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Webinar Transcripts

Writing Major Assessments in Education Program

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Presented December 4, 2018

Last updated 1/17/2019

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Housekeeping 

  • Recording
    • Will be available online within 24 hours.
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    • Polls, files, and links are interactive. 
  • Q&A
    • Now:Use the Q&A box.
    • Later:Send to writingsupport@waldenu.edu or visit our  Live Chat Hours.
  • Help
    • Ask in the Q&A box.
    • Choose “Help” in the upper right-hand corner of the webinar room

Audio: Melissa: Hello, everybody. And welcome to our webinar today. Which is writing major assessments in education programs. I just want to go over a few housekeeping items before I hand it over to our presenter Michael. So, first of all, note that we are recording this webinar and it will be available in our webinar archive within 24 hours. In fact, note that we record all of our webinars, so you’re welcome to check that archive for other webinars that may be of interest to you. 

Throughout today’s presentation Michael will be interacting with you and so note that there are chats that you can participate in. Whether you are here live or watching the recording. And there's also downloadable file in the Files Pod which you should see in your screen. You should be able to access an example of analysis, an APA checklist and of course the slides from today's presentation. 

As Michael is presenting, there will be a Q & A Box where I will be able to answer any questions that you have. If you have questions after today's webinar, please feel free to email those to writingsupport@waldenu.edu.

Note that if you have a technical issue, you are welcome to also send that to me in the Q & A Box. However, it might be best to click the help button in the upper right corner of this webinar room, that is adobe’s official help, and that is the best place to go. So, with that, I will hand it over to Michael. 

 

Visual:Slide changes to the title of the webinar, “Writing Major Assessments in Education Programs with the Writing Center” and the speaker’s name and information: Michael Dusek, Writing Instructor, Walden University Writing Center

Audio:Michael: Hello, everyone. Thank you, Melissa, for that sterling introduction. As Melissa mentioned, my name is Michael Dusek. I will be presenting this webinar today regarding writing major assessments in education programs. I’d just like to send a big welcome to those students attending live and also those students who will be listening to this recording in our webinar archive. 

Yeah, so major assessments. We're going to look at major assessments and what kind of writing conventions need to be adhered to or what kind of conventions this genre has in order to help you craft, you know, successful effective writing major assessments in your education programs. 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Webinar Agenda

•      What are major assessments?

•      Responding to major assessments

•      Reading carefully

•      Responding thoroughly

•      Revising methodically

•      Writing resources

•      BS in Elementary Education

•      MSED and EdS in Ed Leadership & Admin—Principal Licensure

•      MAT Special Education (all  programs)

•      Reading Endorsement

•      MSED Program ePortfolio (all  specializations)

Audio:So, yeah, our agenda for this webinar today, first we're going to talk about what are major assessments, some attributes of major assessments, why we use them and what the purpose is here. And then we're going to be looking at responding to these major assessments. Looking at reading an assignment prompt carefully. Picking out some of these details that you're going to need to respond to in your writing. Leading us to our next point, responding thoroughly. Once you've picked out some of these things an assignment prompt in major assessment is looking for, we're going to look at how to best respond to these to make sure you're covering all of your bases as a writer. Lastly, we're going to talk about revising methodically. 

As always, I want you to think about writing as a recursive process where you evaluate what's being asked of you. You craft a draft that you feel is responding to or is, you know, addressing these requirements of an assignment prompt. And then returning to that draft to make it better, to revise that, and to be very methodical in how we deal with our writing and our drafts before we actually turn that in for some sort of evaluation and lastly, I'm going to present some writing resources through the Writing Center here at Walden that can help you do this. We offer a wide range of resources that's -- that are available to you in order to help you craft an effective writing major assessment. 

Yeah, looking at the right side of the slide, we have some programs here at Walden that are going to require a major assessment. All of these are education courses for your BS in elementary education, your MSED, in education leadership and administration. Your MAT in special education. Reading endorsement, if that's something you're looking for. Or MSED program eportfolio. These are all programs at Walden that requires some sort of major assessment as they conclude. 

However, at this point, I think it's important to mention that each of these major assessments can look different from the others, right? As with something like dissertation materials, each program specifically has different requirements for a major assessment so, I'm going to present some general things to keep in mind as you craft this major assessment. Some things that will help you, again, be effective and successful in doing so. 

But, really, these programs are different, so they require different specific elements to each major assessment. So, keep that in mind as we go through this presentation. To find out those specific details about what your program requires, talking to an advisor or a chair would be a really good idea in kind of gleaning what your specific program’s needs. But we're going to continue on and give you some really helpful tips in producing a major assessment of your own no matter what program that you're in. 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: What are major assessments?

  • Papers you submit to your e-portfolio through Walden
  • Assessments outside of Walden required for your program
  • Part of programs that lead to licensure or endorsement

Audio: So, yeah, to start off, what is a major assessment? Papers you submit to your eportfolio through Walden. Assessments outside of Walden required for your program. Yeah, really, what we're talking about is compiling documents here to look for or to apply for some sort of licensure or endorsement that you require for your career. Right? 

Again, speaking more broadly, as, you know, you guys come from different states, different parts of the country in the world, each of these licensures or endorsements is going to require some specific elements to it. That are going to be different, depending on your state, your country, or what specific licensure endorsement you're going for. So, again, we're going to go through some general tips, some general things to keep in mind as you craft that major assessment, but these are going to need to be tailored specially to what licensures or endorsement you’re going for.  Or within our University what specific program you're working in. This is a compilation of a number of different documents that can lead to something of a licensure or endorsement for you. 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Major Assessments

What is your goal in a major assessment?

Connecting the dots!

Audio: What is your goal in a major assessment? Yeah, you know, your goal is to obviously, one, to complete your program. But beyond that is really the major assessments kicks in, right? We're looking again for this licensure or this endorsement. So, what's important to keep in mind here is that you're not just writing for a professor within Walden. Your audience for a major assessment is going to be broader than that. You're looking for this licensure, this endorsement. So, in doing that, you're going to be submitting to people outside of Walden. So, we need to keep that in mind in terms of our audience as we craft a major assessment. 

