Autography Theory Changes My Pedagogy

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.)

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