Welcome to the Campus Writing & Speaking Program!

Archive 2006 - 2007

Point Counterpoint: Constructive Alignment: The Ideal Method? (4/18/07)
Facilitated By: Drs. Chris Anson and Deanna Dannels, CWSP

Description: Educational theorist John Biggs proposes three levels of teaching and asks us to think about which level characterizes our own instructional methods. The third level, based on "constructive alignment" of goals, methods, and assessment, is clearly the most principled. In this Point/Counterpoint session, we will view a short video describing Biggs's approach and then discuss the pros and cons of Biggs's levels as they apply to the use of writing and speaking, and in light of your own beliefs, methods, and experiences.

Guest Speaker: Across the Curriculum and Languages: Strategies for Teaching Multilingual Students (4/16/07)
Dr. Paul Matsuda, Associate Professor of English, University of New Hampshire
The student population in U.S. higher education is becoming increasingly diverse both linguistically and culturally. While integrating writing and speaking into courses across the curriculum provide valuable learning opportunities for all students, it also poses an increased challenge to students for whom English is not the primary language--and to their teachers. In this workshop, Dr. Matsuda will provide an overview of various issues in teaching multilingual students in courses across the curriculum. He will then discuss strategies for working with linguistically and culturally diverse student population effectively and efficiently. There will be an opportunity to discuss specific questions and concerns that participants have about working with multilingual writers.

Matsuda is Director of Composition at the University of New Hampshire, where he works closely with doctoral students in composition studies and master's students in English Language and Linguistics. He has presented lectures and workshops on second-language writing at numerous universities throughout the United States as well as in Japan, Mexico and Taiwan. His research interests include second-language writing, contrastive rhetoric, English for Academic Purposes, and World Englishes.

Brown Bag:  Writing/Speaking and Communication Technologies: Genres, Modes and Media (4/4/07)
Dr. Todd Taylor of the UNC Writing Program discussed his research and teaching, which have focused on how our notions of literacy are changing in response to emerging communications technologies such as the Internet. Specifically, his presentation discussed the possibility of genres of communication encouraged by new media technologies such as desktop video editing and multimedia presentation applications.

Campus wide Workshop: Using Emerging Technologies for Low-Stakes Writing and Speaking Assignments (2/13/07)
Facilitated by: Dr. Chris Anson & Dr. Deanna Dannels

Description: Increasingly, research is showing the benefits to students' learning of low-stakes writing and speaking assignments that place no additional burdens on instructors to use in their courses. Now, Web2 technologies are making it even easier to use low-stakes assignment to encourage better reading of course material, deeper and more thoughtful analysis of course content, and livelier, more productive class sessions.

In this workshop, Campus Writing and Speaking Program leaders Chris Anson and Deanna Dannels will describe new ways that Web-based and other digital technologies such as wikis, blogs, podcasts, and vidcasts can be employed in low-stakes, learning-focused writing and speaking assignments. Participants will discuss (and share) ways to adapt these emerging technologies to incorporate more low-stakes assignments and engaging activities into their courses.

Brown Bag: Linking Formal Writing/Speaking Assignments to Departmental Outcomes for Professional Degree Programs (2/2/07)
Kathy Hamilton-Brown Gore and Dr. Edwin K. Lindsay from the NC State College of Natural Resources provided specific examples of individual/group formal writing/speaking assignments for intermediate/advanced undergraduate students designed to develop and improve practical skills necessary for success in the professional fields of park, recreation, tourism, and sport management.

Brown Bag: Using Low-Stakes Writing and Speaking Assignments to Improve Proficiency in Agriculture Classes (12/6/06)
Dr. Susana Milla-Lewis and Dr. Emily Erickson from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at NC State provided specific examples of assignments used in a 200-level genetics course and an Agricultural Institute course to illustrate low-stakes writing and speaking assignments.

Brown Bag: Electronic Commentary on Student Writing and Interactive Writing Technology in a First-Year Writing Course (12/4/06)
NC State Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media PhD Students Chad O'Neil and Chris Berg focused on the use of digital media to enhance teaching and writing in the classroom. O'Neil discussed the use of electronic commentary on student papers and ways of improving instructor feedback. Berg's presentation focused on a failed experiment in incorporating weblogs in a first-year writing class. By contrasting this failed attempt with more successful endeavors, the presentation focused on what went wrong and propose alternative uses of weblogs in the classroom.