 

Visual:Slide changes to the following: Major Assessments

  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Writing

Audio: We need to think about the things that we're saying or writing, and how that is going to be received by our reader who is listening to what we have to say and reading through the documents that we've compiled here. So, really, what I want to drive home to you is that your major assessment is going to be submitted to people outside of Walden University. Right? So, in terms of our audience, we need to keep in mind this isn't just for your professor in your program. That this is for a broader audience in your field, right? To, again, attain this licensure, this endorsement, some sort of accreditation and whatnot.  

 

Visual:Slide changes to the following: Major Assessments

  • Writing Process
    • Reading critically
    • Getting started
    • Writing the Rough Draft
    • Sharing your work
    • Writing the Final Draft
    • Reflecting

Audio: Thinking about a major assessment as just a piece of writing then, it's important to keep this kind of writing process in mind. As you can see this is kind of like a circular diagram here. Which is meant to illustrate this recursive process of writing. We start on the top with reading critically. And for a major assessment, this is going to mean really reading through the assignment prompt or the licensure requirements specific to your field. You want to read through those critically again to gain these kinds of important points that you need to include in your major assessment. 

Then, kind of getting started, maybe putting together an outline, maybe doing some brainstorming. Looking at some of the elements in play here and thinking about how these would best fit together. And this is done even before you draft a piece. After that, we get down to kind of the nitty gritty here, if you will. The actual putting pen to paper or finger to key. And creating or producing a draft of that major assessment. You are then going share that with a colleague, with a Chair, with a trusted friend who you believe is a strong writer. And get some feedback from them. From there, revising and writing a final draft. Lastly, you want to reflect on how that final draft went. What could you have done better and what did you do well? And then again, returning to that draft and reading critically and looking for perhaps some things that you missed from that assignment prompt or those requirements and kind of starting the whole process over again. 

Before we move on, again, I want to really get across to you that writing is something that is recursive, as I keep saying. It's something you are going to return to many times and make better each time. One of the, I think, myths about writing is that a good writer will wake up in the morning, feeling good about what they have to say, and kind of knowing exactly what they want to say. And then they just sit down and write it from front to back and then it's done, and then they get rid of it. But really this is something of a myth. In that even the best writers that you know, or that you can think of, they return to their writing multiple times to make it better each time. That’s really how you produce a strong draft. Is through, not just by getting your ideas down on paper, but returning to that and revising it and making it better. 

Don't be fooled that if you run into problem seeing this or you're trying to write from beginning to end and it doesn't go perfectly well that you're in some way not doing it correctly. Again, the best writers will return to their work and revise multiple times. 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Writing Your Major Assessment

  • Reading carefully
  • Responding thoroughly
  • Revising methodically

Audio:So, yeah, in looking at actually crafting a major assessment, first, we want to read carefully. As I've mentioned with that assignment prompt that those licensures, or endorsement requirements. You want to be able to look at that and pullout the important points that you then need to respond to. 

Which leads us to our second element of writing a successful or an effective major assessment. Which is responding thoroughly. Not just responding to the points that you gleamed from those requirements or that prompt, but being thorough about that. Going into in-depth explaining how you met this requirement or how you address this requirement, right? Lastly, revising methodically, going back with that revisionist eye, or that editorial pen. And making the changes that need to be made in order to make this even a better piece

 

Visual:Slide changes to Reading Carefully

  • You wouldn’t write a discussion post without reading the prompt first, right?
  • Same goes for major assessments too!

Audio:So, yeah, first then reading carefully. You wouldn't write a discussion post without reading the prompt first, right? I mean, that's pretty obvious. You want to look at what's being asked of you before you actually sit down to try to craft something like this. So, the same really goes for a major assessment. First thing that you need to do is read carefully and understand what's being asked of you so that you can address those requirements effectively in a concise way and elaborating to the point that your licensure your endorser or professor are satisfied with your response there. 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Reading Carefully: Step 1

Read the ENTIRE question or assignment prompt

Identify the key question

•      Use the handbook/rubric

•      Outside Walden:  Consider how this question might be the same/different from course assignments

Circle or highlight the requirements of that question

•      Clue: Active verbs

•      Specific terminology

•      Outside Walden:  Differences/similarities from course assignment

•      Plan your answer

Audio: First, you want to read the entire question or assignment prompt. I know this seems kind of basic. Like of course you should do that, right? But this is a really important piece. Each assignment prompt is going to have some key questions that they're looking for you to answer. So, picking out that key question is going to be pretty central in doing well on something like this. If you don't pick out that question, it's going to be pretty hard for you to cover the ground that the prompter or the licensure is looking for. Right? So, the first thing is to be able to pick that out using a handbook or rubric is a really good idea. 

Also reading through that prompt circling or highlighting requirements of that question. Is a good idea too. Picking out some of those active verbs things like reflect or analyze that is going to be important for you to do on these major writing assessments. Using specific terminology or highlighting specific terminology within the prompt or the list of requirements is important in doing this. So then you can respond to those specifically and directly. 

We’re looking outside of Walden regarding this key question, consider how this question might be the same or different from course assignments. As always, we're looking at different genres of literature, right? There's different genre of writing. We don't want to throw out the things that we've done well in the past and try to reinvent the wheel or do something completely new here. As you're looking at an assignment prompt, think about how this is the same or similar to an assignment prompts you've done in the past. And think about what elements of that assignment prompt from the past that you've done well. These elements can then be taken into this major assessment as well. 

Lastly, in thinking about highlighting some of these requirements of the question. Think about, again, difference and similarities from course assignments. What course assignments have asked you to do something similar. My point here is that, again, you don't need to do something completely different. Major assessments are going to in some ways look like some of your course assignments, especially, in the education department here at Walden. So, you can respond to them in similar ways as you have course assignments, discussion posts, or other bits of writing that you've done throughout your program. 

 

Visual:Slide changes to the following: Reading Carefully: Example

The Professional Practice Project is a narrativesupported by referencesfrom the special education knowledge base, composed of five parts.

Part I is the philosophy of education, started in the first course of your program.

Part II is a narrative, prepared form the seminar discussions and supported by referencesfrom the special education knowledge base that describesyour experiences in the classroom and howyour philosophy informed your actions in response to the following…

Part III is a narrative, supported by references from the special education knowledge base, describingyour advocacyaction plan implemented during demonstration teaching. You will engage in collaborate discussions with peers, instructional and clinical faculty members, and your cooperating teacher to generate a list of activities related to advocacy in this special education arena. You will implement one activityfrom this list and use what you learn to generateadvocacy goals and action steps...

