Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Collective Maps and [Rough] Outlines . . .

First off, I'd like to thank everyone who shared topic suggestions in class today to build into the maps and outlines in this post. I'd also like to point out that the two maps and corresponding outlines in this post cover some divergent, some similar, and some overlapping topics and sub-topics.

Neither the maps below nor the outlines farther below completely cover the topic for your next essays. Since the maps and outlines below cover only a few of the ideas upon which you may wish to focus in your essays about learning with computers, I want to encourage all of you to feel free to draw ideas for your draft essays (2-03a) from both sets of shared ideas (§1A & §1C). You also are welcome to combine those ideas with others from your individual outlines and essay prep. posts, as well as from previous posts on the Writing Studio Blog including outlines or about computers.

For convenience, I arranged the main ideas (in blue) in alphabetical order during and just after class. However, as you compose your draft essays, I hope you will find better ways to organize your main ideas than that. Moreover, some of the topics in green may be just as important as the main ideas in blue. So I expect you to demonstrate flexibility in composing important and related ideas into unified paragraphs that will enable readers to follow your thinking easily from one main point in your essays to the next.

§1A, 2014.12.03

§1C, 2014.12.03 

Outline from §1A

Learning with Computers
  • Applications
    • PowerPoint
    • Other
  • Challenges
    • keyboarding
  • Convenience
    • Google
      • Drive
      • Gmail
    • Search
      • Google
        • Images
      • Yahoo!
      • Other
    • Recording
      • Microphones
        • Built-in
        • Attached
    • Playback
      • CDs
      • DVDs
  • Economy
    • Paper-less materials
      • Homepages
      • Other
    • Other?
  • Importance
    • School
      • English
        • Keyboarding
          • Numeric keypad
          • Typing
        • Classes
          • Listening
            • Classwork
              • Pronunciation practice
              • Viewing
                • News programs
            • Homework
              • Pronunciation practice
          • Reading
            • Websites
              • News articles
              • Other?
          • Speaking
            • Classwork
            • Homework
              • EnglishCentral
                • speaking points
                • (pronunciation practice)
          • Writing
            • Book reviews
            • Comments
            • Extensive writing
              • Essays
              • Reports
      • Homepages
    • Society
      • Communication
        • Commentary
        • Other
      • Information
        • News
        • Publicity
          • Homepages
          • Other
      • Internationalization

Outline from §1C

Learning with Computers
  • Applications
    • Computer-based
      • Search function
      • Typing programs
    • Cloud-based (online)
      • Sharing
      • Typing practice
      • Language learning
        • PowerWords
        • EnglishCentral
  • Benefits
    • Ease of correction
      • written work
        • reports
    • Exposure to vocabulary
    • Increase in typing speed
  • Coursework
    • Listening Classes
      • Classwork
        • CDs
      • HW
    • Reading Classes
      • Classwork
        • Online texts
          • news articles
      • HW
        • PowerWords
        • Reports
    • Speaking Classes
      • Classwork
      • HW
        • EnglishCentral
          • speaking points
    • Writing Classes
      • HW
        • typing
        • blogging
          • reviewing
      • Classwork
        • Mapping
        • Outlining
        • Peer-reviewing
  • Disadvantages
    • Time loss
      • computer set-up
    • Dependencies
      •  
    • Diminished skills
      • calculating in your head
    • Physical strain
      • Eyes
      • Neck
      • Shoulders
  • Other activities
    • job-hunting
    • ???

If you have concerns or questions about those maps or outlines, or how to use them, please feel free to spell them out in comments on this post, or voice them in person during the next class meeting.

[586 words]

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Do you know what day it is?

On the United Nations' calendar, it's the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and the beginning of the UN Secretary General's campaign for over two weeks of activism on related themes.

