writing program is placing a particular emphasis on the connections between reading and writing and how assignments and assessments can invite students to use multiple modes for presenting information and persuading audiences. This tip will identify three valuable strategies for working with library resources to enhance students’ writing and research processes.
Don’t let this mild fall weather fool you. Winter is coming, and so is the end of the semester. Students are likely beginning or are already in the midst of their final projects—research essays, presentations, multimodal productions, group projects, etc.—and perhaps voicing concerns about timelines, criteria, and logistical matters. It’s a fine time to take stock with students on their works in progress and to support their writing efforts.
In the Fall semester, the University of Minnesota will resume its on-campus activities, guided by ongoing recommendations from the CDC.
Faculty members and instructors have learned that moving from face-to-face classes to online and hybrid instruction requires careful consideration of how we communicate information and expectations to our students. Meeting students’ needs and building community requires that we present materials in ways that are clear, concrete, and easy to navigate.
Circumstances have made many of us quick experts on preparing and delivering online and hybrid courses, but the semester’s start gives us a chance to retool and refine our practices. It can help to take a step back from the tools, technologies, and platforms for delivering course content online to consider the foundational learning goals for your course. This tip will provide suggestions for reviewing course and learning goals and thinking of ways that writing practice can support and reinforce those expectations.