I’ve realized while completing these projects, breaking them down into manageable sections will be what’s best, especially the annotated bibliography.
My plan is to have a library day where library staff show them how to use the databases. Then, they will have to bring in 2-3 annotations a week to workshop them in class. My hope is to avoid too much procrastination on their part, as well.
I would also like to incorporate the poster presentation in some way. It helped me get a better grasp on what I was researching and also helped me to appreciate it a lot more. At first, I didn’t think I would be interested in pursuing more research or other projects based on what my topic ended up being. But after seeing the results of the survey and putting all the results into a poster made me very excited about a lot of other possibilities with it. I think it would be very beneficial to have my students do the same. They may discover a new interest or area of study to pursue.
The discourse communities project went as well as expected. As typical, there are a group of students who have continued to take risks with their writing and have fully embraced the idea of writing isn’t limited to essays. I saw genres of news articles, informational pamphlets, emails, and Instagram posts. And there is another group of students who are doing the bare minimum. This is the group that I always feel I failed in some way. I know it’s probably not true, and the reality is that not every student is going to be as excited about writing as I am. But, I can’t help but feel as if I failed to reach them in some way.
While teaching, I’ve also been working on the projects my students will be doing next semester. Writing a critical incident analysis, creating a research question and a survey to test that question, writing a proposal, and lastly, creating a poster presentation of all of my work. These projects have been very interesting. I researched the link between writing anxiety, self-efficacy, procrastination, and microagressions of a patriarchal society. Procrastination is of interest to me, especially. As you can see, even though all of my blog posts have been written in class; guess who procrastinated in actually posting them?
You think I would’ve learned something in preventing that in all of this research. But, alas, I have not. What I did learn is that first-year writing students have A LOT of writing anxiety, and it contributes greatly to procrastination. I also learned that while those who identified as women didn’t believe they had been made to feel inferior due to their gender; many of them still heard microaggressions from men. These included statements that began with “what you should’ve done…” or “what I would’ve done…”
Now obviously, my sample size of 36 isn’t exactly representative of all first-year writing students, but it does create many questions for future study. Whether or not I will complete those futures studies remains to be seen. But, it would be very interesting to learn more about nonetheless.
At this point in the semester, my students have completed the literacy narrative and rhetorical remix. I have to say, I’m happy with their work so far. The majority of the students are still engaged and completed assignments on time. They took risks with their remixes and did very well with them. However, there is a small number of students who either did not turn in the final draft or did very little revisions. Some of them didn’t even complete a remix of the prior writing. Their reflection was written expressing all of the things they would want to change, but they didn’t go and actually change them. I don’t know if this was due to confusion about the assignment, mid-term stress, not wanting to do it, or a combination of all of those.
My hope is the discourse community project will spark some interest because it won’t involve looking at their past work.