Audio:In taking a look at perspective or an example prompt here, this is exactly what we've done in terms of highlighting some of these keywords. The professional practice project is a narrative, supported by references from a special education knowledge base composed in five parts. So right there in that first sentence of this sample prompt, we get a pretty good indication of what this piece is supposed to do. First, it's a narrative. That's the genre of this specific assessment. 

You're going to be telling something of a story that is, again, supported by references. You're going to bring in outside references that you've collected throughout your program to support some of the things you have seen in your life, right? This narrative aspect. Also, this is going to be composed in 5 parts. So, as I look at this prompt, that is kind of a dead giveaway as to how you might want to organize this piece, right? This is going to be split up into 5 parts. Each part doing a different thing. Right? 

Part 1 is a philosophy of education started in the first course of your program. That’s pretty straight forward. If you have a philosophy of education or a teaching physiology. Part 1 is where you’re going to bring that in. 

Part 2 is narrative prepared from the semester discussions and again supported by references from the special education knowledge base that describes your experience in the classroom and how your philosophy informed your actions in response to the following. So, you’re going to again, going to be talking about how some of these sources that you've collected, right? How some of these scholars in your field have informed your practice. Have informed your philosophy on education. 

As we look forward, I'm not going to read this Part 3 section, but, again, it's important as you're looking at something like this to pick out some of these keywords or these key phrases that tell you specifically what this assessment is looking for. Right? Okay. 

             

Visual:Slide changes to the following: Reading Carefully: Practice

Chat:

Read carefully to identify what  

skills you would illustrate and  

information you would include  

from the following prompt.

Audio:Okay,So, let's try this. Let's do a little bit of practice. On the next slide, I'm going to have a sample assignment or assessment prompt. What I want you to do is read carefully to identify what skills you would illustrate, and information you would include from the following prompt. So, what is important from this prompt on the next slide to know before you respond to this? What skills would you illustrate and what information would you include? 

 

Visual:Slide changes to the following: Reading Carefully: Example

Part II. The Reflective Practitioner

As reflective practitioners, we must continually evaluate the effects of our choices and actions on others…You will analyze the role of the special education professional, guided by the professional ethics set forth in our profession, and relate your beliefs and actions to those roles by providing examples from your classroom experiences.

Reflect and analyze how special education professionals use professional Ethical Principles and Practice Standards to guide their practice and how these ethical principles and standards serve as the foundation of your philosophy…  Explain how you:

•      Applied the applicable laws and policies

•      Demonstrated commitment to developing the highest education and quality-of-life potential of individuals with exceptionalities

•      Practiced within one’s skill limits and obtain assistance as needed

•      Used verbal, nonverbal, and written language effectively

Write a narrative based on your reflections. Include references to the professional literature, examples from your experiences, and how this relates to the refinement of your philosophy.

Audio:And, so, here's this sample prompt right here. Let's take a minute. Go ahead and read through this. And in the chat box, again, talk about what skills you would like to demonstrate, and what information you would need to include. I'm going to go on mute here for a minute to give you guys a chance to type your answers in the chat box. But, again, we’re looking for what is this prompt asking you to do? What skills do you need to talk about? And what information is important for you to include in an assignment responding to this prompt? 

[silence as students respond]

All right, I'm going to give you guys another minute or two to drop your answers into the chat box. What I'm looking for here, again, in reading this prompt, what information is important for you to include here? And what skills or what elements, what details are important for you to include as you do this? 

[silence as students respond]

Okay, great. Yeah, as I take a look at this prompt, this bit in italics here is important after you read this. This is kind of the meat of this, right? So, we're looking at these ethical principles and practice standards. This is asking you to reflect and analyze how these standards guide a person’s practice and how these serve as a foundation of a person's teaching philosophy, right? So right off the bat, we know there's going to be a reflection piece. So, the author here is going to think about something from their own lives and reflect on how that has worked out. And there's an analysis piece. So, you're going to be applying these ethical principles and practice standards in regards to your teaching philosophy. So, you're going to take these standards as a foundation and talk about how you're teaching philosophy has incorporated them or been influenced by these things. 

The other thing I would say is pretty important here is down at the bottom. You're going to write a narrative based on your reflection. Including references to the professional literature, examples from your experience and how this relates to the refinement of your philosophy. So again, the genre of this piece is going to be narrative, you’re going to take these reflections on how well these ethical principles and practices have influenced you in developing your teaching philosophy and you're going to present some professional literature, some experiences that you have, and talking about how these relate to your teaching philosophy. 

So, again, you're going to reflect on how these principles have formed your teaching philosophy, and then you're going to bring some outside literature and your own experience to talk about how that has taken place. Good. 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Reading Carefully: Step 2   

Develop your Thesis Statement

  • A statement of what you will show or argue in your response.
  • Using the guidelines set out by the Ethical Principles and Practice Standards to guide my teaching philosophy and lesson planning will ensure I facilitate the best learning for my students.

Audio: And this is all, in looking at an assignment prompt, a good place to start would be crafting a thesis statement for this. And a thesis statement is something that will show the reader what you wish to argue or show in your response to this prompt. Think of the thesis statement as being kind of the central sentence or true of your piece. It going to tell the reader what you're arguing or what you are trying to show. Now a thesis statement crafted from the previous example could sound something like this. Using the guidelines set out by the ethical principles and practice standards to guide my teaching philosophy and lesson planning will ensure I facilitate the best learning for my students. 

So, this mentions those principles and practice standards which is mentioned in the prompt. So, in this way, thesis statement is responding directly to the prompt. And it's saying how this person has used these to guide their teaching philosophy so, that's relating directly to the prompt there as well. 

And this bit about ensure I facilitate the best learning for my student, that's telling the reader there's going to be some reflection here, right? This is going to discuss how these elements, you know, the ethical principles and practice standards in your teaching philosophy is going to ensur that you're going to deliver the best teaching and learning -- to facilitate the best learning for your students. So, there's going to be some reflection in the analysis. Good. 

