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Using Writing, Oral Communication and Technology to Teach Students to Evaluate Arguments


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Title: Using Writing, Oral Communication and Technology to Teach Students to Evaluate Arguments

(No Transcript)
  • To explore new ways to use writing in the service
    of learning and improved abilities
  • To consider an instructional model that ties
    design and assessment to learning goals
  • To share ideas for incorporating low-stakes,
    learning-based assignments in all courses

Your turn
  • Please spend 2-3 minutes writing about the
    following question
  • Why do teachers generally find it hard to assign
    a lot of writing in their courses?
  • Why is it generally hard for students to do those
    writing assignments?

A Writing Continuum
  • Low stakes/informal high stakes/formal

Journals Microthemes Term Papers Reading
Logs Response Papers Reports Reflections Summ
aries Formal Essays Minute papers Mini-cases
Documented Papers Blogs Problem Analyses
Reviews Wiki contributions
Allisons First Reflection
I guess like most people I think of therapy as
something has caused a problem and the problem
has to be fixed. Say a person gets into an
accident and hurts their back, then therapy helps
them to cope with the injury. Or a mental problem
needs to be dealt with. For this assignment I
learned about three separate types of therapy
occupational, physical, and speech. Each type
requires special training and deals with only
some types of problems or injuries. They have
somewhat different goals. The goals of
occupational therapy is to help rehabilitate
people from injuries so they can . . . .
Rasheedas Reflection
Incarcerated women allowed to live with their
young children if their (womans) crime was not
child-abuse related. In a way this seems humane
to me, esp. b/c women who have young children
shouldnt be denied the right to nurture them (we
talk about rehabilitation), plus the children
have a right to be with their mothers. I wonder
what it means for the kids though to be in a sort
of prison. Is there any research on that. Plus
the state has to pay more. But maybe in less high
security prisons it could work. The idea seems
kinda neat. I want to see what else I can find
about it. It seems smart to me.
Reflection Nursing
A page from Kimillas learning log ----------gt
Jims Learning Log Entry
The really neat thing I liked about the Thursday
lecture was she told us the mechanisms of
epiboly. I was wondering how sheets of cells
move. Well, it seems that the octodermal cells
put out little pilipodia which attach to the
vitelline membrane and then contract. This
continues until the ectoderm completely covers
the yolk. Aha! Then one of the layers is the
ectoderm. Dumb-de-dumb-dumb-dumb! Okay, so
whats the second layer? Possibly mesoderm? Yeah.
How about endoderm? I dont think so because the
endoderm is the first to form from invagination
at the primitive streak. The endoderm displaces
the hypoblast according to Abbott (although the
book doesnt take his point of view--it says that
the endoderm is formed on top of the hypoblast).
Regardless, the endoderm is completely formed by
the time the mesoderm is invaginated. Therefore,
its probably mesoderm and ectoderm! I need to
find out for sure. http//
Writing and Football
  • Imagine becoming successful by
  • Playing only in high-stakes games
  • Never practicing
  • Never being allowed to make mistakes without
  • Learning only from calls by referees
  • Rarely working with other players
  • Being advised to look at professionals on TV
  • Playing infrequently
  • Substitute your own activity (piano, track and
    field, etc.)

Writing and Football
  • Yet look at the dominant model of writing in
  • Playing in Writing only high-stakes games papers
  • Never practicing
  • Never being allowed to make mistakes without
  • Learning only from calls by referees corrections
    by teachers
  • Rarely working with other players writers
  • Being advised to look at the writing of
    professionals on TV
  • Playing Writing infrequently

Quick but More Complex Assignments
  • low stakes/informal high

Journals Microthemes Term Papers Freewrites
Response Papers Reports Reflections Summaries
Formal Essays Reading Logs Mini-cases
Documented Papers Study Questions Problem
Analyses Reviews
Middle of the Continuum
  • Assignments are still primarily informal (done in
    one sitting, no extensive revision or rehearsal).
  • Certain constraints on learning, critical
    thinking, or disciplinary practice are
    highlighted and expected.
  • There may be more guidelines for format,
    structure, presentation, etc.

