Writing Assignments and Scaffolding

Tues, April 2 11:45-12:45 KA 309 — J. Hunt
Wed, April 3 1:30-2:30 KA 309 — J. Sullivan (Workshop recording)
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In this workshop, we’ll develop ways to adapt scaffolding techniques for speaking assignments to writing assignments.
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Susan Ambrose and her co-authors define scaffolding as when “instructors temporarily relieve some of the cognitive load so that students can focus on particular dimensions of learning” (How Learning Works, p. 106).
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In other words, we often design activities and assignments to focus on one aspect of a larger task, allowing students time to build skills one by one (rather than asking them to develop and demonstrate a whole set of skills at once).
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The principle of scaffolding can be applied to individual assignments (breaking them into component parts); to assignment sequences (building from simpler to more complex assignments); or to classroom activities (such as having student do a “minute paper” or freewrite before engaging in class discussion).
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Workshop Slides
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Resources:
“What Kinds of Practice and Feedback Enhance Learning?” from Susan Ambrose, et al., How Learning Works: 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching (Jossey-Bass, 2010) (link to eBook via Gleeson library)
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“Practicing” from James Lang, Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Teaching (Jossey-Bass, 2016) (link to eBook via Gleeson library)