Thursday, February 18, 2010

Yancey, Kathleen Blake, ed. Delivering College Composition: The Fifth Canon

Yancey, Kathleen Blake, ed. Delivering College Composition: The Fifth Canon. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook, 2006. Print.

This collection of essays examines the different ways composition is taught, from the traditional face to face classroom to online education. Most of the book focuses on teaching the traditional freshman composition class, which we don’t have at Ursuline. However, the book does offer a few tidbits that would be useful for any class at Ursuline that utilizes student writing as a pedagogical approach, which is to say nearly all of our classes. In “Distributed Teaching, Distributed Learning: Integrating Technology and Criteria-Driven Assessment into the Delivery of First-Year Composition,” Rebecca Rickly includes a handy, distilled list of writing instruction principles:
• Students should have frequent and varied opportunities to write
• Students should engage in frequent peer and self-critique
• Students should receive timely feedback
• Students should receive helpful feedback
• Students should engage in a drafting sequence for assignments
• Assessment should be public, understood, and defensible; students should know and understand what criteria are being used to evaluate their work
• Students should be taught to integrate technology into their researching, writing, editing, and revising processes
• Students should have access to models of good writing (190)
Though most of the material in the book isn’t directly applicable to Ursuline, Rickly’s list is good to keep in mind when designing a writing assignment. The book is available through OhioLINK.

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