Creating a New Environment 2016-12-05 19:46:00

Hope Wilson

Eng. 5020

Dr. Zamora

Writing Theory & Practice

Presentation

 

                                                                “To Test or Not To Test”
By Yancey, Kathleen Blake & Ritter, Kelly and Matsuda, Paul “Exploring Composition Studies”

 

          Are the students being taught to pass a test or are the educators’ writing assessment and curriculums being presented? Developing a relationship with a student is part of the educational process. Writing assessment is one of ways that creates communication between a teacher and a student. I agree with Yancey when she  writes “ The test were indirect measures, that is, a test that sampled something related to but other than the individual student’s writing, typically a multiple choice test of editing skills serving as a proxy for writing” that cannot replace an educator’s assessment of multiple writings. Acknowledging the fact that test and processes requires money and sitting several hundred students in a room to take a test that a machine can grade is far less expensive than having an educator evaluate one student at a time.

       Who are the most qualified to make these decisions, the educators, test experts, school administrators, or the scholars? Some may agree that all of them are qualified. There have been many processes suggested regarding the teaching and the evaluation of writing. Scholars, teachers, researchers, and test experts have all weigh in to assist with implementing a fair assessment. External reviews have been an enormous concern by some. Some educators value their curriculum and insist on enforcing it.

        During the three waves there have been multiple processes, tests implemented, many evaluations regarding the improvement of writing and writing assessment. I agree that accumulatively all of them improve writing skills. Reflection and self-assessment encourage students to evaluate themselves by taking a closer look at their work by proof reading. The school administrator testing creates an environment of continuous focus as it reveals other options the students may not had considered. The portfolio creates the proof of progress and the capability of certain projects. The presentation of accumulative work also increases the reflection and self-assessment. Reading and comprehension definitely increases writing and public speaking.

       Future writers will seek out their needed skills at their convenience. Students that are not interested in writing will write for a desired grade. There are many applications and online programs assisting writers to improve their craft. Social media tools. Audio, video, and online classes are available to assist writers improve their craft. Educators become engaged to improve their skills and teach students how to improve their passion. They also encourage a platform for children to share their work as they provide technology to improve literacy. They share knowledge, processes, and curriculums. Peer review groups are encouraged. It can provide a great experience for future writers to​begin accepting criticism.

 

 

                                                                    

how the maker movement can help create writers

I really enjoyed the video and reading paired together this week, because I think it’s completely important and relevant in the next steps toward teaching writing. I think this is that “fourth wave” that Yancey reflects on, the next movement in writing assessment in education. While the third wave is still portfolio-based and tries to be more creative, I think that if writing assessment moves toward that DIY-ideology that the DML webinar discusses, it will work a lot better for students. If students gain more control over their work in both a creative and multimodal context, writing can become more individualized and accessible to a variety of students.

It’s significant to recognize the maker movement as something that can also be applied to the teaching of writing, and is not just exclusive to engineers or people who have “left-sided” brains. If we create makerspaces that cater toward developing writing skills, such as including kinesthetic methods of teaching writing instead of all just visual or auditory, it appeals to another type of thinker. That way, writing can reach out toward a multitude of students and instill confidence in people who think they inherently “are not good writers” – there should be no such thing. Learning comes to people a variety of ways, and makerspaces and DIY projects help include that neurodiversity.

Consequently, besides just helping develop the student as a writer, a DIY approach can be applied to writing assessments in school. Elyse Eidman-Aadahl mentions that writing assessments are completely formulaic and “not natural” environment for cultivating writing. Thus, if the next wave of writing assessment transforms into a process that encourages a more “studio” atmosphere, it is ultimately better for the student. That way, the student becomes more involved in their writing: it becomes a subject they are interested in, and this interest will hopefully breed the potential for their writing project to reach an actual audience. It all goes back to this culture of attribution, and if students are creating, are making, there’s a feeling of success and self-worth by adding their voice in an ongoing or completely new conversation.

In that sense, writing assessments have the potential to be more than just a dreaded thing that a student has to “pass.” Instead, it can become an opportunity for students to express and explore themselves and their writing and subjects that interest them, in order to further their personal and academic curiosities and abilities.

how the maker movement can help create writers

I really enjoyed the video and reading paired together this week, because I think it’s completely important and relevant in the next steps toward teaching writing. I think this is that “fourth wave” that Yancey reflects on, the next movement in writing assessment in education. While the third wave is still portfolio-based and tries to be more creative, I think that if writing assessment moves toward that DIY-ideology that the DML webinar discusses, it will work a lot better for students. If students gain more control over their work in both a creative and multimodal context, writing can become more individualized and accessible to a variety of students.

