Episode transcript available here.
About the guests Carolyn Wisniewski is Director of the Writer’s Workshop. View her recent publications on Illinois Experts.
Lucas Anderson is a Specialist in Education at CITL. Check out his blog where he writes about developing a teaching philosophy statement and other teaching topics.
Other resources Read more on these topics in these Writers Workshop articles:
Responding to Student Writing
Teaching Linguistically Diverse Writers
Episode Summary This episode delves into writing—specifically, how instructors can help students improve.
Who better to weigh in than Carolyn Wisniewski, Director of the Writer’s Workshop, which supports members of the campus community in all stages of their writing through consultations, presentations, and writing groups, and Lucas Anderson, a CITL Specialist in Education, who trains instructors and runs the biannual Graduate Academy, which trains all incoming graduate teaching assistants.
As host Bob Dignan points out, evaluating student writing and offering constructive criticism can be both time consuming and challenging. How can instructors do this effectively and efficiently?
In this episode, Dignan and his guests touch on many aspects from students’ struggles and successes in their writing to effective evaluation strategies to the importance of offering constructive criticism to teaching the fundamentals while recognizing students’ linguistic diversity and respecting their backgrounds.
Anderson shares a technique he learned from Wisniewski: Read through the entire paper, summarize comments at the end—including the best thing and something that needs improvement in the next draft—and if there’s time, make limited comments in the margin to address specific errors.
“This notion of summarizing it at the end and really distilling the main message as kind of the primary thing I hope they look at has really helped me,” says Anderson, who uses the technique when helping graduate students craft their teaching philosophy statement.
“In my field, we teach HOCs before LOCs,” adds Wisniewski, who wants instructors to focus on higher order concerns (e.g., do students understand the assignment and does the paper have structure) then move on to the lower order concerns (e.g., grammar and syntax) during the revision process.
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