December 6, 2010

Technology and Writing

Writing Intensive students and faculty have access to some technology hat was purchased as part of the Initiative.

For example, we require that WI students use tutoring in their class. That can be face-to-face in our Writing Center, but it can also be using the eTutoring service that we have available at PCCC.

We also require WI students to use an ePortfolio for these course sections.

All WI course have a LibGuide with online resources for that course. Most of these web sites are collaborative efforts with faculty, librarians and Initiative team members contributing and editing the site.

We have also contributed money to the College's purchase of the Echo360 video classroom capture software and hardware. This allows faculty to not only capture classroom activities (lectures, presentations etc.) but also create brief videos on their own time to use in class.

In addition, we encourage WI instructors to also use the Blackboard learning management system, our online Library resources and subscription streaming media services which are available to all classes.

Overall, what is most encouraging in our use of technology is that we see a "ripple effect" of use outside the Initiative and the WI courses sections.

The Writing Initiative has played a very important role in making the case for portfolios as a means of campus-wide assessment, and using portfolios is slowly taking root in the campus culture.

Faculty outside the Writing Initiative – including those in areas such as Early Childhood Education, English, and the College Experience - have successfully piloted or will pilot eFolio in their courses.

As a result of these efforts, the Vice-President of Academic Affairs has outlined a five-year, three-phase plan to adopt portfolios for assessment in several academic programs. In the meantime, the Writing Initiative team is implementing strategies to increase use of electronic portfolios, including hiring a faculty mentor for portfolios, and discussing best practices at the Faculty Institutes.

LibGuides is certainly the most popular of the resources we have introduced as part of the Initiative. Having started as a resource for Writing Intensive courses, PCCC now has 216 LibGuides in various disciplines and different uses. Only 30 of those are actually part of the Initiative itself. So far this year, the Guides have had 58,530 hits on the home page and 186, 726 views on the Guide pages.

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