Bourelle, Tiffany, Sherry Rankins-Robertson, Andrew Bourelle, and Doane Roen. “Assessing Learning in Redesigned Online First Year Composition Classes.” Digital Writing Assessment & Evaluation. Ed. Heidi A McKee and Dànielle Nicole DeVoss Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital Press/Utah State University Press, 2013. Web.
This chapter discusses how the development of a new model of FYC to meet budgetary constraints was designed and assessed using best practices of the field. The authors offer the context of a charge to redesign FYW at Arizona State University so it met the following three criteria: 1) reduced costs 2) maintain or enhance student learning 3) didn’t increase faculty workload. Ultimately an online program was created that utilized collaborative teaching and response, multimodal assignments and support for assignments and eportfolios in course shells which could accommodate approximately 150 students. The course was designed with two disciplinary documents in mind: the Council of Writing Program Administrators (2000) “Outcomes Statement for First-Year Composition” (WPA OS) and the “Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing” (2011, produced by the WPA Council, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the National Writing Project). Drawing on peer collaboration and peer tutoring theories and practice, the course utilizes peer review as well as Instructional Assistants, who are upper level undergraduate or graduate students taking a practicum course in composition theories who offer feedback to student work throughout the course. Drawing from the Quality Matters Rubric, the course structure and assignments focus on specific learning outcomes. Instructors use multimodal methods including video for assignment support and evaluation. The course culminates in an eportfolio which prioritizes students’ reflection on whether and how they have meet the learning objectives for the course.
This chapter connects to this class and our discussions of networks because the course being described is essentially at network. Some of the nodes include the people involved including students taking the courses, the Instructional Assistants, the instructors, the course coordinator, the faculty who designed the course, writing center tutors, representatives from the university’s course platform, and representatives from the publisher of the online textbook. Additionally the three constraints driving the creation of such a course 1) the need to reduce costs 2) the need to maintain/enhance student learning 3) the need not to increase faculty workloads are nodes interacting with the disciplinary documents used as foundations for the course, as well as the various technologies and the support for those technologies. The chapter also connects to our readings of genre theory because the authors discuss how the various genres, including multimodal genres, students are asked to complete create the need for multiple genres of response and support from instructors–creating a genre system like Bazerman describes. Additionally, the authors suggest that assignments composed in electronic assignments helped students begin to conceive of and understand genre. One student’s reflective response demonstrated an awareness that different genre were more effective or appropriate for different purposes or topics. Overall this was an interesting presentation of how a disruption of the traditional model of the classroom that relies on a more explicitly networked approach could prove beneficial to student learning.
3 Replies to “Annotated Bibliography”
I really dig how you attach the network notion to the ePortfolio here, because I think it reveals both its strengths and weaknesses as a tool for both teaching and assessment. Especially thinking on my own interest in the role that austerity plays in academic institutional power, your focus on the ways in which ePortfolios are the product of financial/technological constraints is very intriguing. Viewing the ePortfolio not only as a pedagogical and assessment network, but also as part of the larger network of institutional and economic power structures makes for some interesting arguments about how we view assessment and student writing as a subset of a larger institutional concern.
Thanks for your overview,
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This was really interesting, given my piece was also about ePortfolios. It was interesting to see the constraints that the university realized they had to work with and still use this as a teaching tool. I really liked that you related it back to Bazerman’s genre system. I hadn’t actually considered that. You made a great point.