Phd no thesis

I divide students into small groups the next time we phd by thesis only meet and ask them to use the individual checklists each has drafted to develop one checklist for the group.

Each group then writes their check- list on the board, and, as a class, we talk through all of them, discussing the merits, implications, and possible disadvantages of each point. Eventually (often after a series of debates), the students create a new checklist, one that I then critique and ulti- mately agree is an effective means of assessment. Though the student-drafted checklists consistently contain fewer subdivi- sions than the response draft I distribute earlier in the semester, each still includes attention to the same general content and for- mat concerns that I present them with earlier. Assessment practices may be formal or informal, and assessment information can be gleaned without tests.

Assessment does not always include comparing or ranking students, or assigning a fixed letter grade to a text (Ruth buy essay cheap online and Murphy 1988). Grant Wiggins (1994) argues that testing encourages students to think only of and write only for the test, whereas assessing writing (if done properly) encourages the writer to consider her or his work in larger contexts. By foregrounding phd no thesis assessment as part of the writing process, students learn to practice assessment meth- ods — self, peer, and instructor response — as a means of further developing their writing skills. By teaching students the vocabu- lary of assessment, having them participate in the formation of classroom assessment criteria, and developing the questions they ask when discussing their own work or that of their peers, the teacher encourages students to perform assessment practices they feel are most effective. We know that feedback often plays an essential role in the writing process. Critical feedback offers writers the opportunity - 240 - Taking Out the Guesswork to revisit their work, to enter into a conversation with another person about it. And by practicing methods of assessment themselves, students gain a better under- standing of ( 1 ) the criteria by which their work will be assessed and (2) how they can further develop their writing to meet those criteria. Appendix A Essay Response Checklist The following aspects of this paper tend to detract from its effective- -ness. Please note that the aspects are listed in roughly descending order of importance: thus the elements listed first here have probably affected the grade more heavily than the elements at the end of the list. Author writes strong, coherent introduction and conclusion paragraphs that complement each other. Title accurately reflects the content of the essay.

Author uses proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Designing Writing Tasks for the Assessment of Writing. I aban- doned my authoritative, traditional blackboard pedagogy and began using writing conferences to redefine myself as a collabo- rative writer working in a community of writers: basic student writers.

I cancel ten or more class days to provide time for approximately five fifteen- to twenty-minute conferences.

Since graduate school, I had used conferences with my first- year composition classes. Names such as Janet Emig, Thomas Carnicelli, Peter Elbow, and Donald Murray were headliners in my graduate rhetoric and composition courses, so I knew that writing conferences should be an aspect of my pedagogy for ba- sic writing courses. Unfortunately, for the majority of their writing assign- ments, these basic writing students, who were for the most part inexperienced in both study skills and writing, were expected to navigate alone through my generous feedback to their drafts.

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They would then rewrite based on my written comments, trying des- perately to get the paper up to my standards, and return the final effort to me for a grade. Clearly, the concept of the writing con- ference had been lost on me. In the few conferences I did schedule, my basic writing stu- dents were cordially invited to sit down in cozy proximity to me in my office with a mauled draft on the desk between us. The student, eyes shifting back and forth from the draft to me, sat silent, nodding when appropriate.

In the interest of self-evaluation, I even asked students to tell me in their journal writing how they felt about the conference experience.

The diligent students responded that they were grateful for the abundant feedback, and, in turn, their revisions mirrored my ideas, and the final product was graded accordingly. Freeland made me see what a bad writer I am and how hard I will have to work to pass this course. Every semester I would lose or fail approximately one- third or more of my basic first-year students. I was forcing students to make rote changes in their drafts that had no meaning to them as writers, whereas TEACHER RESPONSE AND ASSESSMENT o ERIC sitting for hours writing prescriptive, mostly negative comments on student drafts exhausted me.

I knew I had to rethink my approach to teaching writing and how basic writing students learned to become writers. I needed to create in my conferences a climate that allowed students to learn based on their own observations of their writing.

Rather than telling them where their writing needed work through copious, hand- written comments, I wanted students to discover, through a genu- ine sense of audience need and writer purpose, what worked and what did not in their writing.

As a result of these adjustments, I have seen over the last three semesters a marked change in student motivation, as well as lower attrition and higher grades. Changing the way we think often requires changing the way we speak. A multitude of drafts soaked in my authoritative comments might inform students that this is true, but they only truly learn by discovering that, as writers, they are capable of making decisions about their own work. Therefore, I also changed the way I respond to student writing. Because as a writ- ing teacher I have extensive experience in solving writing prob- lems, I sometimes find myself slipping into the authoritative role of teacher and dominating the conversation. Using nonevaluative, open-ended questions in dialoguing with basic writing students about their writing is a strategy that af- firms a collaborative relationship in the writing conference. Instead of telling students what they are doing wrong and how they should fix the problem, I begin by assuming that the writer knows the work better than I do (Connors and Glenn 1999, 57).

I try to remain silent while the student writer thinks of a response, even if the silence goes on for an uncomfortable amount of time. I may think I know phd no thesis the best answer, but I must give the writer time to work out his or her meaning and purpose.

Once the writer has spoken and I have listened, I often summarize, or mirror, what was said in an effort to reassure both of us that we understand the ideas. A writing conference is often a balancing act between spontaneity and pedagogy (Black 1998, 25). Another crucial element in establishing a collaborative reader- phd no thesis writer relationship with my basic writing students in the writing conference is having them gain ownership of their writing pro- cess through reflective writing.

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