Academic journal article NACTA Journal

Using University Resources to Improve Writing in the Classroom: A Look at Agricultural Colleges in the Western United States

Academic journal article NACTA Journal

Using University Resources to Improve Writing in the Classroom: A Look at Agricultural Colleges in the Western United States

Article excerpt

Using University Resources to Improve Writing in the Classroom: A Look at Agricultural Colleges in the Western United States

Neal MacDougall

Agribusiness Department

California Polytechnic State University

San Luis Obispo, CA 93407

Becoming aware of what writing resources are available for use in teaching can often be more difficult than choosing to reinvent those resources or simply to use those resources in an ad hoc manner, especially given time constraints. In a Senior Project class, I have incorporated rubrics, peer editing and various University writing resources (the University Writing Lab as well as writing faculty) into my class organization. I am not aware of any other University writing resources at my disposal, nor have I evaluated my approaches to using University writing resources with respect to other colleges of agriculture. To evaluate my use of resources with respect to what is available at Cal Poly and with respect to how other faculty like me at other colleges of agriculture might use their resources, I did the following:

* Inventory existing University writing resources (classes, services, and faculty) and determine how those existing resources are being used in the Agribusiness Department curriculum;

* Use my Senior Project class as a means by which to determine how well those resources are being used and what more can be done;

* Generate a template for how an agriculture-oriented class at Cal Poly might incorporate the existing writing resources and methods;

* Undertake a web-based and interview-based survey of writing resources at selected agricultural colleges in the western United States to determine the general availability of such resources;

* Write a broader template of how agriculture-oriented courses could use these resources; and,

* Hypothesize the changes that an instructor might need to undertake in order to best take advantage of those resources. …

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