Image source: United Nations
End Violence Day

On the main page about the day, you'll find rationales for international activities and observations, alongs with facts and figures about violence against women and its consequences. There's more info. about the Secretary General's campaign here, including a poster on "school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) in [the] Asia-Pacific" region:

Image source: United Nations
School-Related Gender-Based Violence
(SRGBV)

On the Orange Day page is a call for business, governmental, institutional and social action. Want to find out what you can do? Grab the toolkit (PDF) and get started!

[129 words]

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Survey findings: Best comments on essays

Here is a snapshot of findings from the survey today about comments from classmates on your essays (2-02a).
Screenshot of digest, 2014.11.19, 18:50:27:
Click for a closer look.
Thank you for your cooperation!

[22 words]

Monday, November 17, 2014

How to learn a new language: 7 secrets from TED Translators

In a recent post on the TED Blog, Krystian Aparta digested numerous volunteer TED Talk translators' language learning strategies "into seven basic principles" (Aparta, 2014, ¶1). The first was realistic goal-setting, the seventh was not being intimidated by the possibility of making mistakes , and there were several other goodies in between.

Reference

Aparta, Krystian. (2014, November 4). How to learn a new language: 7 secrets from TED Translators [web blog post]. Retrieved from http://blog.ted.com/2014/11/04/how-to-learn-a-new-language-7-secrets-from-ted-translators/
'via Blog this'
[77 words]

Friday, November 7, 2014

Grammar Resources - University of Chicago Writing Program

The Grammar Resources page on the University of Chicago Writing Program website introduces students to "grammar and writing resources from around the web" (¶1). In addition to main sections covering various grammar, usage and style guides, there are sections explaining and pointing out resources for scientific and technical writing as well as for non-native speakers of English (see the sidebar on the site for details).

I'm so impressed with that webpage that I've bookmarked it already for the WinK Core: Weblogging in Kumamoto group on Diigo, and will add it to the Course Links list in the Writing Studio Blog sidebar right away.

Reference


The University of Chicago Writing Program. (n.d.). Grammar resources [webpage]. Retrieved from http://writing-program.uchicago.edu/resources/grammar.htm

[116 words]
via Blog this

Friday, September 19, 2014

Writing Better Blog Posts: What You NEED to Know - The Edublogger

Though a bit dated, Writing Better Blog Posts: What You NEED to Know by Sue Waters (April 18, 2011) is ... loaded with good advice. I found out about that post in a weekly email bulletin from Edublogs entitled The Edublogger Archives: The Best of the Best (September 19, 2014), so I'm not the only person who thinks that's [still] a great post.

As you begin blogging again for fall semester, or continue–if you kept blogging during the summer recess, I urge you to review Sue's advice with an eye out for ways to improve your own posts. Then please drop back by here and post comments about what works for you!

[114 words]

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Don't Study Hard; Study Smart!

Tough Guy
Photo by pabeaufait
February 24, 2008, © All rights reserved
Used with permission
"Students need to understand that learning happens not only during reading and studying, but in all sorts of ways, so that they can examine their own habits to know which ones may be helping or not, and [then] make adjustments" (Chen, 2014, Experimenting with Learning Tactics, ¶4).
In a KQED Mind/Shift post, Ingfei Chen introduced a book written by a former colleague and science reporter, Benedict Carey (2014), entitled How We Learn: The Surprising Truth .... Then Chen went on to highlight and give examples of three key take-aways from the book that she['d] gleaned from an interview with the author.

The post included some wonderful tips for self-aware and self-directed learners. Moreover, the voice recording that accompanied the article was of the highest quality imaginable ("Press Play to Listen ..."). Kudos to the unnamed voice artist who made the recording!

References

Carey, Benedict. (2014). How We Learn: The Surprising Truth about When, Where, and Why It Happens. New York, NY: Random House.

Chen, Ingfei. (2014, August 25). How does the brain learn best? Smart studying strategies [web log post]. Retrieved from http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/08/how-does-the-brain-learn-best-smart-studying-strategies/

[182 words]

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Unsplash collection of photos for free

Unsplash features pre-screened, public domain (CC0 1.0 Universal licensure), high-resolution photos in a collection that apparently began in May 2013 (Unsplash archive).