It’s significant to recognize the maker movement as something that can also be applied to the teaching of writing, and is not just exclusive to engineers or people who have “left-sided” brains. If we create makerspaces that cater toward developing writing skills, such as including kinesthetic methods of teaching writing instead of all just visual or auditory, it appeals to another type of thinker. That way, writing can reach out toward a multitude of students and instill confidence in people who think they inherently “are not good writers” – there should be no such thing. Learning comes to people a variety of ways, and makerspaces and DIY projects help include that neurodiversity.

Consequently, besides just helping develop the student as a writer, a DIY approach can be applied to writing assessments in school. Elyse Eidman-Aadahl mentions that writing assessments are completely formulaic and “not natural” environment for cultivating writing. Thus, if the next wave of writing assessment transforms into a process that encourages a more “studio” atmosphere, it is ultimately better for the student. That way, the student becomes more involved in their writing: it becomes a subject they are interested in, and this interest will hopefully breed the potential for their writing project to reach an actual audience. It all goes back to this culture of attribution, and if students are creating, are making, there’s a feeling of success and self-worth by adding their voice in an ongoing or completely new conversation.

In that sense, writing assessments have the potential to be more than just a dreaded thing that a student has to “pass.” Instead, it can become an opportunity for students to express and explore themselves and their writing and subjects that interest them, in order to further their personal and academic curiosities and abilities.

Creating a New Environment 2016-12-05 19:46:00

Hope Wilson

Eng. 5020

Dr. Zamora

Writing Theory & Practice

Presentation

 

                                                                “To Test or Not To Test”
By Yancey, Kathleen Blake & Ritter, Kelly and Matsuda, Paul “Exploring Composition Studies”

 

          Are the students being taught to pass a test or are the educators’ writing assessment and curriculums being presented? Developing a relationship with a student is part of the educational process. Writing assessment is one of ways that creates communication between a teacher and a student. I agree with Yancey when she  writes “ The test were indirect measures, that is, a test that sampled something related to but other than the individual student’s writing, typically a multiple choice test of editing skills serving as a proxy for writing” that cannot replace an educator’s assessment of multiple writings. Acknowledging the fact that test and processes requires money and sitting several hundred students in a room to take a test that a machine can grade is far less expensive than having an educator evaluate one student at a time.

       Who are the most qualified to make these decisions, the educators, test experts, school administrators, or the scholars? Some may agree that all of them are qualified. There have been many processes suggested regarding the teaching and the evaluation of writing. Scholars, teachers, researchers, and test experts have all weigh in to assist with implementing a fair assessment. External reviews have been an enormous concern by some. Some educators value their curriculum and insist on enforcing it.

        During the three waves there have been multiple processes, tests implemented, many evaluations regarding the improvement of writing and writing assessment. I agree that accumulatively all of them improve writing skills. Reflection and self-assessment encourage students to evaluate themselves by taking a closer look at their work by proof reading. The school administrator testing creates an environment of continuous focus as it reveals other options the students may not had considered. The portfolio creates the proof of progress and the capability of certain projects. The presentation of accumulative work also increases the reflection and self-assessment. Reading and comprehension definitely increases writing and public speaking.

       Future writers will seek out their needed skills at their convenience. Students that are not interested in writing will write for a desired grade. There are many applications and online programs assisting writers to improve their craft. Social media tools. Audio, video, and online classes are available to assist writers improve their craft. Educators become engaged to improve their skills and teach students how to improve their passion. They also encourage a platform for children to share their work as they provide technology to improve literacy. They share knowledge, processes, and curriculums. Peer review groups are encouraged. It can provide a great experience for future writers to​begin accepting criticism.

 

 

                                                                    

Writing as Making/Making as Writing

make-writing

The materials for this week occupied both ends of the spectrum for me. I was dreadfully bored by the twenty-two page article Kathleen Yancey decided to write, where she touches on the three waves of writing regarding writing assessment. Not only did I have a deja vu moment because we read her article about historicizing writing that basically said the same thing, but I also lost all interest in that moment to continue. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the video about writing as making and so my post today with mostly center around that topic.

