Thinking about Equity in the OW Courses
Thinking about Equity in the OW Courses avatar

Dr. J. Luke Wood’s lecture was really helpful in grounding the overall goals we strive for when it comes to teaching equity focuses classes: Be Intrusive, Relational Relevant, Community Centric, and Race Conscious.


Being Intrusive is something I strive for in my f2f classrooms, this is as simple as asking students, “Did everybody understand the homework assignment, anybody need me to rephrase or clarify the objective.” I also go over the syllabus schedule everyday before we transition into the day’s objective. I feel this further enforces students to visually see upcoming deadlines, plug in reminders into their phone, and ask questions.


I’m constantly creating micro-interventions when students work on low-stake assignments that aim toward building an essay or a larger project. I intentionally make myself sound like a broken record to welcome students to evaluate their confidence with the course.


Thinking about OW Course, I can see myself replicating this by monitoring their submissions, sending friendly email reminders to ‘submit’ assignments, to ask questions, to encourage students to communicate with their instructor when necessary.


I also thought about how to build safe spaces for our students via OW courses, and implementing discussion courses on the first or second week regarding microaggressions and helpful tips on how to maintain respect on discussion boards. Normally in a f2f, these are conversations I would have based when introducing the syllabus. But I love the idea of discussion boards where students lead the discussion on the topics and setting some kind of collaborative agreement on guidelines for maintaining respect among their peers via discussion board or private emails.


There’s so much more to think about, but it’s exciting to see so many awesome resources on how to execute the practice of equity via OW courses!

Supportive Learning Teams VIA Technology
Supportive Learning Teams VIA Technology avatar

Happy Saturday!

I love that this assignment has me already thinking about the courses I teach and I can begin the process of HOW to transfer F2F collaborative work toward online interactions.

Janette’s video and Warlock definitely gave me some ideas as to WHAT I can do ahead of time to have online collaborative group work feel purposeful versus a goal toward points or desired grade.

Janette’s discussion on building a foundation for students to see the importance of collaborative work beyond grade and more toward: personal development and communication skills, as the more desired benefits, is a nice way to get students to think about the larger reward at hand. This is something I’ll definitely use as Janette’s methods communicate the importance of collaborative work for students who may already carry the stigmas about online course being isolated experiences.

One particular assignment I give students is a photography project that then goes on exhibit for the campus.

Based on the themes we’ve covered throughout the semester (English 100 or English 201) students collaboratively create a photo album of images captured in their own community that highlight the themes discussed. For example, if we read ‘Borderlands/ La Frontera’ by Gloria Anzaldua, they can create a series of photos that capture their own understanding of the tangible and nontangible borders that exist in their own lives.

The second objective is for students work on a critical response, where they pull supportive evidence from the text to prove their photograph is doing that work.

Once the assignments are done, we usually display the photography and responses as the event for public viewing.

So the F2F assignment does two things: 1) Create photography 2) Create a space in which the photography can be viewed publicly.

Some ideas on how to make this happen online is to have students possibly create an Instagram or Facebook account. They can creatively name their account and create a mission statement based on the theme they’re working with. I figured this would be cool location to exhibit their work for public display. The collaboration would not only be the creation of the account and photography, but to have different group members respond to each other’s photography using the course material.

*The team can work on gaining a certain number of followers, an expected amount of photos for display, and find organizations on line who’d be interested in viewing the work their producing.

*The rest of the class can also respond to a certain number of photos with course material as an additional form of engagement.

*Perhaps to close out the assignment the group can write a reflective response about their project, how ‘collaboration’ came into affect, and the benefits of working together via online.

So that’s as far as the brainstorming has gone, but I feel accomplished knowing there’s possibility to bring the existing projects into OWcourses.

The ‘Snapshot of Yourself’
The ‘Snapshot of Yourself’ avatar

Hi Everybody! I hope you’re all having a productive semester. It’s good to be back with the Writing With Machines gang!

The first reading assignment from Warnock’s text was a great opener to the purpose of OWcourses, as I continue to think about how to replicate the face-to-face experience via online.

The most valuable pieces of advice that Warnocks offers to understand the difference between ‘Responses versus Grading’ and keeping feedback ‘Conversational versus one-way-announcements.’

I think these are the types of interactions I feel comfortable doing in the classroom, and always questioning how to bring these interactions into OW courses. Of course it all comes down to the kinds of technology that can help manipulate more personal instructor-student experiences concerning the writing process.

A few things I already practice with students when online feedback is provided are what Warnock calls ‘in-text markers.’ At times I give students the opportunity to submit a thesis statement or body paragraph via email and most of my feedback comes in the form of highlighted comments, underlined areas of focus, arrows for direction and so forth. I find these simple tasks pretty easy for students to visually read suggestions and questions regarding assignments.

To push beyond markers, I do want to remind myself the importance of the ‘first week icebreakers’ as Warnock mentions, the ‘snapshot of yourself’ which is vital for students to feel I’m present, or more so to see myself as their AUDIENCE.  Which leads me to the ‘technologies of responses’ and how to use these resources to avoid blood shot eyes from hours of computer watching and carpal tunnel. I love the idea of using spoken comments and audio visual comments. I’m interested in exploring what apps or programs are out there that work best for providing such feedback. Any suggestions folks?

But I find VOICE and Facial Gestures, heck even hand gestures as a way to communicate my personality to students over the sterile typed comment. I know a few students have submitted their essay to the Writing Center via email and they’ve received some great video responses from writing consultants. The feedback is great since students can stop and play these videos, as the videos scroll through their essays and there’s audio in the background offering feedback. So I’ll definitely be investigating what methods the Writing Center uses to make these videos. Also I need to evaluate how time consuming it is to make videos and which apps/programs are more efficient.

If anybody has some audio/ video app suggestions please send them my way. I’m not the most tech savvy person, but I’m always down to learn!