Friday, May 11, 2012

How to incorporate a Writing Fellow into your online course

SNL Resident Faculty member Dr. Beth Rubin worked with a Writing Center Writing Fellow in her Winter 2012 course. She had a great experience, and shares some advice below for online faculty who choose to work with a Writing Fellow in the future.

I strongly advocate integrating a Writing Fellow into your online course. It was a terrific experience for me, and improved the quality of the projects I received. Some suggestions and caveats:

1. Meet with the Fellow to describe your class and learning goals, so s/he can help your students meet them.
2. Tell your students right away, and introduce the role of the writing fellow as a support.
3. Ask Snlonline or FITS to put the Writing Fellow into your class in the appropriate role, so s/he can access the Dropbox.
4. Ask the Writing Fellow to make a Youtube or other video where the Fellow introduces him/herself, and insert that into a new announcement.
5. Create a Discussion Forum for the students to ask questions and connect with the Writing Fellow.
6. Remind your students about the Writing Fellow -- in posts, in News Items, or in your own videos.
7. Give the students points for working with the Fellow, and/or make it required.
8. Make sure the Fellow has access to the drop boxes, so s/he can work directly with the students.
9. Communicate with the fellow several times each term to make sure you know how things are going, and can give appropriate credit to students.

It was a wonderful experience for me; the Fellow was professional, friendly, skilled, and really dedicated to helping the students achieve my goals for them. It's a great, easy way to give online students strong support for their writing!

Dr. Kenya Grooms also says that Writing Fellows were an immense help in her online Research Seminar course. Here are her comments about the experience:

In the Winter 2012 term I used the Writing Fellows program for an online intensive Research Seminar course. There were 23 students enrolled and the Writing Center assigned the class 2 writing fellows. The experience for me and the students was wonderful. The writing fellows worked with my students, answering their questions about writing, grammar and style. I was able to focus on content and structure which are essential components to the course. The writing fellows, Ashley and Peter, were gentle, responsive and helpful in their interaction with my students. They also saved me time in the revise and resubmit stages. We were lucky to have this experience; I think my students are better writers because of this program.

 For more on the Writing Fellows program, please see http://condor.depaul.edu/writing/what/Writing%20Fellows/fellows_index.html. Remember that Writing Fellows are also available for on-ground courses as well!

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