Although there were areas where the discussion dragged in the video because of weak internet connections and not all of the panel members being there consistently throughout, I felt the conversation about writing as making/making as writing was very successful. Elise offered some very insightful comments about the work that she does and the concept of writing as making in general that really set the tone for the entire discussion. I made many connections to the discussions that we have had in class as well, and I think that that says something about the teaching of writing and how it is incorporated into the classroom. It is good to know that these conversations are present in college classrooms before the material is even introduced.

I feel the message the movement is trying to convey (to refrain from solely consuming, and instead participate incarnation) resonates with me because it is a creed that I have had for my life since I was a young girl. I never really thought much about my consuming the books I was reading, but rather focused on how I could get to the point where I’d be the writer of them. I guess i was a few steps ahead then, but I am grateful for that mindset that I held because it got me to where I am now. The very idea that I have been repeating all semester of getting student’s interested in what they are producing and creating a context for them to feel like they’re voice/work matters is exactly what Andrew touched on. I was excited to be hearing my very words uttered in different words.

What I found very interesting was the segment that touched on identity. Elise made a note that a student’s writer identity is something that is gained over time and I absolutely agree. Usually, one does not come to terms with themselves as writers until much later in their writing lives. In their younger years, student writers are not that confident, but I think that in time that can be rectified. I really liked what Elise said about intelligence persistence through iteration. I tis important to get student writers into that frame of mind where they have a sort of respect and appreciation for the revision process. Celebrating the beginning stages of a work and its drafts are just as important as praise for the final result. Also, students are going to feel empowered and feel motivated to be themselves and grow authentically into their writing identity when given the opportunity and safe “space” to be able to. These communities and subcultures invented on the web and in areas like DIY.org etc. are where it starts.

Writing Assessment: A Necessary Evil

I’m going to be honest about Kathleen Blake Yancey’s “Writing Assessment in the Early Twenty-First Century–A Primer,” I hated every second of reading it.  I will admit that it gave a comprehensive look at writing assessment, its waves, and its controversy, but it was just a boring read for me.  The way the document had been scanned into the computer also made it difficult to read; on every other page the text was very faint, and I had to get really close to the screen to even make out what it said, which put a lot of strain on my eyes.

I feel that, because of my age, I have been privileged to experience assessment of my writing skills from all three waves.  When I was younger I think holistic writing assessment was cresting while multiple choice testing was still in the posterior part of its wave.  I can remember selecting multiple choice grammar and vocabulary questions on tests like the CAT, GEPA, and HSPA.  Even the SAT had some questions like that, although my SAT was one of the first to feature the essay writing section, which was a holistic assessment. When I was in highschool I had my first experience with portfolio assessment as well.  I believe it was in a creative writing class that they asked me to do a portfolio and reflections.  Aside from that, however, the dominant writing assessment in my highschool years was holistic.  It was not until junior year in college that portfolio assessments became the norm. 

The whole issue of having to assess writing in a certain way just to please and validate the teaching of writing to people outside of the discipline is kind of ridiculous to me.  It seems like the humanities have to devote a disproportionate amount of energy into justifying themselves as something worth learning/teaching.  I don’t know if this is because of the notion that STEM is the key to America’s economic future, or what.  I mean, what if we asked teachers of physics to justify themselves in the terms and norms of writing assessment?  How would they do it?  And how would they feel about it?  Sometimes I feel like WAC is the only thing keeping English departments alive in American universities/colleges. 

Shortly after I began working in the writing center, I realized that writing centers have a very hard time with assessment.  Because we don’t have access to grades, we had to come up with a way to gauge the progress of students who regularly attended our sessions.  We decided to look for similar things to the composition rubric, with extra allowances made for things like lifelong learning skills.  In that way, I guess we are floating somewhere in the holistic wave.

I’ve told the story in class about the representatives from a college in Florida I encountered at a writing center conference.  Their school graded entirely with “satisfactory” and “unsatisfactory,” which removed a lot of the obsession with grades that distracts students from just LEARNING.  If I had to offer a solution to the challenge of writing assessment, it would be to adopt that same kind of grading system.  Did the students demonstrate all or most of the skills listed on the outcomes sheet?  Yeah?  Okay.  They get a satisfactory. They learned. End of story.  Less stress; less fuss, for everyone involved.    

 

Writing Assessment: A Necessary Evil

I’m going to be honest about Kathleen Blake Yancey’s “Writing Assessment in the Early Twenty-First Century–A Primer,” I hated every second of reading it.  I will admit that it gave a comprehensive look at writing assessment, its waves, and its controversy, but it was just a boring read for me.  The way the document had been scanned into the computer also made it difficult to read; on every other page the text was very faint, and I had to get really close to the screen to even make out what it said, which put a lot of strain on my eyes.