 

Visual:Slide changes to the following: Reading Carefully: Step 3

Outline your answer:

Outline

1.    Thesis

2.    Point 1

•      Evidence

3.    Point 2

•      Evidence

4.    Conclusion

Mind Map

  • Point1
  • Evidence
  • Thesis
  • Conclusion
  • Point 2
  • Evidence

Audio: Also, as part of reading carefully, it's important to kind of start to think about how you would want to potentially organize a piece like this and one good way to do that would be to use an outline. As you can see on the left here, this is about as simple as an outline could possibly be. But what you're doing is your kind of bringing these elements together before you write the draft to see how they fit together. Right? Start with a thesis statement and then you’re going to have some supporting points that also provide evidence. And then you’re going to conclude. 

I think outlines are really useful. In that they’re kind of low stakes. Right? If you wanted to say switch around point 2 and point 1 if you though that point 2 would sound better coming after the thesis, and point 1 might be better right before the conclusion, it's really easy to do that in an outline. You can simply copy and paste this or cut and paste that in a difference place.  And once you've actually completed a draft, it's harder to move things around and keep kind of a cohesive flow to your piece. It just takes more work to do so. Not that you can't, but as an outline, you're doing this in a very easy, very low stakes as I mentioned way. So, I think that this can be a great tool to inform how you want to organize this piece. 

Another similar way to outline is a mind map. Here's an example of this here on the right. It’s similar to a brainstorming chart and an outline. It's kind of the middle ground between. But essentially, you're going to have your thesis here and talk about how these relate to the two main points. These main points are going to present evidence. And then this will lead then to a conclusion at the end. These are essentially, these two techniques are very similar. But it really depends on what works best for you. Unlike, you know, some like math or something like this, where you take some numbers and you put them into a series of equations or postulates or what have you, and then it spits out an answer. Where there’s really one way to do that. Writing is more complex. There are a number of ways to craft an effective piece. So, in looking at strategies for writing, it's really important to find those strategies that work best for you. Okay? So, if you're more of an outline person as I am, try this out. Use these. These are really important. And especially in higher level writing, they allow you to see kind of your line of thought going through your piece. If you're more of a mind map person, if that makes more sense to you, by all means use that. Again, it's about finding what works for you in addressing this kind of complex situation. 

 

Visual:Slide changes to the following: Questions?

Audio: Okay, yeah, at this point, I'll ask you, Melissa, are there any questions coming into the Q & A Box that the rest of the group would benefit an answer to? 

Melissa: Thanks, Michael, the Q & A Box has been quiet. I think you've been doing a great job explaining this writing process to us. I was wondering if you had any suggestions for our students of how the Writing Center can help them as they work on their major assessments? 

Michael: Yeah, that's a great question. First, there's going to be some resources towards the end of this webinar that are offered through the Writing Center that can be really helpful for you as a quick reference. This is on anything from a number of APA writing topics to, you know, specifically how to craft a major assessment and what this could look like in a number of different fields. Beyond that, one of the keynote, well it is the keynote service that the Writing Center provides is paper reviews. 

And what that is, is you kind of make an appointment with the writing instructor like Melissa or myself. And you will submit your work. In this case, a major assessment and that writing instructor will specially take a look at your writing and offer feedback on some opportunities for revision they encounter as a reader. This is a great resource. Something that I think students fine really, really helpful. This is a one-on-one thing and you’re able to get feedback directly about your piece and your draft. So, for those of you who have never done that I would really encourage you to do so. 

Looks like there's a link here in our Q & A Box that can lead you to a place to get started with the paper review. So, if this is something, again, if you haven't taken advantage of this, I would highly recommend it, it’s something that I think can really improve your writing. And it allows you to get feedback that's tailored specifically to what you’re doing to your purposes and [in audible]

Anything else that you think the group with benefit from, Melissa? 

Melissa: That's the only question I have for you now. So, I will let you get back to the webinar.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Responding Thoroughly 

Be direct: Your Ideas – Your Writing – Your Reader

Your job as the author is to:

•      Explain ideas thoroughly

•      Show connections among ideas

•      Ensure the reader doesn’t have to interpret or

make assumptions

Audio: Michael: Great. Thank you. Thank you. Okay, so we just talked about reading critically and being able to pull out some of these strong bits of information that a prompt or assessment requirement is asking for. So, the next thing is talking about responding thoroughly. You know, getting your response, tailoring it specifically to that assignment or licensure or endorsement requirement, and responding to that thoroughly. Yeah. 

And, so, here's kind of a bit of a flowchart that illustrates this process, right? Start with your ideas, these things in your head. Ideas are things in your head. No, but you're taking the idea about your subject and then you're going to put it into your writing. And then after that, once you've revised and made this, gotten this to a place where you're satisfied with your response, you are then going to submit this on to your reader. And, again, this can be something you get a grade for or this can be something that's outside of the context here at Walden and more specifically tailored to your specifically to your professional situation. And again, think about your reader always, as you write about these things, if you're writing for a licensure in the education field, you want to use information and specific verbiage or words that are going to be common to that field, right? 

So, before we move on, I want to harp on this one more time. That these are, these major assessments are things that are going to be submitted perhaps outside of Walden University. So, having that audience awareness and that kind of perspective reader in mind as you craft these is something that's pretty important. 

You want to explain your ideas thoroughly, show connections among ideas. Ensure the reader doesn't have to interpret or make assumptions. This is talking about analysis here. It’s referring to this idea that’s taking the reader the whole way. When you craft something in academic writing, you want that piece to stand by itself. You don't want there to be a need for further explanation or definition. You want the reader to be able to read that piece and understand fully what you're talking about, right? So, make sure as you think about your reader, as you're keeping your reader in mind, you provide that information that reader would need to fully understand your piece. And be explicit about that, right? Don't assume that by providing, say, source material, that the reader is going to see how that source material relates to the main idea of that paragraph or relates to, you know, what you're talking about. 

Make that connection explicit. Use your analysis to tell the reader why that source material is important in the context of your larger discussion. And we're going to talk a little bit more about analysis later on in this webinar, but I want to drive this point home that you want, again, your piece to be a standalone thing. That does not require any further interpretation or explanation for the reader. 

