Welcome to Alberta Writes 3:

“What are the implications of the increasing importance of writing for employees, employers, students, trainers, and educators?

Please join us on April 11, 2014for Alberta Writes 3, a full day of intentional conversation, to talk, debate, and write about the role of writing in students’ transition from academic study to full-time employment.”

Alberta Writes 3 is the third in a series of one-day symposium (conversations) about writing. The first two symposiums, hosted by the University of Alberta and the University of Lethbridge, explored the gaps, barriers and supports students face as they transition from writing in high school to writing in post-secondary contexts.

Alberta Writes 3 will focus on the transition from post-secondary to work. Adults preparing for the workforce or transitioning into the workforce with new roles or challenges need to develop the writing strategies and skills necessary to write across a range of modalities (social media, email), genres (reports, letters) and contexts (home, work and community).

The Alberta Writes 3 planning committee, representing Bow Valley College, the University of Lethbridge and the University of Albert, is inviting participation from post-secondary, industry, workforce and government.

There is no cost associated with this event, however there are a limited number of seats and registration is required.

To register please use the EventBrite link :    bowvalleycollege.ca/AlbertaWrites3

Nursing Scholarly Paper

What does the instructor value?
-the instructor is really interested in the student answering the questions in the synthesis of the assignment explanation
-the questions suggest that the instructor in trying to over-control the students’ writing. It seems that the questions lead the students too much
-the assignment gives the student mixed messages. The topic seems different from the synthesis section of the assignment
-there is no rubric included but reference is made to Guidelines at the end of the assignment

-students might not trust one another to get feedback during a writers workshop
-where are students learning to write at university? English departments assign writing but do not teach it
-if students have not read an article, it is difficult to get them involved in the process work necessary for learning
-the size of the class can inhibit getting process feedback during writing
-contextual restraints include that disciplines stick to one way of writing (papers, reports, labs)
-in ELA classrooms, students are learning about many reading and writing genres but in university, they may use only one kind of reading and writing
-teaching reading and writing need to be done for different purposes: to enjoy the text and then to learn about reading and writing from the text
-different faculties will encourage process writing and others only product writing
-we have to try and change the way students think about writing, especially if they want the professor to have all the control what and how they write
-we want the focus to be on learning-which means allowing re-writes, and students being more engaged in the assignments and rubrics as co-producers of knowledge
-students present very different needs as writers and so we have to adjust our practices each semester
-inadequacies of the course can make it difficult
-time constraints make is hard to do some of the writing we want them to do

What do I value in my students’ writing?

-risk-taking in writing; we dont’ want students to be hampered by fear of doing something the wrong way
-how to use resistance in teaching writing
-helping students try different ways of approaching a writing assignment
-it can’t be too open-ended, or they could get overly worried
-developing one’s own topic will help students think for themselves
-many scientific journals require you to personalize writing
-how to comply and resist can be confusing for students
-when students help the teacher make their marking rubrics, they better understand how to comply and resist
-compliance can inhibit writing-memorizing what to do will not work to develop writers
-critical thinking is about teaching writing
-writing assignments need to be varied; but how much flexibility should I allow with students? Some students will be confused
-using a structure for a paper can be very helpful to students; some students do not use the structure. Should this be penalized if they do not use the structure?
-maybe students can learn to use certain structures first and then modify these for their own purposes
-it is important to help students know when to use “I” and when not to
-using the word “perhaps” can help students get around using “I” statements in their own writing
-high school teachers feel the need to meet the needs of students to pass the grade twelve PAT in writing, which influences how they teach writing; it can be said that teachers feel they cannot teach the writing process with the final exam looming at the end of grade 12
-important for students to write for a variety of purposes when they graduate from high school
-students in university have to be able to communicate with their peers through writing
-the importance of voice was mentioned as valued by instructors
-others say that you have to “change” your voice to be successful in academic situations
-some value clarity, purpose, and audience awareness over voice
-what does voice mean? Do our students know what voice means? It can be related to clarity, vocabulary choice, being entertained, and audience
-discussion boards are useful for students to practice writing and develop their sense of voice (and does not take a lot of the instructor’s time)
-students need lots of variety to write in different genres to be successful writers throughout their life

Maligne Canyon piece

-format is a memo (which seems odd)
-very detailed-zoomed in on detail but also presented the big picture (like a travelogue)
-was interesting
-liked the second part and thought the writer should have started there
-the first part may have needed to come as a second part
-more personal than scientific in the beginning
-this is a student observation which does happen in academic writing, and we need more descriptive information first and then add the research
-ie. erosion could come after the writer describes what he/she saw
-there needs to be some description of why the photo appears
-shows the difficulty students often have inserting photos, diagrams, tables into the discussion
-the photo needed a caption
-footnotes are references (we weren’t sure if this is appropriate)
-this is a science paper, so we want the references and these do appear
-good, detailed, vivid langauge

DCM (mapping)

-hard to read as a “reader” and not a “marker”
-pretty good content
-depth to the arguments presented; understands the nuances of the argument
-research is apparent
-there is a moral argument but that comes later
-enjoyed the article as a reader; felt is was ryhthmic
-looked for the sentence fragments because they were fun to read
-some of it was humourous
-needed a few more actual stats
-used a conversational style-if this was a final draft, would want the student to sound more academic
-need to know the audience and purpose for this piece
-looking for more support for the arguments
-had to turn off the “marker” in each of us
-we wondered if this was a girl or boy writing this piece
-voice is very strong in this piece; lots of familiar arguments are made but needs some technical support if this piece is going to be “published.”

Parking map

Here’s a link to a map for parking: http://www.ualberta.ca/~graves1/documents/parkinglistercentre.pdf

When you get to Lister Centre (located at 87th Avenue & 116th Street) park your car and please proceed to the Permit Dispenser in Zone M (west side of the parking lot adjacent to the building). A conference volunteer will be available by the Dispenser to hand out parking coupons starting at 9:00 am so you will not have to pay for parking.

In case there are no parking spots available in Zone M, additional parking is available in Zone R (next to Lister Centre) and in Zone T (behind the residence Towers).

Questions from the audience

What are the goals for the 30-1 course?

Why writing only about literature in the secondary ELA course?

What happens when the test corporation/ministry decides for the students what they will write about? This kills passion for writing, and so they don’t invest themselves in their writing. Ultimately, this means we really don’t know how well they write.

Portfolios are the answer–they give a much better sense of how well students write.

How do we quantify aspects of writing like “passion”? This is a requirement of accreditation reviews.

David Jolliffe: Common core standards lead to a standard test. Personal writing is not a value of the standard tests used in the US. Passion doesn’t figure into it.

Breadth of figues in the conversations: how did you deal with power dynamics and hierarchies within the educational system?

Bob Broad: local decisions matter

Similar project happening in Buffalo, NY