Are you ever left class wondering whether or not students understand a course concept or a day’s reading? Would you like students to think about course concepts and readings in a more sustained way? Would you like students to be more conscious about their writing process?
Consider integrating reflective writing activities into your course. Reflective writing can be formal or informal, involve more or less feedback from an instructor, and can be directed to a number of different audiences, though students are focusing their writing on themselves or their ideas in some way. Reflective writing can elicit student responses to complex and multi-layered concepts, as well as encourage students to make connections between theory and practice. It can help you and your students to immediately identify what is working and not working in the course. Below are a few informal and formal reflective writing activities that you can with your students:
For an archive of previous WAC Tips, visit our blog, and while you’re there, take a look at summaries of many other events throughout the University (click on ‘Categories’ for a topical menu): http://cstw.org/WAC/?cat=50. The WAC team would be happy to help you develop writing activities for your class. We can meet with you to discuss possibilities that could fit in your course, or we can come into your class and facilitate a session on reflective writing or any other topic that you are interested in.
If you are interested in learning more ways of using writing to promote critical thinking, consider joining Chris Manion of WAC and Kathryn Plank of FTAD in a series of discussions of John Bean’s book Engaging Ideas: The Professor’s Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom. Visit the FTAD events site for more information and to register: http://ftad.osu.edu/participate/ftad_events/ftad_events.html
Please also consider attending the four workshops we are sponsoring with FTAD this quarter. We hope that you join our forums for engaging dialogue across diverse disciplines.
As always, if you have questions or need some help, you can contact us by phone (292-9650), e-mail (email@example.com), or through our website (http://cstw.osu.edu/wac).
Have a great quarter,
The WAC Team
Dr. Chris Manion, Coordinator