 

Visual:Slide changes to the following: Responding Thoroughly

            Use evidence:

  • Examples from course readings
  • Examples from other research
    • May require further research in the Library
  • Examples from your experience
    • BUT backed by research

Audio: Yeah, use evidence in your major assessments. Give examples from course readings that you've encountered. Examples from other research. So, this might require some library research, some work in academic and scholarly journals, right? Working with databases to find some of these scholarly academic articles to bring to your piece. And lastly, often times major assessments are going to call for something of your personal experience. What have you seen in your field that would inform the way that you're thinking about these ideas? But as always, this kind of experiential anecdotal type support, excuse me, needs to be backed by research. Right? 

You use scholarly sources to support your points in academic writing. This is how they function. So, as you're presenting your own personal experiences, make sure that you go back and back that up with research that you've encountered that would say that what you did was a good idea or, you know, how what you did, your experiences could be better-suited or better tailored to their goals. So, again, you're going to be using sources from your course reading you’re going to be bringing in some of your outside research and you’re going to be bringing in some of your personal experience to fully explain what you mean, to respond thoroughly to this major assessment prompt. 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Responding Thoroughly

In my classroom I used the Ethical Principles and Practice Standards (Standards; Laureate Education, Inc., 2014a) as a guide for developing my lesson plan. One way I did this is via differentiating instruction for all of my students as the Standards suggested differentiating instruction is important to addressing students’ differing learning needs (Laureate Education, Inc., 2014a). Thus, in my classroom I have differentiated my lesson about fiction writing terminology. Implementing this part of the Standards was not difficult, as I learned about differentiation in my last course at Walden. The result is that I have provided multiple ways for students to learn about fiction writing terminology, as well as different ways students can demonstrate their knowledge of this terminology. For example, some students can write a paper incorporating fiction writing terminology to show their knowledge, while others may take a multiple-choice test. As the Standards noted, changing my instruction depending on students’ needs will ensure all students learn (Laureate Education, Inc., 2014a).

Audio:Here’s an example of a response. In my classroom I used the Ethical Principles and Practice Standards as a guide for developing my lesson plan. And it’s important to note that we have a citation there. Right? That this person is referring specifically to a specific set of standards. One way I did this is the differentiating instruction for all of my students’ as a standard suggested differentiating instruction is important to addressing student's different learning needs. This is both reflection and evidence, right? One way that I did this was by differentiating instructions. And then this author supports that with some source materials saying the differentiation of instruction is important. 

Thus, in my classroom, I have differentiated my lesson about fiction writing terminology, implementing this part of the standards was not difficult, as I learned about differentiation in my last course at Walden. The result is that I have provided multiple ways for students to learn about fiction writing terminology. As well as different ways students can demonstrate their knowledge of this terminology. For example, some students can write a paper incorporating fiction writing terminology to show their knowledge. While others may take a multiple-choice test. As the standards noted, changing my instruction depending on the student's needs will ensure all students learn. 

As you can see this author is marrying or combining some of the course readings and research that they have done through Walden talking about these standards and talking about how these have been incorporated or how they imply to this person specific, excuse me, specific teaching philosophy or the way they're teaching this specific unit. My point here in demonstrating this is that it's not enough just to say your personal experience. You need to back that up with some scholarship. Or someone who has studied this who would agree with you. 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Responding Thoroughly: Practice

Audio:Okay. Let's take a look at and do a little bit of practice here. We're looking at, we're going to take a look at another sample response in the next slide. And in the chat box, I want you to discuss what are the strengths of the following paragraph's use of evidence? How do they use evidence well? And here's our example. 

 

Visual:Slide changes to the following: Responding Thoroughly: Practice

Chat:

What are the strengths of the following paragraph’s use of evidence?

Audio: So, go ahead, take a minute, and read through this. And in the chat box, tell me how this person is using evidence well. What are the strengths of this person's use of evidence in this response? And I'm going to go on mute, and I'm going to give you a little bit of time to do this. 2 to 3 minutes maybe. Go ahead and drop your response in the chat box. 

[silence as students respond]

Okay, I'm going to give you guys one more minute to type in your response if you wish to participate here and then we're going to talk through some things I'm seeing in terms of the use of evidence in this paragraph. So, again, if you want to go ahead and put a response in the chat box, got about a minute to do so. 

[silence as students respond]

Okay, cool. Let me talk through these then. Really, what we're looking at here is how this author brings together their personal experience and some of the scholarship that they have encountered about this topic. Right? And, so, as I look at this, I take a look at, you know, the author is presenting some source materials here in the first sentence. But in the second sentence they go on to talk about how these apply to their in course or their teaching. For example, part of what I learned at Walden includes the importance of effective communication, including verbal nonverbal and written language. So that’s reflecting on what they’ve learned. 

After another sentence of explanation or analysis, this person presents some more source material as Smith stated effective communication is essential to effective teaching and differentiating instruction. And then this author goes on to talk about how they have done this. For example, if I have not been able to effectively communicate the different options for students in how they can demonstrate the knowledge of the fiction writing terminology, students might have been confused about what they were supposed to do. Instead, my direct clear instructions that ensured students knew they could choose the option they preferred ensured that the differentiated instruction succeeded. So, this author is doing a pretty good job of combining what they learned from the view of outside individuals and incorporating that into how that has informed their own practice, right? So, I think this author is doing a pretty good job. 

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Responding Thoroughly

Implementing differentiating instruction in my classroom involved in-depth knowledge of the Standards (Laureate Education, Inc., 2014a), while also depending on the skills and knowledge I have learned at Walden. Part of what I have learned at Walden includes the importance of effective communication, including verbal, nonverbal, and written language. Differentiating my lesson plan for fiction writing terminology would not have worked well without effective communication. As Smith (2012) stated, effective communication is essential to effective teaching and differentiating instruction. For example, if I had not been able to effectively communicate the different options for students in how they could demonstrate their knowledge of the fiction writing terminology, students might have been confused about what they were supposed to do.

Instead, my direct, clear instructions that ensured students knew they could choose the option they preferred ensured that the differentiated instruction succeeded.

