Face-to-face university classrooms have the possibility to be transformed by the array of electronic technology available. The potential to engage students in a range of multi-media learning situations opens opportunities for academic staff and faculty. However, not all these potential opportunities will translate into teaching and learning moments and research is needed on how new media can be used effectively in face-to-face classrooms. This chapter reports on the use of blog writing in a small fourth year seminar class where the course content was theoretically difficult. In this particular cohort of students the lecturer introduced blogs, a technology the students were familiar with, to both assess their level of understanding, but also as a way of engaging students on a deeper level. The purpose of this study was to examine the writing students produced on this blog to assess how blogs can be used in face-to-face classrooms. The data collected consisted of the lecturer’s reflective journal, four blog posts by the lecturer, 46 lengthy blog comments by the students and course evaluation forms where the students had been specifically asked to evaluate the use of blogs in the course. The data were analysed using an intertextual analysis as an indication of student engagement through writing. A key finding of this research is that blogs allow students to engage with course content through writing without the restrictions of following academic conventions and that blogs allow students to write for a real audience - their peers - and this has a profound affect on their engagement in both their writing and the content of the course.
Cecile Badenhorst and Cally Guerin
Edited by Cecile Badenhorst and Cally Guerin
With contributions from: Nick Almond, Cecile Badenhorst, Agnes Bosanquet, Marcia Z. Buell, Jayde Cahir, Mary Davies Turner, Robert B. Desjardins, Gretchen L. Dietz, Jennifer Dyer, Shawana Fazal, Marília Mendes Ferreira, Amanda French, Clare Furneaux, Cally Guerin, Pejman Habibie, Devon R. Kehler, Muhammad Ilyas Khan, Kyung Min Kim, Sally S. Knowles, Stephen Kuntz, Tara Lockhart, Michelle A. Maher, Muhammad Iqbal Majoka, Cecilia Moloney, Zinia Pritchard, Janna Rosales, Brett H. Say, Natalia V. Smirnova, Natalie Stillman-Webb, Joan Turner, John Turner, Gina Wisker, and K. Hyoejin Yoon.
Heather McLeod, Cecile Badenhorst and Haley Toll
Writing Partnerships That Fly
Cecile Badenhorst, Sarah Pickett and John Hoben
Writing and publishing in the neo-liberal university can often be challenging for faculty. Hyper-accountability, competitive environments and constant evaluation can wreak havoc on personal writing goals and agendas. In this chapter, we describe our collaborative writing partnership. We use the metaphor of “wildness” and use writing-in-place to explore our experiences. These activities helped us to open our eyes to each other and ourselves, and to shift our writing practices. Using narratives generated through this process, we offer our thoughts on the possibilities writing collaborations can offer.
Cecile Badenhorst, Cecilia Moloney, Janna Rosales and Jennifer Dyer
Cecile Marie Badenhorst, Rhonda Joy, Sharon Penney, Sarah Pickett, Jackie Hesson, Gabrielle Young, Heather McLeod, Dorothy Vaandering and Xuemei Li
For many academics, the challenge of traversing the competitive discourse demands of conducting research and publishing journal articles while navigating teaching and administrative loads often leads to anxiety and stress. Becoming an academic is often an implicit process where one is left alone to find one’s way. Located in Canada, the Faculty of Education, Memorial University, Newfoundland, has over the past six years, hired a number of professionals: educators and counsellors. Many of these new faculty have less experience in conducting research than new faculty in non-professional disciplines. To counter these difficulties, some new academics decided to form a faculty writing group. The writing group had limited success until members set aside a period of five months to devote to reflective practice. Our qualitative analysis of the data shows that the written reflections were crucial for learning the professional practices of becoming an academic. The data indicated that group members found this method enabled them to reflect on the shifting boundaries between personal/professional, work/home, and novice/expert. The weekly writing also allowed members to explore emotions not often voiced in academic spaces. The purpose of this chapter is to show how reflective writing supported the professional development of group members.