A collaborative team from UNE’s English Department and Student Academic Success Center recently presented at a writing conference held at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
The conference, “Engaging Practices: Trajectories, Transitions, and Transformations,” focused on transforming writing practice to better engage students in first-year writing courses.
It featured presenters from regional colleges and universities such as UMass Boston, University of Maine, Boston University, Dartmouth College, University of Southern New Hampshire and Bates College.
The UNE panel discussed the use of ePortfolio, a collection of work in an electronic format that showcases learning over time. Panel members discussed how ePortfolio is used for student and faculty collaboration, and how they use multimedia writing in English composition.
Carole Center, Ph.D., adjunct associate lecturer in the Department of English, detailed the evolving instructional strategies for active reading, the use of collaboration in assessment of the active reading course learning objective and the role of ePortfolio in these practices.
Amy Amoroso, M.F.A., adjunct associate lecturer in the Department of English, shared a multimedia approach to developing writing and reflection practices through use of blogging and podcasting to inform and repurpose academic writing.
“For me, the main takeaway of the conference was ‘How do we acknowledge and appreciate the stories, experiences, literacies and lives that our students bring to the classroom?,” Amoroso commented. “I think we are doing this at UNE by allowing them a digital space to call their own.”
Jen Gennaco, coordinator of UNE’s DigiSpace, and Michael Cripps, director of English Composition, gave overviews of the supporting structures that help students and faculty compose and develop digital projects, including the assistance of Digital Literacy Consultants who staff the DigiSpace and provide peer-to-peer and in-class support at UNE.
Kevin Roozen, professor of writing and rhetoric at the University of Central Florida, delivered the keynote speech. He discussed how to best foster the life-long development of people, their literate practices and, ultimately, their social worlds.
“Our team felt inspired by Roozen’s presentation on the richly literate lives of students,” said Gennaco. “We immediately began discussing ideas about projects and activities that would engage students in multimedia writing and possibly beginning ePortfolio use on the first day of class.”