I feel that, because of my age, I have been privileged to experience assessment of my writing skills from all three waves.  When I was younger I think holistic writing assessment was cresting while multiple choice testing was still in the posterior part of its wave.  I can remember selecting multiple choice grammar and vocabulary questions on tests like the CAT, GEPA, and HSPA.  Even the SAT had some questions like that, although my SAT was one of the first to feature the essay writing section, which was a holistic assessment. When I was in highschool I had my first experience with portfolio assessment as well.  I believe it was in a creative writing class that they asked me to do a portfolio and reflections.  Aside from that, however, the dominant writing assessment in my highschool years was holistic.  It was not until junior year in college that portfolio assessments became the norm. 

The whole issue of having to assess writing in a certain way just to please and validate the teaching of writing to people outside of the discipline is kind of ridiculous to me.  It seems like the humanities have to devote a disproportionate amount of energy into justifying themselves as something worth learning/teaching.  I don’t know if this is because of the notion that STEM is the key to America’s economic future, or what.  I mean, what if we asked teachers of physics to justify themselves in the terms and norms of writing assessment?  How would they do it?  And how would they feel about it?  Sometimes I feel like WAC is the only thing keeping English departments alive in American universities/colleges. 

Shortly after I began working in the writing center, I realized that writing centers have a very hard time with assessment.  Because we don’t have access to grades, we had to come up with a way to gauge the progress of students who regularly attended our sessions.  We decided to look for similar things to the composition rubric, with extra allowances made for things like lifelong learning skills.  In that way, I guess we are floating somewhere in the holistic wave.

I’ve told the story in class about the representatives from a college in Florida I encountered at a writing center conference.  Their school graded entirely with “satisfactory” and “unsatisfactory,” which removed a lot of the obsession with grades that distracts students from just LEARNING.  If I had to offer a solution to the challenge of writing assessment, it would be to adopt that same kind of grading system.  Did the students demonstrate all or most of the skills listed on the outcomes sheet?  Yeah?  Okay.  They get a satisfactory. They learned. End of story.  Less stress; less fuss, for everyone involved.    

 

What Has Writing Become? — Blog #10

The first selection I will address is “Writing as Making/Making as Writing” by speakers Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, Nichole Pinkard, Bud Hunt, and Andrew Sliwinsky. In a refreshing change of pace, this assignment is a recorded video chat conversation between four speakers on the importance of writing as an interdisciplinary skill, and how this skill can be introduced to people with all kinds of different interests. This talk strikes a familiar chord with our class, as it is related to the National Writing Project, an organization with which we are all familiar.

The entry point into this conversation comes from Elyse Eidman-Aadahl who speaks about the young person as the productive agent in the learning environment. Eidman-Aadahl places immense importance on this fact, and emphasizes the importance of teachers realizing this and treating students with respect to this title as agent. After all, as is noted in the video chat, writing is not just about essays and research papers, it’s about making. As Eidman-Aadahl says, “Writing is craft.” Writing is a tool for the creator and, whatever the project, it should be recognized as such. We have talked about this idea extensively throughout the semester- how students need to be encouraged to write in relevant ways.

Another point that Eidman-Aadahl made that I think is important to note is the role of the teacher as “maker.” I think it is extremely important for a teacher to stay relevant in his or her field by contributing. In doing this, the teacher never stops learning and participating in their fields of interest, which keeps the subjects fresh for them and enables them to be inspired, which is good both for them and for their students. I remember talking about this more extensively in the second part of this class (coming for everyone else next semester), but I think it was an interesting and crucial thing to note in the context of this talk.

Crucial to this talk is the concept of the “maker space,” which is a learning space established as a separate entity from schools. Most excitingly, these spaces aren’t just limited to the natural writers! According to our speakers, “writers are made, not born.” Additionally, they aren’t all English majors. Contributor Bud Hunt comes from a STEM perspective and made a case for such spaces as “promoting habits across domains.” Nichole Pinkard, a computer programmer, speaks to the importance of maker spaces as places which cultivate the “integration of literacies.” Gone are the days in which students could limit writing to the English classroom, and thank goodness for that!

I appreciate the idea that anyone can be a writer. For some reason, it seems that people have the concept that writers are born with the talent to write, but Eidman-Aadahl points out that in other fields (engineering, computer programming, etc.), it is understood that knowledge is gained through hard work. This is also true for writing! I do believe strongly that people are born with certain talents and propensities, but I think that much can be learned through training and perseverance.

