Sunday, November 25, 2012
Prompt: Review page 1 of the syllabus. In what ways did keeping a blog this semester help you to meet the Student Learning Outcomes of this course? Is there anything else you learned that is not represented in the identified Learning Outcomes for this course?
The Student Learning Outcomes listed for this course are as follows:
Students will gain knowledge and competency with regards to:
1. the variety of genres that readers and writers use to communicate
2. the role of purpose and audience in writing and reading and the rhetorical voices used to address the desired purpose(s) and audience(s)
3. the historical and contemporary theoretical models of reading and writing, including new literacy theories of reading and writing
4. the relationship between the writing and reading processes
5. the role of metacognition in writing proficiency and reading comprehension
6. the types of reading and writing assignments that are developmentally appropriate for learners, including digital reading and writing assignments
7. the role of writing assessment and evaluation in determining student writing proficiency and reading comprehension.
I feel that keeping this blog throughout the semester has truly aided me in achieving these learning objectives. This blog allowed me to keep form of "blog notes." I used this space to sort out my thoughts, to think about the important ideas of our readings and discussions, and find out what was puzzling or really intriguing. I was able to sort out my thinking and as I continued to write my blog I realized that my analysis of particular ideas and readings became more focused and related to my own pedagogy and classroom experiences. I think that this type of learning is reflective of the 5th learning objective -- "the role of metacognition in writing proficiency and reading comprehension." As I wrote my blog entries I began to notice that I was synthesizing my ideas from the reading with my own thoughts and putting it into writing. As I wrote, I thought critically about what I was writing and how it impacted me and what I thought. This synthesizing took a great deal of metacognition and combined both the writing and reading processes.
Through this metacognition I was also able to more fully understand the learning objectives for this course. For example, learning objective number 6 -- "the types of reading and writing assignments that are developmentally appropriate for learners, including digital reading and writing assignments." First and foremost, a blog is an example of these digital assignments. I was able to personally experiment with and construct my own knowledge of the advantages and difficulties of using blogs and then implementing them into a classroom. In addition, through a number of my entries specifically, 2,3,4, and 6, I was able to explore and through blogging understand more clearly these digital assignments such as RSS and Social Bookmarking as mentioned in Hicks (2009), as well as, wikis and digital conferencing.
These are a few specific examples of how I was able to meet the Student Learning Objectives through the use of writing my blog. I do feel however that it also allowed me to learn more about myself, not only as a reader and writer, but a learner and person. Due to the Genre Pieces Project and the personal nature of this blog, I feel that self-expression and acting as a responsible and valued part of our class should somehow be incorporated into the learning objectives. Through my Genre Pieces Project and the constructing of this blog, I've realized more about myself as a learner and an educator. I always considered myself to be a technologically savvy person, but never considered how that characteristic would reflect in my teaching pedagogy. This course allowed me to reflect and analyze what type of teacher I would be in this area and what I really deemed to be important for my classroom. I feel that this is an essential aspect of this course because ultimately that is what we are all working for-- becoming good educators. This course allowed me to look at myself from a different perspective and more than most others take the time to reflect on my own reading and writing process rather than "the right way to read" and "the correct way to write." Taking the opportunity to realize this about myself is not only beneficial to me, but will ultimately help my students because I am now more aware of the recursive nature of the writing and reading processes and how my own self-assessment has allowed me to improve in both areas. Therefore, I know without a doubt I must give my students the same opportunities to reflect, self-assess, and experiment with how closely related and intertwined reading and writing truly are.