23 thoughts on “AB3: Conversation 1

  1. Group Discussion
    Accountability (who is responsible)
    Peer Review – incredibly important part of work (short time line/ borrowing from other (plagiarism)/ sending it around and then the sea of red)
    Risk of writing at work (unsafe/ legally binding/ lose contract)
    Is the Academic work accountable to prepare people to function in the workplace?
    In the classroom context in having more access and more collaborate/ resistance to the red but the need for students to more accepting to the feedback process and the ethic of collaboration (mine vs. shared)
    Seems like one of the things the new employer needs to give new employers positive templates and examples
    Ask kids to write for audiences but we do not ask them to figure out what they don’t know and who they are writing for
    The practice of focusing on your goals and follow through
    Important for employers to take responsibility to the writing in the workplace
    Job is the Job and it is important for them to get it done (boiler plate)
    A B students are able to adapt but c students have difficulty to get by the divergent concepts
    The responsibility is on the students to transition and it makes it difficult for lower level students
    The question is how can university can assist students to work through the difference and change or is it at the class
    the push for learning outcomes is trying to push for that (ie. nursing programs)
    the conversation cannot leave the low level learners out and focus too specifically on the university professional type student

  2. making rubric and evaluation terms that connect more to the workplace, i.e. excellent, OK/pass, fail/not satisfactory
    excellence matters in the workplace, not acceptable results in consequences, i.e. ultimately firing as extreme consequence
    how many drafts are needed in time critical workplaces and their deadline and productivity expectations/demands
    time constraints in class for formative evaluation
    exploring and allocating time to planning & drafting – drive behaviours to move away from writing finished copy
    does process time get lost in the workplace?
    reflective assignments aimed at metacognition for students
    design instructional materials to teach skills rather than worrying about 1-1 matching, which you’re never going to get, near transfer works well enough
    “what works here” or corporate culture is individual and can only be learned in situation, on the job
    looking at past examples for concepts – how do you learn to conceptualize?, see patterns?, pull examples from their life concepts to illustrate
    motivational keys – what do they want to do? difficulties in group size in high school and college classes to create assignments that reach everyone
    writing across the curriculum – it’s everyone’s job not just the “English teachers'” job
    writing has been removed from science curriculum – message is that writing doesn’t matter
    employers could do better to support entry level workers in writing and transition
    business case for writing instruction in the workplace?

  3. Random thoughts from our table..
    Exposure to many different variety of mediums and text is important..
    Do an activity in a different formats different contexts..
    As many simulations and presentations you try to do.. writing for different purposes and applications is necessary…
    You have to identify your motivations when you are at work.. what is at stake? There is more risk.. costs, legalities, misunderstanding.
    Peer editing, 360 degree evaluations also simulates the workplace. Group task of writing… play nice and participate..
    Peer evaluation worked well in an example of a post grad course where students read each others papers.. learning was multi level.. learn to write but also learn the concept.
    Example 2.. job with a lot more writing… get something back from a peer edits and covered with red.. and felt alarmed.. sharing and accepting this feedback is a huge part of the job.. evaluation from everyone.. not just the teacher..
    Letter writing to parents.. English major wrote a letter and it was not understandable in plain language.. have to have the reader in mind. Write for the funder etc.. and write for the type of reading.. are they going to read it for detail or do they scan for key information.
    There is no book about how to do this…
    Is peer review a good option in terms of helping people with writing…mentoring on a one on one basis…friendly feedback
    Academic writing often is a bit “flowery” especially people from commonwealth countries where training is in English.. summery longer than the original article.
    Bring in relevant workplace documents as examples.. teach how to write an email..
    writing different things.. info messages for example..
    No one has time to read a long report.. we don’t have time to go through a lot of text.. recommendations key.. not process..
    Language is key.. and volume.. once it is written it is permanent!!
    Writing operating procedures.. peer review and review form organization… nothing i had ever done to write..
    different ethical standards in workplace.. plagerism is defined a bit differently.. take chunks from various places for because of language.. find the right information

  4. Who holds the responsibility for development writing as an foundational, or essential skill?

    The employer- to target present gaps?
    The educational sector- to better train so those exiting the process are more able and apt to be strong writers?
    The individual- how do they find a way forward if not already clearly defined internally or externally?

  5. a school group roles are designated and delegated
    but it is completely different in the workplace…
    work and school collaborate in very different
    work is product driven while school is marks driven

  6. Writing in the Workplace
    in some places workers write but it then goes through other workers and departments and then it is changed as it moves through levels
    changes could be structural, information added or taken out, condensed
    Work writing has many people involved while most academic is individual
    There is shared responsibility but there is specific responsibility with that first person
    There is also the distinction of more ‘in-house or community’ writing and more ‘public’ writing

  7. Idea of First Aid training, base level for all employees. Do it once and due diligence is achieved. With writing it seems more of a noble pursuit worthy of longer term support. Not as willing to let this go and determine the due diligence is done. Still writing training can be for purpose, factory worker production line writing perhaps, the training need is one-off easily delivered and done with- per se.

