Posted in Research & Methodologies

Hypertext Writing v. Linear-Writing

Summary of the Article

The basic understanding that I took away from this article is the idea of Linear Writing versus Hypertext Writing and what population of students most benefits from each technique. Hypertext is defined as being a non-linear way of presenting information. Students usually use this method to follow their own path when trying to give meaning to material assigned, rather than the order an author wants them to follow. As for Linear-Writing, then can be defined as  starts at the beginning and plows through to the end without going back to change or fix things. Using charts and analysis gathered from the case study of two male teachers and their groups of students, we are able to see the effective and productiveness of using each method.

My thoughts and rebuttals to the article

Fun video breaking down Hypertext!

To be quite honest, I was (and still am) confused on the exact methodology that was used and how to understand the charts, grafts, and statistics behind this research. What I did really take away from this reading is the terms Hypertext, Linear, Non-Linear, and Hierarchy; which were outlined by Emily in her presentation. The way I attempt to cope with my understanding and new material being learned is putting it into practical use. When I think of Hypertext, I think of my blogs! When I am writing out my blogs, I tend to hypertext certain words, phrases, or sentences that I feel are of importance. I use this method for several reasons: 

  1. I think as a UX (user experience) designer. If something I am trying to say is not simplistic enough, I will hyperlink the text to send them to my source of information.
  2. I try to be as accurate with my information as much as possible, so I like to send people to the source of where I receive my information from.
  3. I just think it’s fun to give more information! I just hope that people are just as excited to learn about information as much as I am. 

As I touched upon in our class discussion for Emily’s presentation, being of the millennium generation, I understand both versions of education before and after shaving advanced technology. The old day of turnitin, we had a computer base the determined if information we used in our writing were of our original work or plagiarized. If Hypertext was introduced around that time of my undergraduate academic career, I would have had less drafts of my essays that needed to be. In my eyes, I see hypertext is almost like a form of works cited without physically making the page (but I am not knocking work cited pages because they are definitely needed!). But the point I am trying to make is Hypertext is a new tool that I believe is an essential part of the writing process. I see Hypertext to be another essential to students who just can not get it right the “traditional way”. I also found the statement Dr. Nelson madea saying that we have been using Hypertext all the while without even realising it. The notes on the footer of the articles and essay most college students would be reading contain more expanded knowledge on the content at hand. SO in reality the tool has always been there, just in a different setting. I also liked what Emily stated in her reaction paper, “Looking past the flaws throughout this experimental article, I agree with Braaksma, Rijlaarsdam, and van Bergh when it comes to teaching adolescents writers the advantages of hypertext writing. In the long run, this will help them succeed in their future writing assessments and expand their creative minds.” 

Information to back up my thoughts and rebuttals!

Once I was able to put into terms exactly Hypertext, I did my own bit of research. I found this article that talks about the benefits of teaching hypertext to our students.

“Computer-aided learning is deemed to support interest and learning success because of a learner’s (inter-)activity (e.g., [12]). Dale (2008) reported “the relative newness and coolness” of computers [7]. Since the iPod assignments in his study did not feel like work to the students, it was easier to motivate students and draw them into the instructional process.”

The article goes on to talk about the history of hypertext and purposes of creating it. Due to my straining from so much reading, I was only able to bring myself to reading this article in hope of more clarification.

Wrapping it up: Coming back full circle 

So in short, this article was both confusing and informative. My learning outcome were the following:

  • Define Hypertext and its uses
  • The usefulness of teaching it to young writers
  • The experimental study of Hypertext v. Linear-text in a classroom setting
  • Putting findings into practical use

Sidenote: I hope I did pretty descent for this first article!

Posted in Research & Methodologies

Writing Assessment in the Early 21st – Century

The reading for this week’s class was a little tricky for me, the pressure of grad school is kicking in! From the encouragement and humor of my fellow grad students, there is still hope for me! So lets jump into some key points I find interesting to address within the article.

THREE WAVES OF WRITING ASSESSMENT

I found this portion of the article very interesting because I can see how these waves are still seen in assesemnts today, in pratical, in my own experience as both an educator and student.

