· Work saved online.
· Public audience.
· Instill a sense of pride in their work.
· tasks that we do these days - not just a paragraph or essay in a Word document printed out for an audience of one (the teacher).
· (can make private and can moderate or disable comments).
· Some students are hesitant to be as open in expressing themselves knowing that their writing topics will be read by others.
Languages (CATESOL) Spring Workshop. The speaker was Dr. Dana Ferris of UC Davis, a researcher and author specialized in responding to student writing. I have heard Dr. Ferris speak before at conventions, and she again had excellent suggestions. Her presentation focused on 7 points regarding response to ESL students' writing, which are listed below. Overall, her message about students' writing was "It's about progress, not perfection." Feel free to share your comments or reflections.
1. Teachers need not (and should not) be the only respondents to students' writing. The key to success is structure and accountability. Have specific guidelines for peer review and self-evaluation that students should be held accountable to.
2. Feedback need not (and should not) address every single issue on every single paper. "Less is more." Meet each student at his/her major point of need; prioritize writing issues to respond to.
3. Identify 2 - 4 feedback points for each response round/draft of a writing assignment.
4. Use a rubric as a starting point (see photo). Give students the agency / responsibility to seek out more opportunities for feedback rather than overwhelm them. Feedback Points (see photo).
5. Feedback should be clear and specific.
6. Students should be held accountable for considering and applying feedback. (see photo). Include revision effort in the grading scheme (engagement in the writing process, meeting due dates for drafts, participation in peer review).
7. Teachers should reflect on the effectiveness of their feedback strategies (analytic model in which you categorize your own commentary, student reactions, self-reflection questions, tracing the effects of commentary) - and make changes as needed.
This is the suggested process she provided for teacher commentary on student writing:
Step 1: Read the entire paper.
Step 2: Complete the rubric.
Step 3: Use the reading and the rubric to identify feedback points.
Step 4: Write a summary note about the strengths of and feedback points for the paper.
Step 5: Add marginal comments if they will illustrate the feedback points.
Step 6: Add in-text corrections if the errors/language issues are among the feedback points.
What I thought was interesting is that she uses the rubric for feedback on drafts (as a formative assessment/feedback tool), and in my program, we use the rubric for the final summative assessment (scoring students' writing as pass or no pass for their level).
Dr. Ferris also discussed providing feedback on lower-order concerns (grammar, mechanics, etc.). Her book (2nd ed. Michigan Press, 2011) is an excellent resource. I highly recommend it. It changed the way I provide feedback to students on their writing (because I love to edit, but all that marking up of students papers is just overwhelming for them, and they don't really learn).
She is the editor of a brand-new journal, the online at journalrw.org, if anyone is interested. She also referred workshop attendees to read the CCCC Statement on Second Language Writing and Writers, endorsed by TESOL. See
Finally, Dr. Ferris mentioned that her method for providing feedback on student writing is through MS Word comments, the rubric, and a cover note -- all of which are sent and received via a CMS dropbox. I'd like to try this approach.
My computer was supposed to be back from being repaired a few days ago, but there is some delay, so I don't have MS Word. Therefore, I decided to try , which as I understood is for creating inforgraphics, but when I did a search for online newsletters, it came up.
What I like about Smore is that it allows you to put in all types of content very easily - videos, pictures, contact info, etc. What I don't like is the downward scroll. I prefer the site that Sandy shared, which flips pages left to right -- more in line with the reading we do on mobile devices. Anyway, Smore was super-easy to use, so I think students could be assigned to make "About Me" pages very easily. There is html emedding option, so that's cool, too.
Like Gloria, I use a Word template for the syllabus for one of my classes, and an MS Publisher newsletter template for another class. Publisher is harder to use, in my opinion. I really like the sleek styles the Office templates offer; however, I recently learned through an online course I just finished last week on "Creating Accessible Online Courses" that my syllabi would not be accessible. Basically, Word documents posted online for courses offered in the United States (to be ADA / 508 compliant) are best made accessible by doing the following:
· not having textboxes
· using styles / heading structures
· using a san-serif font, a font size of about 12 point is good (Arial is good)
· using high contrast colors (black and white is good) but avoiding text with red or green
· including alt tags for images
All this will help blind students successfully use screen readers to access the files. Granted, I have not yet had a blind ESL students, but last year we did have a deaf student in our class. By law, we have to have online materials accessible regardless -- it cannot be a reactive accommodation.
Anyway, the class was an eye-opener for me. I won't bore you with more details, but basically, the same holds true for PPT (use a template) as for Word; for Web sites, if you can click and select the text, the Web site is probably at least minimally accessible. For audio, provide a transcript; for video, caption.