  • (Start of thread) History Changes in the medium
    from vinyl to tapes to CDs
  • (End of thread) Strategic Recommendations Modify
    distribution channel so that risk takers (artists
    and production companies) are appropriately
  • (Create connections) 1. Industry forces 2.
    Marketing practices 3. Threats/opportunities
  • based on http//

Teach It to Know It Plant Genetics
Prepare a 10 minute presentation and handout for
3rd graders, explaining how DNA is
replicated/transcribed/ translated. Use words and
concepts a 9-year old would understand. Include
why the process is important, how it takes place,
and what is the result. (Students produced
models such as the Pizza Model for replication
the Charlottes Web and Candy model for
transcription, and the Pom Pom and Command
model for translation.)
Teach It to Know It Food Science
Imagine that you have been hired by your local
health department to write a brief pamphlet for
public distribution that explains ways to avoid
food-borne illnesses in the typical home kitchen.
Choose one problem documented in the FDA
industrial kitchen guidelines that is also common
in home kitchens. Describe this problem and
offer one or more solutions or safety guidelines.
Your microtheme should be addressed to a general
public audience, not specialists.
Debate on Propositions Political Science
  • Proposition The United States can and should
    use all the means at its disposal to bring
    democracy to the Middle East.
  • Readings
  • Noah Feldman, After Jihad America and the
    Struggle for Islamic Democracy (New York
    Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003), pp. 189-209.
  • Marina Ottaway, Thomas Carothers, Amy
    Hawthorne, and Daniel Brumberg, Democratic
    Mirage in the Middle East, Carnegie Endowment
    Policy 7Brief No. 20 (October 2002).
  • http//

Mini-Cases and Scenarios
  • You are writing a letter to the high school
    teacher of your son or daughter. You know that
    the period covered in your child's course
    includes what is commonly referred to as the
    Middle Ages and you want to be sure that your son
    or daughter is not taught the "flat earth error"
    that seems to be implied in the textbook. In your
    letter, describe the "error" as presented in
    Russell's Inventing the Flat Earth, and explain
    why it is important that a more accurate story be
    presented to the class.
  • http//

Mini-Cases and Scenarios Linguistics
We have now read the great debate between Chomsky
and B. F. Skinner about the nature of language.
Imagine that youre hosting a TV debate series
and Skinner and Chomsky have agreed to be guests.
Formulate one or two questions that you have
decided to ask these two thinkers on the
showmake them ones whose answers you can glean
from the two readings. Now create a brief
dialogue in which Chomsky and Skinner provide
their responses to your questions. Please do not
take words from the articles verbatim render
their responses in new language based on what
they would saywhich you will base on what they
wrote in the two articles.
Sequenced Mini-case Immunology
  • At birth, Baby Joe appeared to be a normal,
    healthy baby boy. Both of his parents were in
    their late twenties and were healthy as well. At
    four weeks of age, Joe developed a middle-ear
    infection (called otitis media). Etc. . . .
    Cultures of the drainage fluid showed the
    presence of Haemophilus influenza, a pathogen
    commonly found in ear infections in infants.
    Starting at three months of age, Joe had four
    bouts of diarrhea which persisted for 3-5 days
    each time. etc. . . .
  • Questions
  • Given the information presented above, what do
    you suspect is the underlying cause or causes of
    Joes health problems? Do you think the cause is
    genetic, environmental, or both?
  • How might these health problems cause Joes
    slow weight gain (also called failure to
  • http//

