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Introduction to Writing Tasks Writing tasks refer to those activities requiring students to capture their thoughts in the form of written word. These tasks.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Writing Tasks Writing tasks refer to those activities requiring students to capture their thoughts in the form of written word. These tasks."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to Writing Tasks Writing tasks refer to those activities requiring students to capture their thoughts in the form of written word. These tasks can range from short responses to long essays (Silberman, 2006). The use of this approach in based on the idea that writing is a “constructive process of encoding new information” (Marzano, 2012). Writing tasks can be used as an approach to training to: Gauge understanding before and after instruction Connect and reflect on understanding and learning Practice writing skills Short writing tasks like worksheets can be introduced before or after instruction to gauge a learner’s understanding (Silberman, 2006). Before instruction, it can provide an instructor with the learner’s prerequisite knowledge. After instruction, it can provide information on how well the learner understood the lesson. Begin a writing with the prompt: “the one thing I still don’t understand …” It will help identify misunderstandings in the learners. Experiential learning techniques, like writing tasks, are well suited for affective goals as they help a learner connect with their feelings and reactions about the material. The act of translating experience into a personalized account aids and extends learning (Marzano, 2012). Writing a quick summary of instructional material can turn passive listening into active learning (Slater, 2008 & Walker, 2006). In addition, sharing short writing passages can help stimulate discussion and debate in the classroom, thereby increasing understanding. Theory and Assumptions Writing tasks are a form of indirect instruction. While direct instruction involves the teacher to direct the content and development of skills and knowledge construction, indirect instruction is highly student-centered and creates opportunities for students to observe, investigate, draw inferences from data, form hypotheses, and problem solve from the content being studied (Instructional Strategies Online, 2009). There are several strategies for writing tasks including, but not limited to, opportunities to brainstorm, categorize relevant information, participate in co-operative learning, and researching (Instructional Strategies Online, 2009). Writing tasks are experiential learning by nature in that they allow the learner to learn by doing (application). When writing tasks are directly related back to the goals and objectives of the course, learners are able to connect the importance of the writing task to the relevancy of course material to their work (Kiefer, 2000). In addition, writing tasks come from behavior theories because the act of writing requires the learner to connect to feelings and reactions of the material and portray those feelings and reactions in organized thoughts (Silberman, 2006; Kiefer, 2000). Practical Applications Reinforcement and retention:Marzano (2012) outlined a five phase activity to reinforce and increase understanding and retention in the learner. Record - Compare - Revise - Combine - Review This process allows learners to record their initial thoughts and understandings from a lesson. Through a process of comparison with other learners then revising, combining and reviewing, the learner produces a written product reflecting their understanding of the material.Testing for understanding: Short writing tasks like worksheets can be introduced before or after instruction to gauge a learner’s understanding. Before instruction it can provide an instructor insight into learners' prerequisite knowledge. After instruction, it can provide information on how well the learner understood the lesson by comparing their responses from the first worksheet/short writing task to the post-writing task.Developing specific skills in business writing: When teaching writing skills like business correspondence, writing tasks are an important approach which provides an opportunity to practice the desired behavior. Writing tasks allow the learner to utilize learned knowledge of how to incorporate the correct jargon, appropriate information, and intentions within the business correspondence before writing one on-the-job. By developing the skills necessary for business writing ahead of time, the learner will be able to transfer those practiced skills and demonstrate how to perform accurate and effective writing within business settings post-training. Examples of writing tasks in training design Slater (2008) had many examples of writing tasks and how to use them. The following are some examples of such tasks.  Write a paragraph summary of an out-of-class reading assignment.  Have a writing prompt waiting for students as they come into class. They must write on it for the first five minutes of class. This assignment may be to summarize the last sessions content or introduce the next sessions content.  Interrupt lecture with a “5 minute free write”  Ask students to write beginning with “you might mistakenly think”. This allows students to elaborate on misconceptions. This approach increases the cognitive depth of student thinking.  News trailers: have student create a 40 character news-type summary. (Could twitter posts or status updates be today’s version of this?) Amy Nelson, Andrea Moller, Beth Merrill, and M. Kenyatta EuringEAC 586, North Carolina State University References Beck, S.W. and Jeffery, J.V. (2009). Genre and Thinking in Academic Writing Tasks. Journal of Literacy Research, 41, Campbell, N. (2006). Communicating visually: Incorporating document design in writing tasks. Business Communication Quarterly, 69, Kiefer, Kate. (2000). Integrating Writing into Any Course: Starting Points. Academic.Writing. Marzano, R. J. (2012). Writing to Learn. Educational Leadership, 69(5), 82. McDermott, M. (2010). More than writing to learn. Science Teacher, 77(1), 32. Saskatoon Public Schools (2009). Journal Writing. In Instructional strategies online. Retrieved March, 6, from, Saskatoon Public Schools (2009). Writing Tasks. In Instructional strategies online. Retrieved March, 6, from, Silberman, M. L. (2006). Active training: A handbook of techniques, designs, case examples, and tips (3 rd ed.). San Fransisco, CA: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer. Slater, T.F. (2008). Engaging student learning in Science through writing tasks. The Physics Teacher. 55(2) Walker, S.E. (2006). Journal writing as a teaching technique to promote reflection. Journal of Athletic Training. 41(2) Writing tasks as a training approach


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