INTD 105 Instructors' Workshop: Planning/Assessment, INTD 106, Teaching Tips

This workshop features news about an assessment and planning initiative, INTD 106, and presentations from two instructors about creative ways they teach INTD 105. Plus the usual reminders about things like the Writing Learning Center, library instruction and working with English language learners.

Assessment  and Planning

The Strategic Planning Group awarded funds to the INTD 105 coordinators for an assessment and planning project. The specific goal is to align Geneseo's writing requirements as a whole with GLOBE, identify best practices from similar programs at other institutions that might help, and find ways to measure/demonstrate that alignment. While "writing requirements as a whole" includes INTD 105, INTD 106, and individual majors' writing requirements, 105 and 106 are obviously a significant part of the grant's focus.

The project has two key elements, the first being an outside consultant who can look at our existing program and make recommendations, and the second being a half-day retreat for INTD 105 instructors and friends to develop specific plans for acting on the consultant's report. The consultant is Prof. Michael Murphy, associate professor of English, director of the College Writing Program, and coordinator for writing across the curriculum at SUNY Oswego, and president of the SUNY Council on Writing. He was on campus last week, and met with available INTD 105 stakeholders. We have just received a draft of his report, and will share it with you when we've had a chance to digest it.

We're planning the retreat as a half-day gathering in mid-November, most likely either Friday November 15 or Saturday November 16. It would be an extra service stipend event. Feedback from you concerning which day works best for you would be helpful (there was no clear consensus during the workshop).

This project has a couple of clear benefits for people interested in INTD 105. First, and most obviously, it's a chance to generate objective input that we can use to make the course stronger. Second, it's a chance to take leadership of implementing writing-related components of GLOBE (and other components we see as appropriate for INTD 105), rather than letting others make those decisions for us.

INTD 106

(The online corequisite to INTD 105.)

INTD  106's goal is to convey writing knowledge amenable to learning through reading, and to ensure equitable access to that knowledge for students who come from diverse writing and educational backgrounds. As such, it's intended to be a low-stakes course.

Students have three main assignments, all involving small amounts of self-reflective writing. The first asks them to identify something they consciously think about when they write; the next two ask them to use concepts from INTD 106 to revise pieces of college-level writing (e.g., writing for another course, writing from an AP course or college admission essay, etc.) and then to reflect on how they used those concepts. New this year, INTD 106 has "pathways" for students to complete it, which guide them to narrower sets of concepts to use in these assignments than was the case in the past.

For instructors who want to refer to INTD 106 content in INTD 105, there is a PDF of the content (but not the quizzes, assignment explanations, etc.) that students can read in any order, independent of the pathways they must follow through the Canvas course.

While INTD 106 can operate with no attention from INTD 105 instructors, INTD 105 instructors can help students get the most from 106 by doing a couple of things:

Teaching Ideas

Two INTD 105 instructors spoke about innovative ways they teach the course.

Adrienne Maher talked about an extended project in which students write and produce a digital magazine. See the nifty assignments list for more information.

Steve Derné talked about using INTD 105 to counter the "phone culture" that students are more and more steeped in. His ideas are also summarized in the nifty assignments list.

Writing Learning Center

Lara Mangino, a WLC tutor gave us some reminders about the Writing Learning Center.

The WLC is a resource for students on any aspect of the writing process, for any course or even personal writing. It's staffed by other students, mostly juniors and seniors, representing most if not all disciplines taught at Geneseo. All tutors are able to work with students for whom English is a foreign language, and some are extensively trained to work with such students.

The WLC is particularly prepared to work with students in INTD 105, for example by using the vocabulary of They Say, I Say. Some ways INTD 105 instructors can take advantage of this include...

Tutors can also visit classes e.g., to talk about the WLC or help with peer editing. Instructors can also let the WLC know what they want to accomplish in an assignment in order to help tutors give the best advice to students.

For more information, see wlc.geneseo.edu

English Language Learners

Geneseo has a new coordinator of ELL/ESoL programs: Katherine Menec. Contact her at...

She recommends (and it's been considered good practice in INTD 105 for a number of years) that INTD 105 instructors do a diagnostic exercise early in the course to identify students who may benefit from taking an ESoL course before INTD 105. These exercises need to be early enough that students can use the drop/add period (first week of the semester) to get out of INTD 105 and into an ESoL course if they need to. A good diagnostic will include both a reading component and a writing component, for instance ask students to read some short document typical of American English usage and then write a summary or other short piece about it.

Library Instruction

Every INTD 105 section is required to use at least one class for library research instruction by an instructional librarian, and to do some exercise in which students use what they learned in that session.

Sherry Larson-Rhodes summarized what the library research instruction typically involves.

The goals are typically to teach students to locate information, evaluate it, and integrate it into writing. But other topics are also possible, for instance, how to build a bibliography.

Everyone needs to have 1 class meeting on library research, but 2 to 3 are better, because they allow time for students to work on research under guidance from the librarian.

Sign up for library instruction through Milne's web site: https://www.geneseo.edu/library, or go straight to the instruction request form here.

Please work with the librarian assigned to your class to coordinate instruction, e.g., give them a copy of the assignment students will work on, meet with them ahead of time.

Finally, note that plagiarism workshops that Milne used to offer face-to-face throughout the semester are now going online as a Canvas course students can enroll in (information on doing that is also available on the library web site).