Voices Education
  • Think of the following as "voices" of people in
    response to the Freire reading "The Adult
    Literacy Process as Cultural Action for Freedom
    and Education and Conscientiazation." Look in
    them for ideas you agree or disagree with
    mis-interpretations of Freire problematic of
    interesting applications of his ideas etc.
  • "Look, there's this old saying, 'You can bring
    a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.'
    So Freire thinks we shouldn't be 'feeding'
    illiterates (or kids, for that matter) with
    knowledge. But how else can they be taught? In
    some cases, we just have to force-feed them.
  • "When Freire talks about poor illiterates being
    on the 'outside' of society, I agree, and this is
    true for the poor in the U.S. But I don't know
    why he would argue that we shouldn't bring them
    into the 'inside'. Bringing them to the inside
    humanizes them. I don't see why they need to
    understand their reality along with getting smart
    and getting literate. That comes later because
    it's a higher-order thing. etc.

Dialogue Journals Daves Reflection
After reading about Akinnasos struggle with
personal literacy within a community that
otherwise had a very low level of literacy, I
have decided to revisit my previous log entry
regarding the illiterate farming community. With
new information and an actual first hand account
of growing up in just such a community, I feel
more prepared to discuss the issue On the
surface, Akinnasos account seems to support my
idea that literacy within an illiterate farming
community would not be necessary for its basic
welfare. For example, Akinnaso describes the
process by which his father tells time either
by the nature of some shadow or, sometimes by
fathers intuition (140). On one hand, Ong
might argue that this is a cognitive consequence
of the fathers illiteracy, as opposed to a more
literate manner of telling time. On the other
hand, if (etc.)
Dialogue Journals Jills Response to Dave
Dave, In your article readdressing the issue of
literacy in a community your last paragraph says
though literacy created some distance between
Akinnaso and his family, he was an essential
member of his community through his literacy, and
has since become a much stronger member of the
worldwide community through his involvement in
education and literary advocacy. This whole idea
you mentioned of participating or being
distanced from a community brings to my mind a
few more questions. Does literacy at times
exclude people from a sense of community with
those who are illiterate, and if so can there be
such thing as a close knit community or family
when all members are of varying literacy levels-
some even completely illiterate? (response
continues for a page)
Double-Entry Notebook Poetry
From low to high doth dissolution climb, And
sink from high to low, along a scale/ Of
awful notes, whose concord shall not
fail http//
I'm not sure what this means. The dictionary says
that dissolution means dissolving,
disintegration, decay, separation, breaking-up.
Maybe he means that his mood goes up and down
his feelings can be broken up into
parts? "awful"? Maybe "full of awe"? His
feelings are intense, maybe? "concord" being in
harmony. Maybe all the parts of his feelings work
together. His personality is a whole made up of
all the parts of his feelings.
Double Entry Notebook
Excerpt of Response Maybe . . . I think it
depends on the context. I also think that
ordinary people in their everyday lives can come
up with creative ideas that are neither
undervalued nor oppositional. For example, I was
pleased that I came up with the yellow
post-it-notes passed around as a new way to
introduce "Send-a-Problem. http//
  • Original Passage
  • Creative people, often characterized as
    "oppositional," may find
  • their innovative ideas undervalued.

Double-Entry Notebook Architecture
In this type of double-entry, students are asked
to do something specific with a passage, issue,
etc., such as relate, compare, or explain.
On a Time Magazine reading, a student writes the
following in response to the explain cue
In a rapidly developing technological world where
mobility and rootlessness are endemic, this
movement back to basics in Architecture is
reminiscent of the current trend of "country"
furnishings and knickknacks. It is as though
people, uneasy with a world and technology they
are hard pressed to understand, are seeking the
old, safe, comfortable stability of a known past.
The obsession with hand crafts as opposed to
computers further indicates this is a popular
need. Interestingly, the most contemporary
architectural examples of new buildings in the
Northwest, other than houses, do not seem to
reflect this material art philosophy. Colubmis
Center resembles . . . etc. http//writing2.ric
Texts into Contexts Crop Science
  • Assignment Students explore innovations in crop
    science to inspire identity with the field and
    extend the study of genetics. They make
    low-stakes micropresentations (3-5 minutes 3 PP
    slides) sharing recent innovations and explaining
    genetic processes briefly, and turn in a brief
    (low-stakes) written report of their informal

Study Questions Horticulture
  • What is the major goal of pruning mature trees?
  • Why prune one trunk away if a double trunk has
  • Are hedge sheers good to use?
  • What is the purpose of thinning?
  • Why would plants be pruned?