The problem is that there currently aren't built-in provisions for searching the collection. That is, other than the [chronological] archives. On-site options include:
  • Manually scrolling and visually scanning the main page, 
  • Searching the main page for names of photographers you may know, or 
  • Scrolling and scanning the thumbnails in the annual or monthly archives. 
Fortunately, perhaps, a web developer, Arthur Weill, Director of Web and Cow, has been working on the problem. His Unsplash Search (beta, n.d.) is out in both English and French.

Searches may combine selections from a few dozen tags. For instance, a search for an image including a "tree" and resembling a "town" turned up the two photos here:

Boat on the river. Well, river only. — with Kabir Van Delić.
By Ermin Čeliković

Luxor Egypt, in Days by the Nile
By Linh Nguyen
[166 words]

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The end of semester draws nigh!

What you do in these last few weeks is extremely important, if you want to earn credit for Writing III this year. This post provides a count-down to help keep you on track for successful completion of coursework.


Today's class: Wed., July 9th

Today was the next-to-last regular class meeting for spring semester. Those of you who were absent should:

  • View the two most recent snapshots (class work and homework, 2014.07.09) in the white-board snapshots folder that your instructor has shared with you, and then
  • Ask classmates (§1C) or peers (§1A) who attended class today to help you to understand and do what you missed.



Make-up class: Next Wed., July 16th

Next Wed., from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m., is an early make-up class for students from §§ 1A and 1C who will be going abroad before the last regular class meeting (July 23rd, below). Those students will need to attend the make-up class next Wed. 

However, your instructor would like to invite the rest of you to come as well, to use the computer lab. space that he has reserved, so you can work together to catch up on and improve work on all assignments due before final exams. That is, the rest of you are welcome to attend the early make-up session, too, but only if you arrive by 9:00 a.m.


Last regular class meeting: Wed., July 23rd

The last regular class meetings this semester will be Wed., July 23rd, at the usual times. Everyone who is not going abroad on a university-sanctioned exchange program will need to attend. 


Last day of classes: Tues., July 29th

All course work except final blog posts, peer-to-peer comments, and Proto-Portfolio entries for July (below) will be due by midnight, July 29th, the last day of classes this semester. Course work due July 29th includes: 

  • Book reviews,
  • Corresponding bibliography entries, and 
  • Portfolio Elements updates and revisions.


Exam periods for Writing III, §§ 1A and 1C: Wed., July 30th

Semester final exams for students not going abroad on a university-sanctioned exchange program will be on Wed., July 30. Please note that exams periods are on a one-hour time schedule. You should plan to arrive 10-15 minutes before starting times, and have your work stations and browsers ready for use, because exams will begin immediately.


Proto-Portfolio (PPF) entries for July: Fri., Aug. 1st

All PPF entries for July will be due at the usual time: 5:00 p.m., the first of next month; Fri., Aug. 1st.* 


Please talk over this schedule of events with your classmates and peers. Then, if you have any concerns or questions about this count-down to the end of Writing III this semester, please spell them out in comments on this post at least 48 to 72 hours before particular events in the count-down. That lead-time will give your classmates, peers, and instructor an opportunity to share related concerns, questions, and understandings.

 ____________________
* Note: Original blog posts, book reviews, and peer-to-peer comments from Aug. 1st onward will count as fall semester coursework for Writing IV in §§ 1A and 1C.

[495 words]

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Language Skills: Collective Mind-Map of Topics from Free-Writing, §1A

The graphic in this post is to remind you of topics that you and your classmates shared from your free-writing posts on Wednesday, June 11. If you click on the graphic, you will be able to get a close look at the sub-topics on small branches of the mind-map. I've made two such posts: 
Please feel free to adopt topics, sub-topics, and organisational ideas from either of them to include in your next draft essays. 