The first wave we are presented with in the article is:

Testing: Placement Assessment

When reading about this, I could not help but think of my past and current students at the school I work for. Referring back to my course World Englishes, the English language continues to grow and spread as years past. With that being said, it is pretty hard to determine the true standard form of English, unless it is in an academic setting. Unfortunatley, not everyone student globally is taught this standard for of English most colleges and universities are looking for. Here are also some keys points I found intresting in this section:

  • College, “regular” – first year composition course
    • Looking back at my little rant above, this bullet point more so targets international students who come to these american universities having their own understanding of English. The misconstruction it that they do not understand English (according to the assessments) when in all reality, they have a different view point of what is standard English
  • How well a student can edit another author’s writing
    • How fun was this part of the SAT!
  • Pro – can evaluate a student’s level
    • Of course I had to add in an upside because it is fun to ply devil’s advocate. But in all seriousness, there is definable an upside to writing assessments. We are able to see the mile marker for the students so us as educator know where to start from and move forward.

The second wave is: The Writing Process

Out of all the waves, I can say this one is truly my favorite. We actually get to the nitty gritty of how we are phiscally hands on preping the students to prepare for these writing assesments.

  • Hollistic scoring: Sampling students writing, scoring guide
    • Instead of just throughing the students into the wilderness of the assesemnt, there is sampling wiritng and guides being shown. The hardest part about writing is getting started, so imagine being thrown a writing prompt and not know what the graders are looking for. Being able to refer to or even looking at something that graders want seen in writing is a heads up in the game!
  • Teachers theaching the prompt questions
    • This takes me back to the days of my 11th garde school year, when we were getting preped for the HESPA. This test determined if we were allowed to move on to 12th grade. Since this test was very dier, there was a entire week dedicated towards preparing us for this test. ELA teachers from all grade levels were preping us for the type of essay prompts we would be tested, which it did make a big difference on how I approched tje test!

The third wave is: Attenetion to multiple text

What I took away from within this wave it two point:

  • Looking at writing on different multitudes
    • Of course there is a such thing of writing outside the world of academia (Happy National Day on Writing!). As I like to continue to stress, there is writing on so many different platforms and our students are not introduce to it. Of course, these piece of information is a bit dated, but it still applies to our students today!
  • “You can write a successful theses but not a journal article”

What is WAC?

This acumen of WAC conitnued to appear throughout the reading, so I though it noeworthy to jot it down in my notes. So when coming back to my notes, I set a reminder to look up what it means.

In its simplest form, Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) recognizes and supports the use of writing in any and every way and in every and any course offered at a learning institution. A WAC Program in its simplest term is any organized, recognized, and sustained effort–no matter how modest in people, resources, and funding–to help faculty in any and every course use writing more deliberately and more often. https://wac.colostate.edu/resources/wac/intro/programs/

This program reminds me a lot of my current program, AmeriCorps. As said in the article, WAC is a grant funded program that is meant to produce results in bettering students writing assessments. Depending on these results will determine future funding. The same aspects going into AmeriCorps. A government funded program designed to improve students writing and reading abilities.

From the reading, Yancey propsed the three purposes of Program Assesments as the following:

  • To see what the program is doing well in
  • To determine how the program might improve
  • To demonstrate to others why the program should continue to be funded

The Current Moment

To end my blog, I thought that addressing some of the minor themes about The Current Moment would be quite fitting.

  • Consider how writing and critical thinking are related
    • I am sorry, but this theme here is a no brainier. So many assessments are looking for the product and not the thought process nehind it. Critical thinking is esence, spirt, amd soul behind true writing. If there is not any cirtical thinking behind writing, then we producing one in the same kind of writers.
  • Social inequalities (racial inequities)
    • I thought I would give a little example of this from a hand for my World Englishes course (As you can tell, I really enjoy this course!). To the write of this passage is a handout about a woman who starts her own business. As a class we identified the Formal Schemata for this writing. Then we had to look at in a perspective of a global setting. In most cultural outside of the US, most of the actions being down in this writing is outside of their cultural norms. How do we expect them to relate to a reading they never experienced?