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Tips for Teaching

This category contains 14 posts

Digital Storytelling in First-Year Composition

I can vividly recall stumbling across “The World of Digital Storytelling” by Jason Ohler in late 2008. I was on winter break and I was looking for an innovative way to teach a personal narrative assignment to my soon-to-be first-year composition students. To be sure, I taught personal narrative assignments many different ways during many … Continue reading

Making the Most of Student Conferences: Instructor Feedback as Heuristic

  As teachers, we do all we can to ensure the success of our students.  We make syllabi, we develop assignments and rubrics, we grade, and we converse with our students.  It is our belief that these pedagogical practices matter to students, encourage learning, and produce the successful writers in the future.  And while most … Continue reading

We’ve Always Taught Technology in Composition!

Joe Torok is a PhD candidate in Rhetoric and Composition as well as a Lecturer in the English Department at Wayne State University. He teaches Basic Writing and Technical Communication and has been instrumental in helping the department significantly expand the number of its online course offerings.   I don’t often see technology in scare quotes, but … Continue reading

How did IT get here? Part II: Strategies for Supporting Students’ Development of Metacognitive Inscription

    This is the second post of a two-part series written by Adrienne Jankens, Angela Meador, and Thomas Trimble on metacognition’s role in the WSU Composition sequence.   In our previous post, we provided an overview of the theoretical and pedagogical context behind the Composition Program’s interest in metacognitive awareness and reflection. The core argument … Continue reading

Balancing Act: the Tightrope of Best Teaching—and Studenting—Practices

The start of the fall 2012 semester was the kick-off for my journey toward my PhD. It also marks my second year as a full-time lecturer in the English department. Needless to say, this semester has been one grand experiment in an elusive concept for me—that of balance. This is a recurring theme in academia. … Continue reading

Rinse and Repeat as Needed

My 1020 class just wrapped up project three, the definition essay. This past week I rolled out the final project, an evaluation/proposal essay that is designed to explore the future of work. With the outside temperature hovering close to 80 degrees and climate change in the air, I decided to push the metaphor of the … Continue reading

Mix it up: Playing around with Digital and Face-to-Face Peer Review

I’ve been thinking about peer review lately. Conversations I’ve had with fellow teachers, as well as a workshop I’m preparing for, have got me musing on—not the effectiveness of peer review, per se—but how I can make peer review most effective for most of my students. I’ve also been thinking about the seeming dichotomy between … Continue reading

Passing the Hat

Take a hat. Place slips of paper with typed out quotes in said hat. Shake well. The hat was a wool fedora and, though it may have been equally productive, I wasn’t trying to pull a Dadaist poem from the hat but rather was trying to open up classroom discussion to all of my students, … Continue reading

Theme for 1020: Students’ Prior Knowledge as a Starting Point

Langston Hughes’ “Theme for English B” keeps reappearing in my teaching life. When I taught high school, I remember it being especially valuable in a unit on developing identity. In this sense, it was useful to me as a potential spark for personal introductions in the composition course. But a couple of years ago, I … Continue reading

Reflecting Out Loud: Exposing Students to Revisions in Teaching

This afternoon, after four days of rethinking a small group exercise we began last week, and are continuing into this week, I created a post for our course blog indicating changes for tomorrow’s class. I felt my initial proposal was sound: students will be writing an essay examining a text calling for change, a text … Continue reading