Audio: Sticking to responding thoroughly. For example, essay exams challenge you to use interpretive or analytical skills you've practiced in this course. So, you want to ask yourself: How do you show interpretive or analytical skills, right? How do you apply what you've learned in your course? How do you show your critical thinking? Yeah, the answer here is through analysis. This kind of broad umbrella term that we use for engaging with sources. Right? Analysis brings your own interpretation, your own analytical skills to your writing as the name would suggest. And, really, what analysis does is shows you're critical thinking. It shows how you're taking some of the ideas from source material and applying that to your own practice or to your own context or situation. 

 

Visual:Slide changes to the following: Responding Thoroughly

“Essay exams challenge you to…use the interpretiveor analytical

skills you’ve practiced in the course.”

•       How do you show interpretive or analytical skills?

•       How do you show your critical thinking?

Analysis!

Adapted from  http://writingcenter.unc.edu/  handouts/essay-exams/

Audio: Again, analysis is informed interpretation of information. Yeah, I mean I think that's pretty straightforward. But, really, it answers this "So what" question that we talk about a lot in the Writing Center. What does this information mean? Why does information matter in the context of what you're talking about? What does this information tell us? What's your interpretation of this? How does this information relate to other information? So, bringing this in comparison, bringing in maybe a synthesis of the information that you're dealing with and other information you've encountered. 

And, lastly, I think specifically tailored to the major assessment, does this information reflect your own experience? Does this come to bare in your own teaching experience? Or is this something that needs to be brought in or hasn't been a major factor in your teaching experience? Again, analysis is meant to answer that "So what" question. Why is this important? Why does this information matter? You want to be explicit with your reader about this. Here's why this information matters. Tell them explicitly how that source material connects to your own reflection or discussion of whatever you're talking about there. 

 

Visual:Slide changes to the following: Responding Thoroughly

Analysis: informed interpretation of information

Answers the “so what?” question:

•      What does this information mean?

•      Why does this information matter?

•      What does this information tell us?

•      How does this information relate to other information?

•      Does this information reflect your own experience?

Audio: Another good way to think about crafting a major assessment and responding thoroughly is to include four of these major parts of a paragraph that should really be included in every body paragraph that you craft. One thing we encounter a lot in the Writing Center is students having difficulty using topic sentences. Topic sentences are really, really important to your writing, because they guide the reader through your ideas, right? They tell the reader we're done looking at one idea. We're ready to look at another idea. So, they tell the reader the specific subject that the paragraph will be about. You're giving the reader that main idea right off the bat in the topic sentence. Then you're providing some evidence. Some research, some data, some source material that supports that main idea of the paragraph. 

After evidence, you want to present some analysis. This is again going to be your own interpretation your own critical application of this research data sources for your reader. And as I've mentioned in the previous slide, you want to tell them specifically how these two things relate. How does this analysis relate to the evidence that I just presented? Show how this evidence…excuse me. Give the reader the "So what?" How is this evidence important? Why do I need to read this? Well, the analysis tells the reader why that it's important. 

Lastly you want to lead the reader out of the paragraph. You can reemphasize the main point, reiterate a conclusion, explain the significance of this information. Specifically, what a lead out sentence or two is meant to do is to give the reader a sense of completion or a wholeness to your discussion. You want the reader to think okay, we’ve discussed that idea fully and now we're ready to move on to another idea. Not every paragraph needs to be organized this way, but these are some good elements to include in a complete body of paragraph. Again, this main idea, presenting some evidence to support that main idea using analysis to tell the reader how that evidence supports that main idea and then leading the reader out. These are good strong elements to include in an effective body paragraph. 

 

Visual:Slide changes to the following: Responding Thoroughly

Main idea: Topic sentence—what subject will the paragraph be about?

Evidence:  Research, data, and sources

Analysis: Interpretation of research, data, sources for your reader

Lead out: Emphasize main point, reiterate a conclusion, explain significance of   information

Audio: Here's an example of what this could look like, right? So, we start off with this topic sentence. Implementing differentiated instruction in my classroom involved in-depth knowledge of the standards while also depending on the skills and knowledge I have learned at Walden University. So here from this topic sentence, the reader sees that this topic paragraph is going to be about how this classroom used the standards, and how this teacher is also using the skills and knowledge that they’ve learned at Walden, right? 

 

Visual:Slide changes to the following: Responding Thoroughly

Implementing differentiated instruction in my classroom involved in-depth knowledge of the Standards (Laureate Education, Inc., 2014a), while also depending on the skills and knowledge I have learned at Walden. Part of what I have learned at Walden through my course readings like Schmidt (2013) includes the importance of effective communication, including verbal, nonverbal, and written language. Differentiating my lesson plan for fiction writing terminology would not have worked well without effective communicationAs Bell (2012) stated, effective communication is essential to effective teaching and differentiated instruction. For example, if I had not been able to effectively communicate the different options for students in how they could demonstrate their knowledge of fiction writing terminology, students might have been confused about what I was asking them to accomplish. Instead, my direct, clear instructions ensured students knew they could choose the test option they preferred, and thus my differentiated instructionsucceeded.

Audio:These green portions are going to be source materials. We have Bell 2012, Schmit 2013. And these are going to be presenting the ideas of another person. These ideas that support this main idea. Scholarship that is supporting the main idea. It's evidence, right? The italicized portion in brown here is going to be your own analysis. You're going to tell the reader the “so what” again. Why is this information important to consider in the context of my discussion here? Lastly, in red at the bottom, this leads the reader out and gives them a sense of completion to the paragraph. And thus, my differentiated instruction succeeded. 

Yeah, they're saying that from everything that you see above, this was a success. This leads the reader with a feeling of completion and they're ready to move on to another idea. This is what an effective MEAL plan paragraph can look like. As I've mentioned in the previous slide, not everyone's body paragraph, even if they use the MEAL plan are going to look the same. My writing is going to look different from your writing. However, these are important elements to include in crafting an effective and complete body paragraph. 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Revising Methodically 

  • Ensure directions and your response match
  • Check for bias and vocabulary/ terminology
  • Check the prompt/rubric/ guidebook
  • Review for directness and concision
  • Proof for APA and spelling

Audio:Now, when we turn to looking at revising, this is really about evaluating your own work and recognizing opportunities to make it better. Right? You want to ensure that the directions and your response match so, as you're looking at the assignment prompt or the licensure requirements, you want to make sure that you’ve covered all your bases here. Right? If it says as in our previous example cover this in 5 steps or 5 parts, do you have 5 parts? That would be a good first question to ask as you're beginning to revise. Next, you want to check for bias and vocabulary/terminology. Are you using emotional language? Are you representing yourself to the reader as something other than the objective party? And then in terms of vocabulary and terminology, is this appropriate for your field? If you're submitting for a licensure, is this vocabulary that the person reading this, the licensure is going to understand? Are they going to get this? Is this in their field? So, this would be another question to ask yourself as you return to revision. 

