For me, the measure of a good theory is how well it leads to practical application (either in understanding the world or in helping us become better teachers in a measurable sense.)
With networked autography, I am now placing less emphasis on directions and rubrics and classroom-wide discussions in favor of more emphasis on small-group conversations. Last semester, I saw this work very well for some groups and not so great for others, but overall attendance (especially with make-ups, but also in-person on it’s own) and progress and student evaluations appeared to be among the best in several semesters.
But I thnk my approach was still incomplete. So here’s a quick list of key teaching goals to implement:
- Have individual conversations with each student early in the semester.
- Have consistent, whole-semester cohort groups. Have some mixing of groups for specific activities (like workshops), but working groups should not change.
- Rapid e-mail response time – makes a huge difference.
- Ask students to share personal experiences with writing, and share my own (including the bad.)