In AY 2017-2018, I collaborated with the Writing Program Administrator (WPA) within the English Department on an internal grant for our Improving Disciplinary Writing (IDW) initiative, known as an “Action Project.”
Our grant, titled, “Mind the Gap: Bridging the Writing Gap between English General Education and University Upper-level Writing Courses Using ePortfolios” sought to improve Old Dominion University students’ writing using ePortfolios, specifically through the use of WordPress templates in writing classes at various levels. The 100- and 200-level general-education composition (‘C’) courses within the English Department’s Writing Program help to prepare students in all majors for writing in their upper-division disciplinary writing (‘W’) courses. However, there is a writing gap that frequently occurs between ‘C’ courses and ‘W’ courses, a period of time which can sometimes consist of multiple years, and we believed additional support could help students recognize, through reflection and metacognition, a transfer of composition skills during this writing gap.
We sought to bridge the gap between ‘C’ and ‘W’ courses through the use of ePortfolios, by:
- Providing training for English faculty to implement collaboratively designed writing and digital composition assignments in their ‘C’ and ‘W’ classes;
- Piloting pre-built WordPress templates for the construction of showcase ePortfolios to foster reflection, synthesis, and increased emphasis on digital literacies; and
- Ensuring that writing and digital composition assignments in the ‘C’ courses align with the learning outcomes students will encounter in their ‘W’ courses to prepare students for writing within the disciplines.
Please select the image below to see our final report on the year long project, which includes our original proposal, faculty development materials, faculty and student artifacts, assessment strategies, data, and group reflection.