Again, check the prompt, rubric, or guide book. Yeah, these rubrics especially for writing assignments or for licensure submission can be really thought of as a cheat sheet. Right? This is going to tell you what you need to do. In revising, ask yourself did you do that did I cover this and am I going to score well on this? I often think that in grading some of these things or in evaluating some of these things, people think that, this person sits down and reads the piece and just comes up with a yes or no or a letter grade kind of out of thin air. But, really, if you use a rubric or a guide book, it should be clear where you fall in here. Did you do these things or didn't you? These are your questions to ask in revision.

Review for directness and concision. Are you being concise are you being direct? Are there sentences, or information here that isn't needed and that can be removed? Lastly, proof for APA and spelling. This is more of an editorial thing. You want to make sure that the citations you use is correct, the words your using are spelled correct. Commas, grammar can also be included at this stage. And we want to always put our best foot forward. If you're using APA correctly and you're writing in a way that's free of error, you're telling the reader that hey, I know what I'm doing here and that I can be trusted as a writer. You can believe what I'm saying. So, these are just some things to keep in mind as you begin your revision process and this might take multiple revision. Don't be afraid to go back to your piece, two, three, four times in order to make it, get it to the point where you're satisfied for getting that grade for licensure or endorsement. 

 

Visual:Slide changes to the following: Revising Methodically

Revision Techniques:

Read your writing out loud (or at least whisper it)

Read your writing backwards

Look for contractions and colloquial phrases  

Use the MEAL plan to check for analysis  

Run your paper through Grammarly  
Receive feedback from the Writing Center 

Use the APA checklist

Refer back to the prompt and rubric

Audio:Revision techniques. Yeah these are great. Read out loud. For those of you who are especially native English speakers. This is a great way for you to kind of see where maybe your writing is getting choppy, maybe you’re being overly wordy, or you can use a pause somewhere. By reading that out loud that’s a good way to kind of encounter some of these errors that you might not encounter if you were reading it in your head. Read your writing backwards. So, read it out of order. Does it still make sense? That would be a good technique. Look for contractions or colloquial phrases. In academic writing you don't want to use contractions and you want to stay away from colloquialisms as well. Make sure that your writing is accessible to all and it adheres to some of these APA conventions like eliminating contractions. 

Use a MEAL plan to check for analysis. That's a great idea. Run your paper through Grammarly. If this is something helpful to you, by all means, get some of those typical grammar errors identified. If that's something that's useful to you as a writer. Receive feedback from the Writing Center. Get that paper review that we mentioned at the question break. That might be a good idea for you getting some specific feedback to your writing. Use the APA checklist that can be found in the Files Pod down here. That's a good idea too. And refer back to that prompt and rubric often. As you're going through, always keep in mind the goal here that you need to respond to XYZ points. And ask yourself am I doing this? In terms of a rubric, how well am I doing this? Am I doing this well or could I do this better? 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Revising Methodically

In my classroom I used the Ethical Principles and Practice Standards (Standards; Laureate Education, Inc., 2014a) as a guide for developing my lesson plan. One way I did this is via differentiating instruction for all of my students as the Standards suggested differentiating instruction is important to addressing students’ differing learning needs (Laureate Education, Inc., 2014a). Thus, in my classroom I have differentiated my lesson about fiction writing terminology. Implementing this part of the Standards was not difficult, as I learned about differentiation in my last course at Walden. The result is that I have provided multiple ways for students to learn about fiction writing terminology, as well as different ways students can demonstrate their knowledge of this terminology. For example, some students can write a paper incorporating fiction writing terminology to show their knowledge, while others may take a multiple-choice test. As the Standards noted, changing my instruction depending on students’ needs will ensure all students learn (Laureate Education, Inc., 2014a).

Audio:Here's an example of a revised paragraph. For the sake of time, I'm not going to read through this. But suffice it to say that this expands on some of the ideas that we were talking about earlier. Marrying the use of evidence with the use of reflection and bringin in your own analysis to show application here. Yeah. 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Revising Methodically: Practice

Chat:

What are some areas we could revise in the following paragraph?

Audio:Taking a look at another example paragraph, we're going to go kind of quickly on this. Let's take a look at this paragraph and look at some opportunities for revision. Some things that we could revise in the following paragraph, okay? So, go ahead and drop those answers in the chat box if you would like. But again, we're looking for opportunities for revision in this paragraph. Go ahead. 

[silence as students respond]

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Revising Methodically: Example

I also did what I should as a teacher when I was having issues with a really snotty student who wouldn’t allow me to teach. This student was always bothering everyone else and would never sit quietly. This really disrupted the other students. Students can’t learn if they can’t focus, right? I didn’t know what to do with this student; she really stumped me! So, I asked my colleagues and principal to help me. They had some really good ideas, and I used them to help me deal with this problem student. Now the student isn’t a problem at all!

Audio:Okay for those of you wishing to participate in the chat. I’m going to give you about one more minute to put an answer here. What needs to be revised here, what are some opportunities? 

[silence as students respond]

Okay, yeah, as I encounter this paragraph, it starts this way. I also did what I should as a teacher when I was having issues with a really snotty student who wouldn't allow me to teach. So, a couple of things there. What do you mean by "What I should as a teacher?" I mentioned earlier that you want your written piece to be a standalone document. Right? That doesn't need any further explanation or analysis here, right? 

So as a reader, this is something that needs to be explained. What do you mean by what I should do as a teacher? That should be included there. Also, I'm encountering some emotional language here that shows perhaps this teacher's bias. The phrase "Really snotty student." Really smacks of a disdain for this student. Instead of saying something like “a really snotty student”, maybe something like with a disruptive student. There, you're getting the point across, but you're using the kind of language that doesn't say, oh, my goodness, I really don't like this student. It's more that this student is displaying some behaviors that are disruptive. So, there you're using academic language to talk about something rather than emotional language, right? 