My summary (task required as moderator) of the first discussion forum for this week:
My Instructor's comments on my performance this week:
Article URL New Tools for Teaching Writing (Language Learning and Technology)
Article URL Interactive Writing in the EFL class: A repertoire of tasks. (The Internet TESL Journal)
· interactive pre-writing (brainstorming) and peer review
· students read each other's work posted on a wiki in various stages of the writing process (outlines, drafts) and ask questions
· summary writing and trading with a peer on a wiki or discussion board
Article URL Technology and Teaching Writing (Inside Higher Ed)
Article URL Evidence-Based Practices for Teaching Writing (John Hopkins University)
We think that what is great about this article is that it uses methods that have been examined using a systematic, scientific method. All of these strategies (see the attached picture below) are useful, grounded in solid practice, can be applied to inter net learning, and have shown results that are replicable across studies. We agreed that this research could also apply to teaching adults even though the article describes K -12 research. Adult learners do have their own specific needs; we might have our adult students set their own learning goals for the skill of writing.
We might use graphic organizers more in the planning stage of the writing process to help students organize their ideas. Even though providing good writing models is last on this list, we think it is very important. We were happy to see teaching writing strategies at the top of the list. Justin has done some research into modeling examples during his course work, and those types of strategies have been proven effective across disciplines, not just in writing classes.
Adult students might not be ready to take the risks that are required to write collaboratively. However, moving towards gamification might be one way to encourage collaboration in the writing process. Carla had this suggestion:
Lisa also thought that before teachers expose students to the actual collaborative writing activity, working on an error recognition activity with 2-4 students per group by using some work sheets with errors (downloadable from ) together would be another way for students to get used to any kind of writing activity. Through the editing experiences, students not only would get to know the cause of errors and the correct usage of word and phrase, but get to receive models of "bad" writing models.
My Instructor's comments on my performance this week:
TESOL PP103: Teaching Reading and Writing Online
Week 3 Checklist
X Discuss: Strategies for Teaching Writing Online
X Share: Online Tool for Writing
X Wiki: Lesson Plan Activity for Writing
X Wiki: Online Tools for Writing
Thank you for your contributions in Week 3. You have completed all Assignments and I thank you, once again, for your extensive comments and input. I can see from your interactions with others in the group how effective and wonderful you are in your teaching. Thank you also for co-moderating the Strategies for teaching writing online discussion thread and for your concise summary. Your leadership provided a very beneficial flow of ideas and knowledge sharing.
Your wiki site has some very worthwhile writing resources, including The Writer’s Diet and Dvolver. Again, you can keep adding as you find other technology tools for this skill area and do check the links as sites can go down so you will want to update periodically.
The writing component of your lesson plan, a paragraph explaining how the symbols on student’s personal seal represent who they are, provides an excellent flow from the reading task and application of new learning. I like the Brainstorm chart to help prepare students for the writing process. Task 9 is also very effective for integrating skills and allowing creativity for an oral presentation. I appreciate that you ended the lesson with a final reflection. JJ
I love that your children are also benefitting from the course and enjoying Melissa’s travel pictures. Thank you, again.
Optional Articles (not required but important topics for reference)
Article URL Blogs and Wikis: Environments for Online Collaboration (Language Learning and Technology)
Article URL, Emerging Technologies: Web-Writing 2.0: Enabling, Documenting, and Assessing Writing Online
Article URL 30 Ideas for Teaching Writing (from the National Writing Project)
Addtional Articles for reference and further reading
Article URL, Using Email in EFL Writing Classes
Article URL, Why Use Computers in ESL Writing Classes
Article URL, Educause Learning Initiative (ELI) Discovery Tool: Guide to Blogging-Pedagogical Considerations and Uses as a Writing Tool
Article URL, Weblogs for use in ESL classes
Article URL, Creating a learning community through electronic journaling
Article URL, E-mail and Word Processing in the ESL Classroom: How the Medium Effects the Message
Article URL, Instructional Blogging: Promoting Interactivity, Student-Centered Learning and Peer Input
Article URL, Mastering Online Discussion Board Facilitation (this one is a great resource)
Article URL, Ten Top Tips for Teaching with New Media (a lot of resources for writing)
Online Writing Tools:
A. Check out some examples of student writing projects at the followng sites:
- the Email Projects Home Page, http://susangaer.com/studentprojects/email.htm
- The California Writing Project, http://www.californiawritingproject.org/
- Writing Fix, http://www.writingfix.com/
B. Check out Virtual Field Trips (these can be teacher or student created but do involve the writing process)
- ReadWriteThink, http://www.readwritethink.org/parent-afterschool-resources/activities-projects/take-virtual-field-trip-30290.html
- Thinkport, http://www.thinkport.org/Tools/Search/Default.aspx?Keywords=virtual%20field%20trips
B. Check out Web based discussion groups/discussion boards:
- Yahoo!Groups, http://groups.yahoo.com
- Google Groups, https://groups.google.com/forum/#!overview
- Nicenet, http://www.nicenet.org
- Message Board at English Forum.com, http://www.englishforum.com/00/
- Nabble, http://n7.nabble.com/free-forum.html
C. Check out ways to share documents
- Google docs and spreadsheets, https://drive.google.com
- 4Shared, http://www.4shared.com/share_document.jsp
- Zoho, http://www.zoho.com
- Scribd, http://www.scribd.com/
- Livebinders, http://www.livebinders.com
- Diigo, http://www.diigo.com
D. Check out Blogs and Wikis
- Examples of Wikis used as writing tools, http://critical.tamucc.edu/wiki/WikiArticle/Examples (and other interesting writing information on this site)
- Language in Action: From Webquests to Virtual Realities,http://llt.msu.edu/vol8num3/emerging/default.html(Godwin-Jones, B. (2004). Scroll down for a list of great resources, including the next bullet listed here.)
