Introducing Opportunities for Ungraded Writing
Journal writing frees students to make personal connections to course content in part because it is ungraded. Consider introducing additional opportunities for ungraded writing to foster student reflection and to reconcile course writing and content with the world beyond the classroom. Here are some ideas:
- Collect preliminary drafts of assignments. Provide comments and points for completion, but don't grade the drafts. (For more detailed discussion on the importance of assigning drafts, see the section of this guide dedicated to effective assignment writing.)
- Have students post to a discussion board or participate in chat sessions. Because they are likely familiar with these forms of writing, they will be less concerned with "getting it right" and more able to focus on course concepts. In practice, they will be crossing the perceived barrier between academic and other kinds of writing.
- Assign short in-class writing assignments, such as reading summaries, group discussion notes, observations, or questions for future classroom visitors. Students might complete these assignments in their classroom journals or turn them in separately.
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