Erika Romero

PhD Candidate and Education Blogger

Category: ELA (page 1 of 4)

Group Project Activity: Multimodal Composition via Genre Remediations

Recently I’ve been spending most of my time thinking about my dissertation research and my academic job applications. My dissertation focuses heavily on multimodal texts and their new media adaptations. Many of the jobs I’m applying to have a focus on digital texts and composition, which fits well not just with my research, but also my teaching practices in writing and literature courses. I’ve already gone over a literary analysis group project that works well with my literature students. So today, I thought I’d break down a multimodal composition group project that has worked really well in my first year writing courses. If you’re looking for a creative group activity for your composition students that requires a good amount of research and analytical thinking, this post is for you.

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How to Get Students to Read

The fall semester has started, and you’re teaching a course that’s heavy on reading assignments. How do you get your students to actually do the reading? Literature courses are often general education courses, which means that many of your students aren’t used to heavy reading loads and have little to no interest in doing all the reading you’ve assigned to them. So, in today’s post, I want to offer three student accountability strategies that can help motivate your students to read their assigned texts. While the strategies might be quite common, I go into detail on how I design these activities for best effect.

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Course Syllabus Example Elements & My Instructor Notes

The course syllabus is often considered to be the most important document in a college course, because it lays down foundational information for your students on the first day of class. As such, the syllabus is the first “College Course Week 1” element discussed in the “Successful Start” workbook and series. [Here’s more information on the series, and here’s the link to the workbook.] Since the workbook covers brainstorming and drafting what elements you need and want in your course syllabus, in today’s post, I’ve provided examples of syllabus elements that I’ve used, along with my commentary on these elements. In today’s video (embedded at the end of this post), I focus on how my students have influenced my syllabus creation process.

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Resources for New College Instructors (Round-Up)

Summer is moving quickly and lesson planning for the new semester will start soon enough (if it hasn’t already). As I’ve been blogging about teaching tips, tools, and resource for over a year now, I thought I’d help give new readers an easy resource to use to get started on their semester prep. If you’re one of the many new college instructors entering the classroom in the fall or are just looking for some fresh ideas, here’s my list of top blog posts with tons of advice and resources.

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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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How to Teach Writing without the 5-Paragraph Essay

While teaching the five-paragraph essay might be necessary in high school English courses that seem to (unfortunately) run on standardized testing, college writing instructors could use a more realistic approach when teaching writing. Once outside the school setting, five paragraph essays aren’t exactly in high demand. At ISU, our (award-winning) writing program takes a rhetorical genre studies approach to teaching writing in order to better help prepare our students for their future writing responsibilities and interests.

Rather than focus our courses on writing essays and going through grammar drills, our students practice researching various rhetorical genres. While completing writing projects, they also work to articulate what they’ve learned about these genres, how they’ve learned this information, and how they can use these new skills and knowledge in situations outside the classroom. In today’s post, I describe how I teach writing using a theoretical framework that helps my students analyze the texts around them and their own writing experiences. 

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