[93 words]

Language Skills: Collective Mind-Map of Topics from Free-Writing, §1C

The graphic in this post is to remind you of topics that you and your classmates shared from your free-writing posts on Wednesday, June 11. If you click on the graphic, you will be able to get a close look at the sub-topics on small branches of the mind-map. I've made two such posts: 
Please feel free to adopt topics, sub-topics, and organisational ideas from either of them to include in your next draft essays. 




[93 words]

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Springboard for Reflections and Predictions

In a six-minute TED Talk, The Psychology of Your Future Self (March 2014), Dan Gilbert, a research psychologist, suggested:
Most of us can remember who we were 10 years ago, but we find it hard to imagine who we're going to be ... [10 years from now]. Only when we look backwards do we realize how much change happens in a decade" (Interactive Transcript, ¶¶ 7-8, via Blog this).


As a step towards the next essay assignment, language learning stories, please watch that TED Talk, keeping your own language skills in mind. The next step will be to create a free-writing post in which you:
  1. Describe ... your language skills ten years ago,
  2. Describe your language skills at present, and
  3. Predict your language skills ten years from now.
[129 words]

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Free Online Game for Food Donations and Language Learning

Online game to end hunger 

Correct answers for Free Rice quiz items generate food donations paid for by sponsors, whose banners appear on the web page. The level of difficulty automatically adjusts up for correct and down for incorrect answers.

Though on one occasion an inappropriate banner appeared, the non-profit site owners had written, "We are quick and careful to remove inappropriate content, if it is reported to us via email at wfp.freerice@wfp.org with 'Report inappropriate content' ... in the subject line" (http://freerice.com/about/faq). So I reported that inappropriate banner.

There are English, French, Italian, and Spanish versions of the game on the same site, with more quiz categories for English than for the other languages. There also is a Korean version on a separate site:


Registration is separate for the two sites, but not necessary to play; it will enable you to track your contributions on one site or the other.

Reference


World Food Programme. (2014). Free Rice 2.0 [online game]. Retrieved
          June 5, 2014, from http://freerice.com

[165 words]

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Populaire Official US Release Trailer #1 (2013) - Bérénice Bejo Movie HD

This is a U.S. English trailer for a French romantic comedy, Populaire (Attal & Roinsard, 2012), about a speedy typist.


[I watched the movie on a DVD last night. It was very funny.] I wish I could type as fast as she did.

Reference

Attal, Alain (Producer), & Roinsard, Régis (Director). (2012). Populaire [Motion picture]. France: Les Productions du Trésor.

[59 words]

Monday, May 19, 2014

Mind-Maps for University Life Essay Prep.

Please click on the graphics below to get closer looks at the various topics that the collective mind-maps from last week covered.

University Life (1C, 2014.05.14)

University Life (1A, 2014.05.14)
Please feel free to write about topics from either map in your essay prep. (free-writing) posts. Ideally each main (blue) branch will serve as the basis for one or more paragraphs.

[63 words]

Dance Mat Typing (BBC, 2005)

Though the BBC developed the Dance Mat Typing site for school-aged children, seven to 11 years old, it also can help older students unfamiliar with touch typing get started (or restarted) typing quickly using all ten digits–fingers and thumbs on both hands. Amusing animated animal characters introduce keyboarding techniques and practice activities in a step-by-step fashion through four levels and 12 stages. Practice activities begin with ten keys in the home row (A-G and H-;), and work up to punctuation and capitalisation (BBC, 2005, About this site). The key to learning to type quickly and well from practice on site is to listen carefully to the instructions, paying special attention to what you see on screen rather than looking at your fingers or the keyboard. 

The animated characters speak (or mimic) different varieties of English, which may challenge learners of English as an additional language. Yet colourful screens show progress through each stage, and there are audio and visual cues to give feedback on mistyping during practice activities. Moreover, there is plenty of review practice–Warm Ups for every new stage, and the site offers printable certificates at the end of each level.



