By positing the Gutenberg revolution as analogous to that of the Internet, students can make meaningful connections to better understand both the conditions of literary production in early modern England, and those of today. Although paperback editions of early modern works are indispensable in the classroom, these books conflate centuries of editorial metamorphoses.
These papers can range from deep dives into one work of art from a local collection to thematic explorations that traverse various styles and media.
When done well, these assignments can be a true intellectual pleasure. They afford the opportunity for students to explore individual topics of interest and demonstrate competence with course concepts and theories. When done poorly, the research paper can feel like a chore, a last-minute hodgepodge of mediocre sources that students hate to write almost as much as we hate to read.
Nevertheless, to my feeling and to many institutional requirementsscrapping these papers is simply not an option. We can, however, take steps to increase the incidence of pleasurable and rewarding research papers and decrease the dreaded end-of-term chores.
While one of the best means of producing strong research papers is a clear and thoughtful prompt a topic covered in many useful AHTR posts alreadyin the below I outline how best to scaffold your assignment once your parameters for possible topics are set.
This process, like actual scaffolding, is adaptable to whatever final project you wish to construct.
Built into my method are examples of soft, hard, and reciprocal scaffolding. The assignments are spread throughout the term, encouraging students to manage their time effectively and to refine their thinking on a topic, and allowing you to flag any potential issues.
Typically, my research assignments include five basic steps: Keep in mind that the goal of the scaffolded project is to Scaffolded essay the end of semester grading more pleasurable, not to create an insurmountable mountain of work.
Depending on the size of the class, the nature of each step could change. For example, I may assign a detailed outline or a complete rough draft depending on length of paper, class size, and schedule.
In small classes the rough draft stage may include individual or small group paper conferences; in large very ones, I may double-up on structured peer critique see belowgiven that I may not have time to turn around all of the drafts in time myself.
In all classes, it is also advisable to make use of one-on-one interactions through office hours or campus writing centers as a resource for students to consult.
Furthermore, each step promotes a supportive and lively classroom, which carries over into class discussion and group projects. There are a number of ways to incorporate peer feedback, and I include possible activities for the first four steps below. Which ones become a part of a particular syllabus depends on both the size of the class and the extent to which the course schedule allows time for peer-to-peer interaction.
Hold a roundtable for project proposals. Move the chairs into a seminar-style circle and have each student read their proposal to the group, allowing for conversation between each proposal.
Prior to the annotated bibliography due date, have students bring in three physical books on their topic. This is particularly important with first year students, who often rely far too heavily on online resources.
This activity requires students to actually visit the campus library and provides opportunity for partner work. Divide the students up into pairs and ask each student to provide a clear and specific description of their topic on the top of a piece of paper.
Switch papers and books, and ask students to locate two useful sentences, arguments, or pages in each book for their partner to use. This assignment seems odd, but it reinforces skills in skimming and scanning resources and promotes discussion at the research stage. Set aside a day for peer review of drafts.
See here for a sample worksheet. Allow for discussion after. If time allows, or if your class size prohibits you from reading drafts, you may wish to do this twice so that each paper has two reviewers. A typical breakdown for one of my assignments might weigh the steps as follows: Proposal and preliminary bibliography: I believe they should simply be no credit, half credit, or full credit.
Otherwise a student who receives a high grade on the rough draft might not take the revision process seriously, which is central to the entire concept of assignment scaffolding.
This breakdown does two things: Second, it raises the stakes at each step, allowing for early inquiry to be relatively low-stakes and rewarding improvement following your feedback.
In addition to the sample percentage breakdown above, another way to ensure the scaffolding process works is to include revisions in your grading process. This is where online platforms like Canvas, Blackboard, and Moodle are particularly useful in their ability to store every document submitted for the project in a place you can easily reference.
The grade for the final version of the paper, for example, could be broken down as follows: This encourages the stronger writers to revise their papers rather than glide by on a strong first draft and helps the hardworking but struggling writers by rewarding genuine effort.
I also frequently offer more points to revised annotated bibliographies if students find better sources frequently replacing unscholarly websites or finding required primary sources.
Of course, how one chooses to grade final projects is completely an individual decision and indeed part of our separate teaching styles. However, thinking about how the scaffolded project will play out on the Excel sheet is important to making the process work for both students and professors.Comment: The Book may show wear to dust cover, edges, corners, pages, and spine.
There may be some nicks, creasing, tears to dust cover or pages and may contain remainder marks. There may be some dog-eared pages or creases to pages, front/back dust cover and or spine.
Cognitive Load and Multimedia 2 (Intrinsic) Cognitive load theory relates to the capacity of working memory and its effect on long-term memory schema acquisition.
Scaffolded Assignments: Designing Structure and Support. Table of Contents Pages. DEFINITIONS Essay Research Logs Research Paper (blank and completed) moreover, such scaffolded assignments are a win-win proposition, as.
Project based learning (PBL) is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge (Buck Institute for Education).
6 Scaffolding Strategies to Use With Your Students. Support every student by breaking learning up into chunks and providing a concrete structure for each.
By Rebecca Alber. If a teacher assigns a persuasive essay or inquiry-based science project, a model should be presented side-by-side with a criteria chart or rubric.
Andi Stix is an educational consultant & coach who specializes in differentiation, interactive learning, writing across the curriculum, classroom coaching and gifted education.