Tag: writing

Faculty Today Students Today

Writing – part of the educational journey

. I got involved with a teaching exercise called “Routes of Writing” run out of the McGill Writing Center. I was asked the following question: How do you perceive the relationship between academic writing and critical thinking? In my mind, the two are inextricably linked. I have written a lot of papers. Nothing clarifies my understanding of my own work better than writing out my ideas. Read more –>

Faculty Today Students Today

Routes of Writing

I teach academic writing, and I regularly hear students say that they find writing academic papers to be a tough and lonely task. What they often don’t realize is that writing well-thought-out academic papers is challenging for most people, including seasoned academics. To encourage my students to persist with the challenge, this quotation from Samuel Johnson is posted to the myCourses Home Page of my academic writing course:“What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.” Read more –>


Short writing assignments: something to consider

Many faculty shy away from short writing assignments, considering them to be the poorer cousin of the term paper or research paper. There is a commonly held assumption that shorter assignments can never match the rigor or substance of longer papers and that faculty are letting students down if they don’t assign a full-length paper (whatever that is according to the conventions of each discipline). Yet, what are faculty to do in a context of increasing class sizes and decreasing TA support? How can we still assess important outcomes such as analysis, synthesis and critical thinking? Read more –>

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Faculty Today

Hear this! Podcasts as an assessment tool in higher education

As a University Professor, I’m always experimenting with new ways to assess students in my undergraduate classes. This can be a significant challenge with larger class sizes, especially since I’m not a fan of multiple choice style questions. It’s nice to be able to assess students on the basis of how they are integrating and synthesizing course content, and traditionally this is done with longer-format essay-type assignments. These long-format assignments are great, but do take a tremendous amount of time and energy to grade, and I seldom feel I can give enough time to each written assignment… Read more –>