Writing should not be work, it should not be an obligation. The best thing that could happen to the perception of writing would be for it to be seen as a joy, and an outlet. Andrew Sliwinski sites a quote from William Morris: “Art is man’s joy and labor.” He does this for the purpose of pointing out that labor is necessary but, when joy is involved, the product comes naturally. It’s not about training, necessarily, it’s about love of the craft– whether the craft is writing itself, or anything else you could be interested in and want to share with the world.

The biggest thing I got from this talk is that writing is inter-disciplinary, open to students of all walks of life. As I noted above, each of the speakers in this talk had something different to offer, and each came from a different world. It’s for reasons like this that students can no longer have an excuse to not care about writing, because it is completely relevant to all fields and interests, and can find a home in any kind of passion. The concept of maker spaces is fantastic to me, because it separates writing from school assignments. I was particularly struck by the concept of maker spaces as having “low floors and high ceilings,” which is an incredibly inclusive and inspiration concept. It’s also refreshing to have hope that writing will evolve with the times and remain an important part of scholarship, whether it is writing in the traditional research paper sense, or writing to convey interest and excitement in Minecraft.

I enjoyed this video because it felt like a fresh take on the topics we have discussed in class. Because it’s not another paper, it felt more interactive and engaging, and overall I enjoyed the discussion.

In a stark contrast to the first selection, the other assigned selection is “Writing Assessment in the Early Twenty-First Century” by author Katheen Blake Yancey. Whereas the first conversation focused on the importance of maker spaces and interactive and practical applications of writing, Yancey brings the focus back to writing assessment in the contemporary classroom. As much as it hurts to think about, tests like the SAT still exist to assess student’s knowledge, and it’s still the teacher’s primary job to prepare them for these examinations. Traditional classroom writing instruction isn’t going anywhere so the discussion becomes, “how can we best introduce this to students in a way that they will understand?”

In this piece, Yancey dissects the current movement in writing assessment, which she defines as “complicated, dynamic, and…in flux” (172), which certainly does seem to be the case. Writing instruction has evolved to include themes that have become prevalent in writing in recent years, including race, social status, ESL, and the digital world, among others. In a way that faintly echoes the sentiments of the speakers in the first selection, Yancey makes note of the fact that the environment surrounding writing is changing and there are far more variables surrounding the field that must be taken into account.

A particular approach which has been implemented over the years is the portfolio approach, which requires the student to compile a portfolio of drafts throughout the semester, culminating in a final work. The goal of this approach is the ability to trace progress throughout the writing process. In regard to the conversation surrounding portfolio grading (granting the fact that I am not a teacher), the portfolio seems to be an effective way of observing student, as long as it is observed by the teacher throughout the semester. If the portfolio were to be collected at the end of the semester with no prior review, I fail to see how this would help the student.  If the portfolio were to be compiled throughout the semester with periodic reviews and conversations regarding process, I feel that this approach could be quite effective. However, the unfortunate truth is that this might prove to be idealistic, considering that teachers have limited time.

This piece is a far more technical essay than the first selection, which made it challenging to follow, but I’m looking forward to seeing what my classmates were able to draw from the conversation. Personally, I was engaged by her discussion of portfolio grading, so I would especially like to hear from the teachers in class as to if they think this is an effective solution.

What Has Writing Become? — Blog #10

The first selection I will address is “Writing as Making/Making as Writing” by speakers Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, Nichole Pinkard, Bud Hunt, and Andrew Sliwinsky. In a refreshing change of pace, this assignment is a recorded video chat conversation between four speakers on the importance of writing as an interdisciplinary skill, and how this skill can be introduced to people with all kinds of different interests. This talk strikes a familiar chord with our class, as it is related to the National Writing Project, an organization with which we are all familiar.

The entry point into this conversation comes from Elyse Eidman-Aadahl who speaks about the young person as the productive agent in the learning environment. Eidman-Aadahl places immense importance on this fact, and emphasizes the importance of teachers realizing this and treating students with respect to this title as agent. After all, as is noted in the video chat, writing is not just about essays and research papers, it’s about making. As Eidman-Aadahl says, “Writing is craft.” Writing is a tool for the creator and, whatever the project, it should be recognized as such. We have talked about this idea extensively throughout the semester- how students need to be encouraged to write in relevant ways.

