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Don’t Let Anyone Steal Your Words!

In one poignant session with the best therapist I ever had, while I was in the depths of a severe depressive episode as a graduate student, the therapist asked me what I would have if, tomorrow, my entire academic career was taken away: if I couldn’t be a teacher, I couldn’t work on my Ph.D.,Continue reading “Don’t Let Anyone Steal Your Words!”

Evaluation Without Grades: A Suggested Activity

I’m wrapping up finals week for what, unexpectedly and excitingly, is my final semester teaching at my current institution. Several years ago, on the advice of my colleagues and supervisors, I abandoned final exams for my writing courses, and although I miss my tricks to check that the students read the directions, it’s been overallContinue reading “Evaluation Without Grades: A Suggested Activity”

Report On Self-Assessment Grading

If you’ll recall, this semester for my New Semester’s Resolution, I was trying a more collaborative approach to grading that requires students to set goals by modifying my provided rubric and then evaluate their own work according to that rubric, so that they self-grade their assignments. At this point, students have submitted their first self-evaluationContinue reading “Report On Self-Assessment Grading”

Building Deadlines for Grading

As you probably know if you’ve been here a while, the bane of my existence is getting behind on grading. It’s perennially a black mark. Student feedback in evaluations usually goes something like “Dr. Cox is friendly and really cares and I loved her class but she’s very slow at getting back grades.” Like someContinue reading “Building Deadlines for Grading”

I Might Have Gone Too Far

Previously, I argued that the key to successful asynchronous online instruction is a minimalist approach: identify the core parts of the course and strip everything else out to streamline student experience and minimize confusion. I maintain that keeping the course streamlined is important, but I have to admit an error: I went too far thisContinue reading “I Might Have Gone Too Far”

Popular and Academic Terms for Writing Processes: Pantsers and Planners, One-Drafters and Multi-Drafters

One of my favorite bits of composition research to share with my students is Muriel Harris’s 1989 “Composing Behaviors of One- and Multi-Draft Writers.” It’s a very good way to make the notion that “the writing process is recursive, not linear” make sense in specific, personal terms, and it’s a great way to help themContinue reading “Popular and Academic Terms for Writing Processes: Pantsers and Planners, One-Drafters and Multi-Drafters”

NaNoWriMo 2020 Update #1

Novel word count at time of publication: 8,588. As you are probably aware, it’s November. That means, among other things, that it’s time for NaNoWriMo. It’s a familiar rhythm at this point, and I love it. And it’s the rhythm of NaNoWriMo I want to talk about today. Honestly, it’s the only thing that feelsContinue reading “NaNoWriMo 2020 Update #1”

The Contract Grade and The LMS

Many of my colleagues who use contract grading, or another kind of alternate evaluation system, eschew the use of a Learning Management System (LMS) such as Canvas or Blackboard. Honestly, they’re probably right to do so. There are a lot of problems with LMSs, not least of which is how they enable surveillance and otherContinue reading “The Contract Grade and The LMS”