2015 BFY II Abstract Detail Page
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||W20 - Rethinking Lab Writing Assignments
||Laboratory writing assignments often fail to adequately consider the intended audienceand rhetorical goals for that writing. Assignments without a clear and coherent sense of audience and purpose can make it difficult for students to approach these tasks as thoughtful writers. Think about your own experience with lab writing assignments as a student: Who were you writing for? What did you see as the goal of the reports--other than getting a good grade? What guided your decision as a writer as to what to include or omit, what needed explaining, what was a sufficient explanation and so on? Consider as well your experience in assigning and commenting on student lab reports: Do you explicitly position yourself as the target audience for their writing? Or do you ask them to address some other real or imaginary readers? Are students expected to parrot back information they have been provided, or to make decisions as to what makes most sense in communicating their lab work? What are the implications of these decisions for how students approach the writing task? Beyond the matter of audience In this workshop, participants will be guided through a series of reflective questions about their assignments and offered ideas for revising those assignments in ways that can make them more meaningful experiences for helping students develop their scientific writing an reasoning skills. Participants are asked to bring three copies of one lab writing assignment from a course at their institution (ideally a course they teach) and, if possible, bring a typical quality example of student writing produced in response to that assignment.