Brown Bag: Implementing "Added Value": Podcasts in the Classroom and Student Attitudes Toward WebCT  (12/1/06)
NC State Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media PhD Students Adam Gutschmidt and Christian Casper focused on the use of digital media to enhance speaking and writing in the classroom. Gutschmidt provided key insights into the potential role podcasts can play in the classroom. Casper presented the results of a study exploring why students don't take advantage of tools offered in WebCT, and what is needed to maximize their use of and satisfaction with these tools.

Brown Bag: I Didn't Sign Up For This! The Role of Speaking and Writing in Food Science Courses (11/1/06)
Dr. Farkas discussed his use of short essays in an engineering course to improve students writing skills, outlining the type of assignment, grading, and overall results of his first foray into required writing. Dr. Turner discussed the procedures, evaluation, and results of his use of five-minute oral presentations to improve his student’s oral communication skills.

Point Counterpoint: Eroding or Empowering Speaking and Writing Online: Social Dynamics and Virtual Learning Environments (10/17/06)
Facilitated By: Dr. Brad Mehlenbacher, College of Education and Rebecca Swanson, DELTA

Description: This discussion will center around the role or roles of speaking and writing in online learning. What are the opportunities and strengths afforded by online social dynamics and virtual learning environments? How do synchronous and asynchronous modes of communication influence instructor-learner processes and products? Are the strengths and weaknesses inherent in online technologies ultimately balanced against the learning opportunities afforded by online instruction if comparable learning outcomes are achieved? What are the challenges and weaknesses that virtual dynamics invite for instructors and students? Dr. Mehlenbacher, an Associate Professor in the Department of Adult & Higher Education, and Swanson, Associate Vice Provost for Distance Education, both have considerable experience in the design and evaluation of online instruction and learning, and will present the point-counterpoint position statements based on their extensive knowlege of online learning environments. Questions and comments are encouraged.

Brown Bag: From Research Reports to Sport Management: Writing and Speaking in Textiles and Parks and Recreation Courses (10/4/06)
Dr. Warren Jasper will discussed the use of RefWorks to help students write quality research reports, demonstrating how the program helps students understand the report process, as well as locate, analyze, synthesize and present the information in their reports. Dr. Judy Peel discussed the design and implementation of an assignment pairing community service with essential speaking and writing skills in the field of sport management. Students in PRT 286, Writing and Speaking in Sports Organizations, write interview questions, interview a senior athlete, and develop a press release for the N.C. Senior Games.

Brown Bag: Machine Scoring and Automated Evaluation of Student Writing and Speaking: Too Good to be True? (9/15/06)
Drs. Chris Anson and Carolyn Miller discussed the implications of programs and services currently being marketed to provide computerized evaluation of student writing and potentially speaking. Dr. Anson gave some background on the machine scoring of student essays from the perspective of language and artificial intelligence, examining the marketing claims of some companies against what we know about human language processing. Dr. Miller will considered the implications of computerized evaluation of student writing and speaking from a rhetorical perspective, drawing on attitudes of composition and public speaking instructors as expressed in an informal survey.

Brown Bag: Using Mini-Workshops to Reinforce Academic Skills in Undergraduate Classrooms (9/6/06)
Dr. Steve Wiley, an Associate Professor of Communication, and Ms. Kelly Norris, a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of Communication discussed a series of mini-workshops built into the newly revised "Media History & Theory" course. In an effort to improve students' academic skills, the 20- minute in-class workshops were rated highly useful by students, and the incorporation of the workshops appeared to be closely related to a marked improvement in students' reading comprehension, test-taking, team research work, and oral presentations.

Campus wide Workshop: Inquiring Minds Want to Know: Investigating the Effectiveness of Writing and Speaking Activities in Your Classroom (9/06)
Facilitated by: Dr. Chris Anson & Dr. Deanna Dannels