  8. How to enable transfer? Employers tend to focus on logistics such as roles, responsibilities, job duties NOT finite writing skills. Idea of explicit exposure or modelling of the desired needs could benefit new workers. Also mentoring could be of benefit. In house PD programs also useful. Extended internship and practicum opportunities could be of benefit.

  9. TABLE ALPHA Present: Cindy Messarus, Theresa Wall, Stephanie Morin, Chris Harwood, Paul Brinkhurst

    Speaker: Doug Brent

    Writing is incredibly situated. Contect, purpose and motive matter.
    Ref: Worlds Apart
    School/work are not well connected contextually.
    Learn here >>> use there is not a model that works well.
    Essentially work place simulations in the classroom do not prep writers for the real world (1984, Feedman, Adam, Smart)
    Writers could transform their learning to apply it to the workplace. Re-inventing expert practices was necessary on the job as part of performance. (2004, Smart, Brown)
    Experience is most transferrable when learned in a long term sustained environment. Metacognition is certainly a valuable practice. (1989 Salmon, Perkins)
    On the job people get good at looking at past work to help them get the job done.
    This reflects what students do all the time.
    Note -the work response is not what is needed in the academic search model.
    Need in class – clarity and concision
    Needed at work – multitask and do it on the fly
    IE students prepare themselves for work despite university ( scribe’s own comment)

    Group discussion:
    – does it depend on what the classroom is – ie university vs academic upgrading, vs workplace education
    – maybe group problem solving. Does it work in every envirnoment.
    – students could practice these skills, ie web drawing, mind mapping
    – content not important as much as process
    in the full sense university as a whole teaches these things, not specific courses. Maybe don’t expect courses to do it. Look at university in larger context.
    – Work place is more based on other templates.
    – does this apply to lower literacy at all?
    – Probably, but more likely to ask people vs looking for products. Some disagreement, if shame stops them asking.
    – Workplaces often do not use clear language – that is a problem.
    – In professional context and entry level context processes may be quite similar.
    – coop model – involving the real workplace – very good.
    – practicum experience in teacher training much more valuable than university class work (opinion)
    – need a mix of both content and direct experience.
    – use of work place mentors is good. Need constructive feedback.
    – Important for interns to know the ‘key’ pieces ina companies processes.
    -Can employers afford this investment? Big banks etc yes, smaller business?

  10. What are the writing skills needed in the workplace?
    Why are some workers better writers?
    How do you know what you know?
    From an instructor perspective writing is not something that we talk about.
    It is difficult to talk about writing that because we do not have the language to talk about writing
    Too often the bulk of discussion sometimes just focuses on mechanics and grammar
    There is movement of Threshold Concepts that is looking at things needed to be successful

  11. Notion of critical thinking. Formed based writing is purposed based. Not like creative writing where critical thinking is seemingly more attached to the process. Workplace the pressure to produce a deliverable is key. Argument that critical thinking appears when evaluating master text, or templates, to determine suitability of existing work for the current purpose. Underlying writing are the confidence and broader thinking skills of the writer. Workplace has less tolerance for error. Educational sphere builds confidence and skill generally, in broader terms. Heading to the workplace the writer has to contextualize using the broad and almost vaguely held skills and confidence to enable performance or produce writing that is of high quality.

  12. Perhaps it is not about designing assignments but focusing on assisting students learning to learn
    A good point of perspective is to work with students to understand that the classroom is one context, process and audience
    Learning should be a process of problem solving

  13. It is an interesting discussion as creativity is so stressed in educational writing but fitting in is very important in the workplace as it is about the work
    Workplace Writing is about the work and not necessarily the worker and that is what the employer needs
    Often students transitioning into the workplace are so focused on proving themselves which does not transfer in the same way to the working world

  14. Majority of learners are not exposed to university or long term learning opportunities, or dedicated technical writing course work. While the transfer might occur for learners afforded longer, dedicated learning, transfer might occur easily. Learners far removed from the classroom, informally trained, could have different barriers to enabling transfer to the workplace.

  15. From the workplace
    It is different for each workplace, employer and industry has their own way and system of writing
    You are not reinventing the workplace’s wheel but you are joining in on their wheel
    This skill is important to learn to work within the workplace and you will continue using as you change positions and jobs
    It is industry practice to learn from and build on past work

  16. Notion of accountability in writing. The scenario where technical writing in explicit contexts for real-purposes, such as creating AD Copy, produces ownership of the work produced. Generalized contexts seem to reduce accountability and ownership as instructor is the only eyes really looking at product. When a client had an eye on the product, the level of quality seemed to increase. (Anecdotal scenario)

  17. First year writing students are thinking of learning to write for their classes but maybe in their career is at the back of their mind
    Perhaps assignments need to help students scramble and figure it out
    Sometimes students want a formula or exact details for writing that does not transfer to the “real” world
    Students need to problem solve

  18. Transfer studies indicate transferable skills. The audience is worth clarifying, i.e., are they only university students? how is transfer happening for low-level literacy learners? Curious to identify differences if visible.

  19. Theme for the day: moving from post-secondary education to work: what is the role of writing?

    We need broad partnerships to tackle big problems: partners within Campus Alberta, governments of Alberta and Canada.

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