Sunday, October 10, 2010

Connection has been initiated and first papers are in!

So this Friday, my students' final drafts of the first paper, male product advertisement analysis, were due. The turn out was pretty impressive and I think, or it seems this way but I only read through a few of them, that the blogging, sharing and commenting on each step of the writing process was a success. I broke this assignment into four steps. The first one was brain storming which involved answering a list of questions about an ad for a male product(each student was asked to bring in an ad to class) and this was done during the one class session which meets in a regular classroom. The second step was a formal outline which students were asked to complete in the computer lab, post on their blogs and then comment on one other classmate's outline. The third step was the first draft, also completed in the computer lab and posted on blogs, after which each student was asked to peer review two other classmates's first drafts by answering specific questions. And the last step was the final draft, which I asked the students to post and also submit a hard copy so that I can grade it. While I'm trying to have the class be as paperless as possible, I wanted students' to submit hard copies of final for privacy purposes, as I don't want to post comments with students grades and comments about grammar, syntax and punctuation.
Most students really took advantage of this lengthy process, and feedback; some wrote two drafts before completing a final draft. I am really impressed. But others skipped the outline and first draft, or posted these day before or on the day the final draft was due, making it impossible for anyone to provide them with feedback. So I took an earlier suggestion from Dr. Smith, and asked the students to peer review each others blogs, but I assigned them partners. I hope this will motivate those students who have not been maintaining their blogs to catch up.
Also, Ann Matsuuchi and I exchanged few e-mails about connecting our classes; she put together a great step by step handout on how to connect to her class' Ning and sent it to my students. I alerted my students they will be receiving an invite to a LRC Ning and they will be connecting with Ann's students in order to facilitate the research portion of research paper writing process. My students' annotated biblios for the first research paper are due Oct. 15 so I hope they will take advantage of the Ning connection. Will keep you posted.

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