Provided Data Minipaper
  • Arrange the propositions below in a logical
    order, connect the individual statements with
    appropriate transitions, and arrive at a
    conclusion that is supported by your argument.
    Using all of the points supplied below, write a
    2-page essay on the topic, The relationship
    between coral and zooxanthellae.
  • Coral reefs are formed by scleractinian corals
    that typically occur in shallow (lt60m) water.
  • Hermatypic corals contain photosynthetic algae
    (zooxanthellae) in special membrane- bound
    cavities inside the cells of the gastrodermis.
  • Reef corals are limited to clear water because
    suspended material interferes with the
    transmission of light.
  • Over two-thirds of the metabolic requirements of
    corals are provided by zooxanthellae.
  • Etc.

Summary Statement, Physics
Cavendish's Experiment We watched a video clip
of a Cavendish apparatus moving on a fast-motion
camera. There were two large masses and a stick
that hung perfectly balanced on a string. Since
the string-stick apparatus caused the device to
be frictionless, it could freely rotate in any
direction. The original position of the stick was
random, since it hung randomly to begin the
experiment. After some minutes, the tiny
gravitational fields of the masses caused the
stick's ends to gravitate towards the masses.
They rotated towards them and then because of
momentum bounced back and forth until finally
coming to rest pointing directly at the masses.
This is simply a tiny earth-scaled experiment to
show that the gravitational constant works for
all objects. Thus we know that everything
gravitates towards everything else.
Maps, Webs, Trees, Other Visuals
Maps, Webs, Trees, Other Visuals
For this assignment you will be finding articles
on social issues written from various
perspectives. You are required to compare an
article written from a feminist perspective with
one written from a non-feminist perspective
(traditional, conservative, liberal, etc.). Some
of you will compare two popular articles, some
will compare two scholarly articles and some will
compare a popular with a scholarly. http//
1. Identify a critical problem, question, or
issue related to poverty, inequality or social
change that has arisen for you from the program.
It could be the same issue identified in part one
or it could be a different question entirely.
Hint sometimes critical questions are a helpful
tool for remembering issues/problems/questions
you have with the readings that you might like to
explore in praxis papers. 2. Next, identify and
outline the key features of an interpretive lens
(theory) that you will use to discuss your
question. You will be using this lens as your
lens to analyze the question you have identified
in 1 above. Your interpretive lens can come
from our readings or you may want to do your own
theorizing (develop your own interpretive lens).
In all cases cite your sources. If you draw from
our readings be very explicit about them, really
use them in your paper. http//
Web Search, Crop Science
  • Goal explore innovations in crop science to
    inspire identity with the field and extend the
    study of genetics.
  • Assignment Students do low-stakes
    micropresentations (3-5 minutes 3 PP slides)
    sharing recent innovations and explaining genetic
    processes briefly, and turn in a brief
    (low-stakes) written report of their informal

Admit Exit Slips (1-Minute Papers)
  • Suppose you put a big block of ice in a bucket
    and then fill the bucket with water until the
    water level is exactly even with the edge of the
    bucket. The ice of course is now floating in the
    water. Now we will wait for several hours for the
    ice to melt. Which of the following will occur?
    (Neglect evaporation.) 1. The water level in the
    bucket will remain the same. ?2. The water level
    in the bucket will drop. ?3. Some water will
    overflow the sides of the bucket. Your task is to
    explain your answer in writing to a classmate who
    doesn't understand and who is arguing for what
    you consider to be the wrong answer. Explain your
    answer so clearly that it serves as a little
    textbook that will explain the physics principles
  • Microtheme Strategies for Developing Cognitive
    Skills," John C. Bean, Dean Drenk, and F.D. Lee,
    published in Teaching Writing in All Disciplines
    12 (December 1982) in the Josey-Bass series New
    Directions for Teaching and Learning.

