Frameworks Recap

One of first goals for class was to put the readings on Frameworks in conversation with our readings from last week on definitions. To do this, you were asked to visualize how the readings went together. This is one of my favorite class activities to do because it encourages you to think differently, and it always produces some interesting results that make the subsequent discussion pretty lively. Following are your visual interpretations of the frameworks.

As an historical scholar in my initial academic training, I always have a warm spot for the historical approach. What was great about this visualization was trying to chart the shifts through the lens of history, and it grounded the discussion in the fact TPC does have a history and that history is important to current practices.

I loved this visualization because it took the task in the most literal way trying to put every reading from both weeks in conversation. In taking this approach, this visualization offered us a way to see the expanse of TPC and the fact that these ideas do overlap and connect.

So we went from history to a big “map” and then we shifted to how big identities all revolve around TPC identity. Just the fact that identity was the term placed in the center of this four-pronged Venn made it an important contribution.

Closely related to this Venn diagram was a contribution that put another important word in the middle, interdisciplinary for everything else to circulate around.

Part of the identity of the field are the different types of service course offered, and this visualization of placing those different courses within the framework of the department was a smart take on the readings.

Closely related to the three kinds of service courses, this visualization took the readings and then related them to the actual courses and assignments that we offer at USF. What was so great about this visualization was its interpretation of taking the field and viewing it through the local context.

The final example was one where the students took the exercise prompt and sort of went their own way, which is fine and totally expected. What I loved about this one was the fact it was an actual demonstration of technical and professional communication from headings, titles, where space, visuals, and explanations.

The overall goal of the exercise was to move from the summary of the articles to a synthesis of them and to figure out what they could tell us about the field and about teaching in the field.

All in all it was a success.

Pedagogy and Teaching Practices

The second part of class focused on teaching practices. Specifically, we discussed how classroom exercises need to be purposefully designed¬† either to advance classroom learning objectives or to build classroom community. Classroom exercises also need to be explicitly explained as to why they are doing them and what aims of the course they are forwarding. We can’t always assume students are making these connections and talking about the how’s and why’s help them make connections between the exercises and the course content.

Students in the service course are a little hesitant to fully engage in the course because they may not see the connection to their major or future careers. To consistently talk about how writing enhances their disciplinary knowledge is useful and more importantly, to connect classroom activities to the broader goals helps with student “buy-in.”

So we brainstormed and shared some sample exercises and discussed how to make exercises engaging and address the overall goals of the course.