Working your way through each of the stages and levels, perhaps more than once, should make it much easier to complete both typing homework and writing assignments. As the BBC explained, "touch typing is the fastest way to write" (BBC, 2005, About this site, Why learn to touch type? ¶1).


Reference


BBC. (2005). Dance mat typing [website]. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing/


[255 words]

Thursday, April 17, 2014

BR 1-03: Hairy Maclary (Dodd, 1983)

Another favorite story with animals!

"'EEEEEOWWWFFTZ!' said Scarface Claw" (n.p.).

Hairy Maclary is an animal adventure story from New Zealand (NZ). It was a gift from a friend from . . . , you guessed it–NZ! It's a great story for pronunciation practice because of all of the rhymes. My favorite line from the book, the quotation above (no page numbers), is a bit of a challenge to pronounce. Can you say that big word, and make it sound like a . . .  (a four-footed animal)?

Reference

Dodd, Lynley. (1983). Harry Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy. Wellington, NZ: Mallinson Rendel Publishers Ltd.

[106 words]

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

BR 1-02: The Cross-with-Us Rhinoceros (Bush & Geraghty, 1988)

Photo of book cover, 2014.04.17

"Poor Tilly was so scared she couldn't speak" (Bush & Geraghty, 1988, n.p.*).

This is a children's book that I've read again and again. It is a great story about four children who went out together and had an adventure. Like the last book I reviewed, BR 1-01: Dear Zoo (2014.04.16), this one features animals. The ending was surprising, but I'm not going to tell you what happened. You'll have to read it for yourself.

Reference

Bush, John, & Geraghty, Paul. (1988)The Cross-with-Us Rhinoceros. London, England: Hutchinson Children's Books.

____________________
* This story doesn't have page numbers. If it did, I'd use "p. #" instead of "n.p." (no page number).

[117 words]

BR 1-01: Dear Zoo (Campbell, 1982)

I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet.... So they sent me a .... He was too grumpy! I sent him back. (Campbell, 1982, n.p.*)
Dear Zoo is a children's book. It is short and easy to read. It tells a story about animals coming from the zoo. There are little windows to open to see surprising things. If you like zoo animals, or easy books to read, I recommend this story.

Reference

Campbell, Rod. (1982). Dear Zoo. London, England: Campbell Books.

____________________
* This story doesn't have page numbers. If it did, I'd use "p. #" instead of "n.p." (npage number).


[106 words]

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Rack of Start-up Labels


Between the hash marks below is a set of labels to add to new posts on individual blogs:

/////

books, brainstorms, drafts, essay prep., essays, fiction, free-writing, graphics, links, media, movies, non-fiction, outlines, quickposts, reviews, revisions, typing, websites

/////
(Source: The Writing Studio Blog, Start-up Labels, 2012.04.22; ...
[used with author's permission])

Some of the labels are required. For example, on book reviews, you will need to use at least three labels during 1st semester, including: "books, ...," PLUS, "fiction, …," OR "non-fiction, …" AND "reviews, …"  (all comma-separated values without quotation marks or ellipsis). You are welcome to use other suitable labels for book reviews as well, such as genre labels like "adventure, ..., " "history, ...," or "romance, ...," as long as they suit the content of your [book review] posts . 

For instructions on using the other labels, please see the Labels and Link Lists page.

Now, to jump-start your own label collections, please:
  1. Add a labels gadget to the sidebar of your blog, then
  2. Copy and paste the labels between hashmarks in the list above into a new draft post on your own blog;
  3. Entitle the new draft post, "My Start-up Labels" (in title case without quotation marks);
  4. Copy and paste the same labels into the Labels field on your draft start-up labels post; and
  5. Publish your start-up labels post on your blog....
Once you've published your start-up labels post, with those labels in the label field as well as [in] the body of the post, the labels will show up in your Labels gadget. Later, when you label new posts or re-label previous posts, you will be able to quickly choose appropriate labels for required and other posts, rather than typing them all in [by hand].