Admit Exit Slips (1-Minute Papers)
  • A question I had about classes, when you allocate
    memory for a new class object does it allocate
    memory for all of its methods (are they called
    member functions in C) or are those just
    referenced one place. That's worded pretty poorly
    so I'll give an example.
  • I have a class foo with 1000 different methods
    (it can do a lot) and 1 int.
  • Now if I do something like
  • foo foo1 new foo
  • foo foo2 new foo
  • ...
  • foo foo80 new foo
  • I know it has to allocate memory for the total of
    80 ints, along with whatever header information
    it needs. But does it also allocate however much
    space the instructions for those 1000 methods
    require 80 times or just once?

Admit Exit Slips (1-Minute Papers)
  • I think both the most gratifying and the most
    confusing points in the lecture was about not
    being able to put non-constant values as the
  • indices of an array. I was the one that used a
    variable as the index
  • in the definition of an array in last week's
    programming assignment. It compiled on my
    computer fine (in Dev-C), then I switched to
    Visual Studio and I got an error in exactly
    Dev-Cthat spot. Then I switched to a Linux
    machine and everything was okay again. I had a
    feeling something was up. It's good to know
    there's a programming "law" against defining a
    non-constant size of an array. But, why would it
    compile sometimes? And why is it wrong to do?
  • http//

Invented Dialogues and Letters
  • Your assignment is to write a police report as an
    investigator of a crime caused by an insect or
    disease. Your job as the investigator is to write
    all of your findings in your report and then find
    your main suspect. The being a pest assignment
    does not have a definite length however, it
    usually takes ½ - 1 page to create a quality
    police report.

The Blogging Trail Organic Chem.
  • Almost everyone has seen a lightstick. A
    lightstick is a plastic tube with a glass vile
    inside it. When the tube is bent, the vial breaks
    allowing the chemicals to mix and react. The
    colorfully glowing sticks utilize a chemical
    process called chemiluminescence where energy is
    released in the form of light. The most common
    lightsticks use chemiluminescence with colored
    tubes to provide the desired color.This process
    is not caused by heat and may not produce heat,
    but the speed of reaction is still dependence on
    environmental heat. The colder the environment,
    the slower the reaction and and will glow longer.
  • Drexel University, http//

The Blogging Trail (Organic Chem)
  • Lightsticks have three parts. There are two
    chemicals that react to release energy which is
    converted to light. Usually, commercial
    lightsticks utilize the reaction between hydrogen
    peroxide and acetonitrile. When the glass vile is
    broken and the two chemicals are mixed, it will
    release enough energy to excite the electrons in
    the oxygen to cause the electrons to jump to a
    higher energy level and then fall back releasing
    light.Specifically, the hydrogen peroxide
    oxidizes the acetonitril eventually forming
    excited oxygen. This decomposes and releases the
    energy as light as can be seen stepwise
    above.More on chemiluminescence can be found here
    on ?A Chemiluminescence Reaction between Hydrogen
    Peroxide and Acetonitrile and Its Applications.?

