Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Entry #12

  • Review page 1 of the syllabus. In what ways did keeping a blog this semester help you to meet the Student Learning Outcomes of this course? Is there anything else you learned that is not represented in the Student Learning Outcomes for this course?
Looking at the Learning Outcomes on the syllabus and thinking back over the semester makes me realize how much this blog has truly helped me to achieve the goals and objectives set out for us at the beginning of the course. It provided me with a space to think and to organize my thoughts, to pose questions that I had, or to discuss ideas from class readings, discussions, or presentations that were of particular interest to me. This blog helped take my reading to the next level and I feel as if I got a much deeper and richer understanding of both the texts that we used in class, Hicks (2009) and Tompkins (2012), because I was able to really explore the ideas and information from the texts and merge these together with my own background knowledge and experiences in the classroom. While reading strategies such as underlining and note-taking are certainly effective, I think in order to truly understand information one needs to be able to synthesize ideas and make text-to-self connections.This blog presented me with these opportunities and I became much more self-aware about how the texts we read relate to my own life and to my own experiences. I believe this reflects the 5th Student Learning Outcome -- "the role of metacognition in writing proficiency and reading comprehension."   

These skills that I have developed also specifically relate to the 4th Student Learning Outcome: "the relationship between the writing and reading process." Through this blog I have discovered that writing down specific ideas from a reading and expanding on them in detail really does work to build comprehension. After reading, I went through and would pick out a few quotes from the text that either intrigued or confused me, as well as ideas that I felt were central to the main idea or argument the author was trying to make. This helped me to think critically about our readings and construct an understanding that was much deeper and more profound because I could look at small and specific quotes/ideas from the text, expand on them, and then go on to view it as a whole, cohesive text to get the "big picture."

Another one of the Learning Outcomes that this blog helped me achieved was #2: "the role of purpose and audience in writing and reading and the rhetorical voices used to address the desired purpose(s) and audience(s)." Each of these blog entries generally followed the same format and were written in my voice as a sort of journal or notebook. However, while writing I had to be cognizant of who my audience was (Dr. Jones, as well as my classmates) and adjust the way that I was writing in order to make it appropriate for my specific audience. For example, I wouldn't write these blog entries in the same voice as I would for a personal "just for fun" blog, so I had to constantly be aware of word choice, terminology, colloquialisms, etc. Also, making sure that I had a clear purpose for each blog entry and that I was adhering to the main points/ideas of each particular entry, without diverging off on wild tangents. This was especially challenging when the blog entries were open-ended, but these forced me to take a more proactive step in my own education because I had to not only think about what I had read, but I had to think about which particular part might have interested me the most and which parts I really wanted to discuss or think about further.

I feel as if this blog helped me successfully meet all of the Learning Outcomes outlined in the syllabus, but these are just a few specific examples of way that it did. I'm a bit surprised that the Learning Outcomes didn't include anything about communicating with peers or evaluating their work/ideas because I feel as if we did a good deal of that with our "Bless, Address, or Press" entries.

Overall, this blog has taught me a great deal and I have learned that blogging can be an easy and creative way to motivate students, incorporate digital technologies as well as new literacies, while engaging with the reading and writing process. 

1 comment:

  1. I really appreciate your comment regarding the "missing learning outcome" Ashley. I agree, learning how to communicate effectively with others is another outcome of this course. At the same time, I think you would agree that these outcomes -- outcome #2 (understanding the role of purpose, audience and voice) as well as #6(understanding how to design developmental appropriate R/W assignments) and even #7 (writing assessment and evaluation) -- because they all attend to issues of interacting with others through writing also support the importance of creating opportunities for students to assess each other.

    You have clearly developed a breadth of knowledge this semester through your weekly reflections.