[315 295 words]

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Paragraph (¶) Breaks and Word Counts for Blog Posts

This snapshot shows how to separate paragraphs (¶¶), and where to put word counts in blog posts for course work.


For paragraph divisions, please enter two (2) line returns:

  • The first return ends the paragraph you're composing;
  • The second return creates a blank line between that paragraph and the next one for ease of reading.
Please note that there is no need for any indentation at the beginning of paragraphs. So do not enter spaces or tabs there. Also, if you compose your posts in a word-processing program that indents paragraphs automatically, please remove those indentations before you copy and paste your compositions into blog posts.

To put your word counts on the right margins of your posts, where they'll be easy to spot and add up, please: 
  1. Type them in square brackets on new lines at the ends of your posts; then
  2. Open the Alignment menu in the tool bar in Compose view, and 
  3. Click on the icon for flush right alignment: 

[169 words]

A Few Command (⌘) Combo's for Macs

In this post, I'd like to point out a few Mac keyboard commands that may speed up your browsing and editing. To use them, hold down the command (⌘) key and press the second key once.

Browsing: Stop and refresh:


⌘ + "." (a period–without quotation marks) = stop loading
⌘ + R = Refresh or Reload

Those two commands may be useful if:
  • a webpage you're opening doesn't open as quickly as it should, or 
  • a document or webpage you're viewing may have changed recently.

Editing: Select, copy and paste:


⌘ + A = select All
⌘ + C = Copy selection
⌘ + V = paste here


In general, you can use the similar commands on other operating systems that have a control (ctrl) key instead of a command (⌘) key.

[136 words]

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

VocabKitchen: Awesome Vocab. Profilers!

 http://vocabkitchen.com/Default.aspx
http://vocabkitchen.com/Default.aspx
VocabKitchen's Academic Word List (AWL) Vocabulary Profiler (beta version) is already awesome! It quickly highlighted, listed, and sorted on- and off-list vocabulary in sample texts. It also was "dictionary enabled," which means you can get Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Online definitions of almost any words by double-clicking on them (not a name like Tanaka). Though the percentages of on- and off-list words for the first sample I tried didn't add up (7% + 101%, respectively), text and highlight colours were easy to read on the white background.

VocabKitchen's General Service List (GSL) Vocabulary Profiler (beta version) performed similarly well on the same sample. Highlighting, listing and sorting was speedy, but again the percentages didn't add up (see below). It's still a quick, cool, easy-to-use tool. However, VocabKitchen's choice of tint for highlighting words in in the GSL 2nd 1K (RGB: 48, 152, 204) offered slightly less background-to-text contrast than had the AWL Vocabulary Profiler's on-list colour (especially when used on a grey heading bar), and the location of the sort button in the GSL-beta profiler differed for off-list words.


VocabKitchen's Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) Vocabulary Profiler was available in both a beta and a regular version. The main differences seemed to be that 1) the CEFR-beta version was "dictionary enabled" like the AWL-beta profiler, and 2) the CEFR-beta version also provided an Export to Word function. Nevertheless, background-to-text contrast, at least for B1 level words and corresponding headings (RGB: 249, 154, 0), seemed a bit problematic.


On the CEFR-beta display, VocabKitchen avoided the low-contrast problem on grey header bars by using a shade close to black (RGB: 34, 34, 34). Something closer to black (0, 0, 0) might be even better!


VocabKitchen (also in beta), please keep up the good work. I'm looking forward to trying out the Social Reader Tool. In the mean time, I'll strive to cut down on off-list words–at least on this blog!