7/10 - These are not the chemicals used in
glowsticks. Glowsticks rely on a much stronger
chemiluminescent reaction. Acetonitrile has a
triple bond, not double as it appears in your
diagram. Also some arrows are missing in the
mechanism. The last step should show conversion
of singlet oxygen to the triplet ground state.
This looks like a mistake in the original paper.
ABC Brainstorming
  • Fill in as many letters as you can with a word or
    phrase explaining what you learned in Chapter 17.
    Then use the words or phrases to write a summary
    paragraph of Chapter 17.
  • A_________________
  • B_________________
  • C_________________

ABC Brainstorming Shakespeare
A Alls Well that Ends Well As You Like It Antony and Cleopatra G Globe Theatre ghost (Hamlets dead father) M Merchant of Venice Midsummer Nights Dream S Stratford on Avon (Shakespeares birthplace)
B Born in 1564 Benvolio H Hamlet Henry N Now is the winter of our discontent (Richard III) T The Taming of the Shrew The Tempest
C Comedy of Errors Cymbeline Coriolanus I It is the east, and Juliet is the sun (Romeo Juliet) Inverness O Othello Ophelia (Hamlet) U
D Died in 1616 Denmark (Hamlets home) J Julius Ceasar P Paris (Juliets set-up guy) Prince of Tyre V Verona
E Elsinore (Hamlets home) K King John King Lear Q Quince W Winters Tale
F Falstaff (Henry IV) L Loves Labors Lost London R Richard III Romeo and Juliet XYZ
Your Turn . . . .
  • Think about a specific learning goal you want
    students to accomplish in your course.
  • Following the template in the handout, articulate
    this goal in terms of what students might
    experience in learning it and how it might be
    manifested in some work they produce.
  • Now consider the 20 low-stakes strategies weve
    discussed. Try adapting one of the strategies to
    your learning goal(s). If none of the strategies
    work, invent one, or describe one that you
    already use.
  • Share your ideas in a pair or small group.

Assessing Informal Writing
  • Oral response in class (to entire class
    summarizing thoughts)
  • Sequenced collection evaluation
  • Peer response
  • Self-reflective evaluation
  • Brief marginal and end comments
  • Written grading sheet/checklist

Sample Informal Assessment Nursing
  • Name
  • 1. Reading reaction 1 reflects thoughtful
    response/critical analysis reflects
    general understanding/basic summary
  • reflects poor/hasty reading
  • missing or turned in late
  • 2. Freewrite, Johnson reflects thoughtful
    response/critical analysis
  • article reflects general
    understanding/basic summary
  • reflects poor or hasty reading
  • missing or turned in late
  • 3. Etc. . . . . . . .

Sample Informal Assessment Art History
  • Notebook Evaluation Art History 201 Name
  • Reflections on Plates 1-6 4 3 2 1
  • Museum visit reflection 4 3 2 1
  • 3. News controversy microtheme 4 3 2
  • Reflections on form/fig. 4 3 2 1
  • Death of Art article 4 3 2 1
  • Reflections on Judgment 4 3 2 1

Sample Informal Assessment Civil Engineering
  • Write-to-Learn Checklist Name
  • 1. Application of Concept 1 v v-
  • 2. Microtheme 1 v v- Ø
  • 3. Response to in-class experiment v
    v- Ø
  • 4. Application of Concept 2 v v-
  • 5. Microtheme 2 v v- Ø
  • 6. Microtheme 3 v v- Ø
  • 7. Application of Concept 3 v v-
    Ø 8. Response to video v v-
  • 9. Brief synopsis of outside reading v
    v- Ø
  • 10. Microtheme 4 v v- Ø

Sample Informal Assessment Elementary Education
  • The Three Reflection Paper The paper scoring
    a 3 is thoughtful, providing a response to the
    question(s) that shows insightfulness and depth
    of understanding. This writer also provides
    specifics rather than generalities, perhaps in
    the form of examples when appropriate.
  • The Two Reflection Paper. The paper scoring a
    2 is adequate but may seem a little hastily done,
    without a lot of thought. Typically, this person
    will lack some specifics or offer mainly
    generalized statements.
  • The One Reflection Paper. The paper that
    scores a 1 will wander in focus, be very brief
    and unspecific, or will show an overall lack of
    understanding and reflection, or will be very
    difficult to understand and connect to the

Questions and Discussion