Erika Romero

PhD Candidate and Education Blogger

How to Create a Summer Writing Routine

Finding time for fun and relaxation while also working on your academic summer projects tends to be a difficult task. As I covered creating a research routine last time, today’s post is all about creating a writing routine that works well with your summer schedule. Once you reach the point where drafting could or should be happening, how do you balance this work with any leftover research and all your non-work summer activities? Here’s a step-by-step process for creating your summer writing routine.

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How to Create a Strong Summer Research Routine

With the standard academic year complete, grad students and faculty alike tend to turn their attention to their research. Sure, research can’t be completely ignored during the academic year, but for those of us who aren’t teaching in the summer, research takes over our minds and schedules. Summer shouldn’t just be all about research, though. Relaxation and fun needs to play a role in our plans, as well. Here are a few ways to create a summer research routine that works for you.

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Why I Prefer Holistic Grading Over Rubric Grading

Grading, grading, grading. The worst part about teaching, in my opinion. There are so many ways to approach this constant semester task, though. And there is one approach in particular that I prefer: holistic grading. Now, holistic grading can be defined in plenty of different ways. In today’s post, I describe my version of this grading style and explain why I prefer it to using rubrics.

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Designing a Course Assessment to Get Student Feedback

Are you tired of relying on student evals as the only form of student feedback on your courses? Is that feedback even helpful at all? Personally, I prefer to ask my students course-specific questions at the end of the semester. That way, I gain insight into how my students feel about the required texts, assignments, and course tools I’ve chosen to use during a particular semester (among other information). In today’s post, I describe the seven elements I ask about when designing a course assessment. I highly recommend designing your own versions for your future courses.

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The Educational Power of Student Presentations

Every semester, I struggle with deciding how many (if any) student presentations my students should complete in my courses. As someone who doesn’t exactly thrive in public speaking situations, I know how anxiety-provoking class presentations can be. Still, I also believe there are so many benefits to student presentations that not including any in my course design would be a failing in my teaching style. In today’s post, I share a few presentation projects my students have completed over the years and why I think these student presentation activities are so powerful for student learning.

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Metacognitive Writing for Assessing Student Learning

As instructors, how can we know what students have learned from our classes? Student evals tell us how they feel about us and our classes, but not about what they learned. Some of us might have students reflect on the course at the end of the semester, but can students really remember small, important details from week 3 during week 16? To find out what students have gained from my writing course projects, I have them complete a metacognitive writing activity for each unit. At ISU, we refer to this activity as completing an “uptake genre.” In today’s post, I explain this concept in more detail and provide examples of uptake genres I’ve had students complete during different sections of my ENG 101 courses. If you want to know more about what your students have learned from your classes, consider adding an uptake genre or two to your course design.

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