[328 words]

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

PaperRater Grammar and Spelling Check

"PaperRater.com is a free resource, developed and maintained by linguistics professionals and graduate students. PaperRater.com is used by schools and universities in over 46 countries to help students improve their writing" (About PaperRater, ¶1, 2014.03.04).
Screen snapshot of graphic on the PaperRater site
This post frames a comment that I posted today on the Digital Mobile Language Learning blog (Writing Tools for the Self-directed Learner Part 2, 2014.01.19), after trying out PaperRater, which provides, among other free services:
  • Spelling and grammar checks,
  • Style and word choice analyses, and
  • Readability statistics (PaperRater: Features).
After trying a Google+ post that was too short to ... [get] feedback on many of the categories, I gave Paper Rater (PR) another spin on a working paper I ... [had written] a while back. The whole paper turned out to be too long for free assessment, so I cut the sample back to the end of the first section: 719 words per PR's count, 777 per Microsoft® Word 2008 for Mac. 
PR results, as Dan [Ferreira] suggested they would be, were quite interesting: 
+/- The spell check flagged one word apparently broken in the PDF from which I'd copied the sample, but also returned a false positive on the word conflate.  
+ Grammatical analysis revealed no errors. 
+ The numerical score for inappropriate word choices was, I guess, low (0.998). 
+/- The feedback on style in the web display focused mostly on sentence length (the longest: 53 words), but mistakenly indicated that more than half of the sentences were passive. I checked by hand, but found only one passive clause–in a quotation. 
-/+ Though the feedback on style in the PDF output was different, focusing on transition words, the PDF included general tips for using such words. 
+/- The vocabulary score seemed high (96), yet the feedback included only a subset (9 of 20) sophisticated words counted. Paper Rater did not mark such words in the sample. 
The numeric grade from the auto-grader bore a note to the effect that it was "based on [a] college grading scale," which was followed by a stronger one indicating that PR "does NOT examine the meaning of your words, how your ideas are structured, or how well your arguments are supported" [(Auto Grader, NOTE, ¶1)].
All in all, PR looks like it's worth asking students to try, as long as they can grasp its limitations.
I'm looking forward to trying it out with students soon.

[413 words]

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

KGUW_3-4_13-14: Reflections from §1C


Insights for students
taking Writing III and IV
next year (2014-15)


Students who have taken part in Writing IV, section 1C, are to post reflections based on their experience this year in comments on this post, for the benefit of their successors next year. The presentation below outlines the short essay writing task calling for current students to prepare, compose, and post their reflections in comments on this post.



[69 words]

KGUW_3-4_13-14: Reflections from §1A


Insights for students
taking Writing III and IV
next year (2014-15)


Students who have taken part in Writing IV, section 1A, are to post reflections based on their experience this year in comments on this post, for the benefit of their successors next year. The presentation below outlines the short essay writing task calling for current students to prepare, compose, and post their reflections in comments on this post.



[69 words]

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Schedule for the end of the semester

Below is a recap. of the schedule that I announced in class on Wed., Jan 22.


Fri., Jan. 24th: due date for –
  • Bibliographies, 
  • Portfolio Elements (PEs: including Book Reviews and Essays), and 
  • Portfolios (PFs) per se.

Wed. Jan. 29th: Exams on special schedule (one-hour time periods)

Fri., Jan. 31st: Last day for blog posts (other than Book Reviews and Essays) and peer-to-peer comments

Sat., Feb. 1st: due date for January Proto-Portfolio (PPF) entries.


If you have concerns or questions about any part of this schedule, please spell them out in comments on this post at least 24-48 hours before the dates in question.

[106 words]

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"Five secrets to revising that can boost your grades" (Stafford, 2014)

In a Guardian Students series article, Five secrets to revising that can boost your grades (Education, Advice for students, 8 January 2014), Tom Stafford provided "evidence-based tips" for students who want to learn effectively (¶7). Among other points, he asserted, "Merely memorising the material is not enough" (3. Practice the thing you'll be tested on, ¶1).
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