Another point that Eidman-Aadahl made that I think is important to note is the role of the teacher as “maker.” I think it is extremely important for a teacher to stay relevant in his or her field by contributing. In doing this, the teacher never stops learning and participating in their fields of interest, which keeps the subjects fresh for them and enables them to be inspired, which is good both for them and for their students. I remember talking about this more extensively in the second part of this class (coming for everyone else next semester), but I think it was an interesting and crucial thing to note in the context of this talk.

Crucial to this talk is the concept of the “maker space,” which is a learning space established as a separate entity from schools. Most excitingly, these spaces aren’t just limited to the natural writers! According to our speakers, “writers are made, not born.” Additionally, they aren’t all English majors. Contributor Bud Hunt comes from a STEM perspective and made a case for such spaces as “promoting habits across domains.” Nichole Pinkard, a computer programmer, speaks to the importance of maker spaces as places which cultivate the “integration of literacies.” Gone are the days in which students could limit writing to the English classroom, and thank goodness for that!

I appreciate the idea that anyone can be a writer. For some reason, it seems that people have the concept that writers are born with the talent to write, but Eidman-Aadahl points out that in other fields (engineering, computer programming, etc.), it is understood that knowledge is gained through hard work. This is also true for writing! I do believe strongly that people are born with certain talents and propensities, but I think that much can be learned through training and perseverance.

Writing should not be work, it should not be an obligation. The best thing that could happen to the perception of writing would be for it to be seen as a joy, and an outlet. Andrew Sliwinski sites a quote from William Morris: “Art is man’s joy and labor.” He does this for the purpose of pointing out that labor is necessary but, when joy is involved, the product comes naturally. It’s not about training, necessarily, it’s about love of the craft– whether the craft is writing itself, or anything else you could be interested in and want to share with the world.

The biggest thing I got from this talk is that writing is inter-disciplinary, open to students of all walks of life. As I noted above, each of the speakers in this talk had something different to offer, and each came from a different world. It’s for reasons like this that students can no longer have an excuse to not care about writing, because it is completely relevant to all fields and interests, and can find a home in any kind of passion. The concept of maker spaces is fantastic to me, because it separates writing from school assignments. I was particularly struck by the concept of maker spaces as having “low floors and high ceilings,” which is an incredibly inclusive and inspiration concept. It’s also refreshing to have hope that writing will evolve with the times and remain an important part of scholarship, whether it is writing in the traditional research paper sense, or writing to convey interest and excitement in Minecraft.

I enjoyed this video because it felt like a fresh take on the topics we have discussed in class. Because it’s not another paper, it felt more interactive and engaging, and overall I enjoyed the discussion.

In a stark contrast to the first selection, the other assigned selection is “Writing Assessment in the Early Twenty-First Century” by author Katheen Blake Yancey. Whereas the first conversation focused on the importance of maker spaces and interactive and practical applications of writing, Yancey brings the focus back to writing assessment in the contemporary classroom. As much as it hurts to think about, tests like the SAT still exist to assess student’s knowledge, and it’s still the teacher’s primary job to prepare them for these examinations. Traditional classroom writing instruction isn’t going anywhere so the discussion becomes, “how can we best introduce this to students in a way that they will understand?”

In this piece, Yancey dissects the current movement in writing assessment, which she defines as “complicated, dynamic, and…in flux” (172), which certainly does seem to be the case. Writing instruction has evolved to include themes that have become prevalent in writing in recent years, including race, social status, ESL, and the digital world, among others. In a way that faintly echoes the sentiments of the speakers in the first selection, Yancey makes note of the fact that the environment surrounding writing is changing and there are far more variables surrounding the field that must be taken into account.

A particular approach which has been implemented over the years is the portfolio approach, which requires the student to compile a portfolio of drafts throughout the semester, culminating in a final work. The goal of this approach is the ability to trace progress throughout the writing process. In regard to the conversation surrounding portfolio grading (granting the fact that I am not a teacher), the portfolio seems to be an effective way of observing student, as long as it is observed by the teacher throughout the semester. If the portfolio were to be collected at the end of the semester with no prior review, I fail to see how this would help the student.  If the portfolio were to be compiled throughout the semester with periodic reviews and conversations regarding process, I feel that this approach could be quite effective. However, the unfortunate truth is that this might prove to be idealistic, considering that teachers have limited time.

This piece is a far more technical essay than the first selection, which made it challenging to follow, but I’m looking forward to seeing what my classmates were able to draw from the conversation. Personally, I was engaged by her discussion of portfolio grading, so I would especially like to hear from the teachers in class as to if they think this is an effective solution.