This student was always bothering everyone. Well, that's an exaggeration, right? Always? I'm sure the student perhaps was disruptive at one point or another. But is it always? Are they constantly doing this? Again, you need to hedge your language there to fit the academic genre. This really disrupted the other students. This, again, is an exaggeration. Just to say, this disrupted other students is sufficient there. You don't need to use these adjectives to make this sound bigger than it actually is. 

The last thing I want to mention before we move on from this example is that there's no citations here, right? This author is not bringing in any kind of balance of source materials and their own reflection. This is all reflection. So, in a major assessment like this, as you're asked to reflect on some things that have happened in your own classroom or in your own life, you also need to bring in some sort of support for that. Some support from the research that you've done. This author does not do that. So, if I were to encounter this in a Writing Center review, I would encourage this student to return to research and to find some scholars that would agree with them. Sure, there are just a few things, I, on first glance would see some opportunities for revisions that I'm encountering. But there are certainly more here. 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Revising Methodically: Revision

Another way I addressed the Standards (Laureate Education, Inc., 2014a) is by reaching out for help when I was not sure how to handle a situation with a student exhibiting behavioral issues. This particular student would often disrupt class and make the classroom difficult for me to run and for other students to learn. As Johnson (2013) emphasized, students need to be able to work uninterrupted if they are to learn successfully.       Similarly, Kubista (2012) suggested that it is just as important for a teacher to feel in control of the classroom environment if he/she is going to successfully teach students. With these researchers in mind, I approached my colleagues to gain advice on how to mitigate this student’s behavioral problems, as the Standards (Laureate Education, Inc., 2014a) advocated. My colleagues suggested that I talk with the student to explain why her behavior is disrupting the class, as well as try to determine the root cause of her behavior. When I followed my colleagues’ advice, I was able to determine that this student was acting out because she was bored, and I will now be working on a lesson plan for her to avoid her boredom and subsequent disruptions.

Audio:Here's what this could look like in revision. Yes, so, again, mentioning that first sentence. Another way that I addressed the standards. So that's talking about that do as a teacher should thing here. How should a teacher respond to this? They should use the standard and that clear for the reader here also. Another thing you can see is some of this emotional language has been removed. As I take a look at this second sentence. This particular student would often disrupt class and make the classroom difficult for me to run and for other students to learn. Here, we're using academic language. We're not talking about this really snotty student who made it impossible for me to teach because they were always disrupting class. I mean, they're being more specific here. Right? Often would disrupt class, would make the classroom difficult for me to teach, not really difficult, not impossible. We're being direct with that language, right? 

And lastly, as I've mentioned, they're bringing in source material to support what they're talking about. They're offering citation from Johnson, Kubista some from the laureate education. So, they're supporting their views with some scholarship here. Which is a good idea. And this is really required. 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Writing Your Major Assessment

•      Reading carefully

•      Pay attention to key words, verbs, and language

•      Responding thoroughly

•      Use evidence and analysis to explain ideas clearly to your reader

•      Revising methodically

•      Look closely for errors in grammar and APA, while also seeing how you can add more analysis and evidence.

•      Always ensure you address all aspects of the prompt and the rubric.

Audio:To review then in crafting major assessments, you want to read carefully. Pay attention to that assignment prompt or to that licensure requirement. To those licensure requirements, excuse me. Because these are going to be what you’re responding, these can be seen as kind of a checklist as you’re doing this. Respond thoroughly. Use evidence and analysis to explain your ideas clearly to your reader. This is good idea. You're both supporting what you, what your reflection, your both supporting reflection and showing this critical thought piece and this application piece there. 

Revise methodically. Look closely for errors in grammar. While also seeing how you can add more analysis and evidence. Sure. Always ensure you address the aspects of the prompt and the rubric. This is a big one. Right? The reason they give you these hand books or these rubrics is because they want to be transparent about how you're going to be evaluated. It's a good idea to use those to make sure that you're being evaluated favorably. That you include the elements that they’re looking for, in that evaluation, is important. And that's what I'm getting at here. 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Writing Your Major Assessment

•      Reading carefully

•      CriticalReading

•      Responding thoroughly

•      Paragraphs(MEAL plan examples)

•      Analysis handout  (download!)

•      UsingEvidence

•      Common Reference List  Examples

•      Revising methodically

•      Grammarly

•      APA Checklist (download!)

•      ProofreadingandRevising

Audio: For some resources from the Writing Center, in reading carefully, we have this page on critical reading. If this is something you struggle with, this would be good idea to check out. We also have number of academic writing pages that discuss elements of responding or drafting. This MEAL plan paragraph example would be a good one for you. There's an analysis handout that you can download from this presentation. There's also a page on using evidence. And a page with some common reference list examples that you can use to double check your referencing and your formatting and your reference list. Lastly, there's some resource that is we offer for revision. Grammarly can be a very strong resource. 

The APA checklist which is in our Files Pod can be downloaded and can be helpful to you. Proofreading and revising page is something that can be useful to you as you proofread and revise. And, so by all means take advantages of these resources they are there to help you and, they can be quick reference if you need help in some of these areas. 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Questions

Questions: Ask Now or Later

writingsupport@waldenu.edu•         Live ChatHours

Learn More:

Watch any of our ScholarlyWritingwebinarrecordingsand

 “IncorporatingAnalysisandSynthesis.”

Audio: Okay. I think as we're at time here, I'll say if you have any other questions. Feel free to reach out to our general questions in the Writing Center. And here's their email there. writingsupport@waldenu.edu. We also have Live Chat available at certain hours throughout the day so you can get your questions answered in real-time if that's something that is important to you. 

Lastly, through our webinar archive, you can check out this webinar on scholarly writing. And also, one on "Incorporating Analysis and Synthesis" that can be helpful to you as well. So, as we are at time here. I'm going to say thank you guys for being a great audience and good luck in crafting your major writing assessments. Lastly, if you have questions, please feel free to reach out to the writing support email and we will respond to you with an answer so, with that, we're going to wrap-up. And I wish everyone a lovely day. Goodbye.