E. Check out tools for writing online and writing guides
- Writer's Toolbox, http://mashable.com/2008/12/13/writers-toolbox/ (35 best tools for writing online)
- Writing Guides from Colorado State University, http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/
F. Check out the OWL Writing Lab, at Purdue University
- Click on Internet Resources as a starting place as there are many useful resources to explore
- Click on Suggested Resources (left side of screen)> English as a Second Language
- Click on this Link for an article on evaluating Internet sources from OWL
G. Some Web 2.0 Writing Tools (more in Week 4)
- Voicethread, http://voicethread.com
- Linoit, http://linoit.com
- Mindmeister, http://www.mindmeister.com/
- Bubbl.us, https://bubbl.us/
- Popplet, http://popplet.com
- Voki, http://voki.com
- Oddcast, http://www.oddcast.com
- Thinglink, http://www.thinglink.com
- Easel.ly (Infographic Creator), http://easel.ly
- Read,Write,Think Notetaker, http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/student-interactives/readwritethink-notetaker-30055.html
H. Check out Interactive Whiteboards
- Realtime Board, http://realtimeboard.com/
- Draw It Live, http://www.drawitlive.com/
- Educreations, http://www.educreations.com/ (also an app)
- Showme, http://www.showme.com/ (also an app)
- Talkboard, https://www.citrix.com/products/talkboard/overview.html (also an app)
I. Check out the Center for Language Education and Research.
- access "materials and products" > online > Scroll down to Rich Internet Applications: Revisions
- register to access the site (another free tool) and watch the videos to learn how to set up a class, create documents and other features
- check out some of the other CLEAR tools for other language learning skills
J. Read the article to better inform your decision of an online collaborative writing tool:
- Comparing weblogs to threaded discussion tools in online educational contexts (Cameron, D. & Anderson, T. (2006). International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, May 2006.)http://www.itdl.org/journal/nov_06/article01.htm
A. Discussion Boards
- FreeForums, http://www.freeforums.org
- Pizazz, http://pages.uoregon.edu/leslieob/pizzaz.html, creative writing and storytelling activities
B. Video and text
- Dotsub, http://dotsub.com/ (videos with translation and subtitles)
- YouTube Videos, How to write translations, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjm3NLJJ8FA
- Media subtitler, http://divxland-media-subtitler.en.softonic.com/ (add your own subtitles to videos)
C. Suggested activities for developing writing skills
- http://www.astro.com/cgi-bin/atlw3/aq.cgi?lang=e If you or your students have no objections to bringing astrology into the classroom, students can type in their birth details and read their personal horoscope.
- http://www.fbi.gov Learners can read about the ten most-wanted people in the USA. Good for learning/recycling the language of physical description, and also crime vocabulary.
- http://www.visitbritain.com Learners can plan a trip to Britain.
- http://www.greenpeace.org Students can read about cases of environmental concern worldwide, read a model letter of protest, and write their own letter of protest.
- http://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa Students can plan a trip to a country or countries of their choosing.
- http://uk.imdb.com (Internet
Students can search the database, read reviews, look up movie show times, read and post messages on various film-related topics, and watch trailers for films.
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/Students can read weather forecasts for all major cities worldwide. They can compare the predictions here with those given on other weather sites (such as http://www.weather.com orhttp://www.cnn.com).
- http://uk.news.yahoo.com/Students can read up-to-date news from around the world.
Also …An article highlighting 13 Free Word Processing Tools, http://www.lifehack.org/articles/technology/write-here-write-now-write-anywhere-13-web-based-word-processors.html