poetcsw's blog

Wikibook Going "Stale" - How to Revive?

A few years ago, another instructor and I had students launch a "Professional and Technical Writing" entry in Wikibooks. Now, ithe project is stale. 


Forum Fanatics: Students Posting to Moodle

In the last few days, I have noticed what might be called an "explosion" of activity on the forums for my writing class.

With 23 students, these where the statistics:
Thursday: 56 new posts.
Friday: 246 new posts.
Saturday: 100+ new posts.

What leads to a dozen discussion threads being so active? I'm not sure but I am going to explain what I do.

Virtual Writing Teams

This semester another instructor and I are going to attempt "across-section" collaboration on projects. For a large project pairs or threesomes of students from his writing section will collaborate with pairs from my section of a technical writing course. The goal is to have students experience online collaboration similar to an all-online course, but with with an extensive safety net.

Anyone else work with a colleague to create virtual teams? What worked and what didn't?

Dissertation Changed My Online Habits

I have turned in the draft of my dissertation, which was a study of writing courses and online "learning management systems" such as Moodle and Blackboard. In particular, I was examining students with special needs and if the LMS platforms used within our department adequately accommodated the students.

We have "template" courses, designed by senior faculty. The primary platform is WebVista (Blackboard). There is no template for Moodle, but it is approved by the department for use in comp and technical writing courses.

Online Identity (and Teaching)

Today a student e-mailed me that she was confused by the university's new student portal, so she used Google to search for my senior-level writing course. Instead of locating the advanced technical writing course site, she stumbled into my personal pages and my business pages.

This is not much of a problem, since my personal pages deal with my freelance writing. Having a student read my CV isn't exactly an issue. It's not exciting reading.


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