Earlier this afternoon, I was pleased to be on a webinar, “Online Environments and Your Students: Strategies to Inform Writing Instruction” (Archived Video) with Jessie Borgman (Arizona State University), and Casey McArdle (Michigan State University). Hosted by Brett Griffiths, Director of Reading and Writing Studios at Macomb Community College, we covered a good deal of ground.
For my segment, we discussed tools for conferring and responding to student writers. Building from my experience in writing centers, NWP, K-12 teaching, college composition, and mentoring graduate students, I consider conferring to be the single most important activity in writing instruction. In the context of online learning (and our current “remote learning” scenarios), I am referring to “conferring” as scheduled meetings with students, via phone or video conferencing. This involves planning the conference, interacting during the conference, and follow-up after the conference.
Again, building from my experiences, I contend that timely, specific, and goal-oriented response helps writer move forward. When conferring is not an option, responding in an efficient and effective manner is second best. I work from the writing center-influenced ideas of responding first to higher order concerns, yet I am also willing to break protocol and offer directed feedback on lower order concerns. Responding can take the form of text, image, audio, or video and can happen at any stage of the writing process. Here are links to the tools that I shared:
- Troy’s Blog Post: “In the Time of Corona: Teaching Writers in Uncertain Times“
- Hopkins, E. M. (1912). Can Good Composition Teaching Be Done under Present Conditions? The English Journal, 1(1), 1–8. https://doi.org/10.2307/800827
- Models for Feedback
- Textual Feedback
- Windows Copy/Paste Utilities
- Mac Copy/Paste Utilities
- Audio/Video Feedback
- Apps on your phone/device
- Audio Embedding
- “Draftback is a Chrome extension that lets you play back any Google Doc’s revision history (for docs you can edit). It’s like going back in time to look over your own shoulder as you write.”
- Calendaring Systems
Updated on May 17, 2020, with a link back to program page on NCTE’s website and a link to the archived video recording.
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