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Dr. Margaret Vendreys (Part 2)

Dr. Margaret Vendreys (Part 2) audio

audio/mpeg Dr Margaret Vendreys Audio Only Part 2.mp3 — 4232 KB


Greet Van Belle:
I have a question about, with W courses. What you said before really made me think of writing intensive courses. How does that change it?

Margaret Vendreys:
The dominant writing skill that I have encountered- remember I teach art history- has been so flawed, that more often than not I feel like I'm teaching writing rather than teaching history. And I've found that the amount of writing that the writing intensive template requires is stupefying for many students. To do 12 pages of formal writing can be very upsetting from the beginning, because it's on the syllabus. So they start out thinking, oh my god, what am I gonna do with that paper? You know, that kind of thing, so I have had to chop up those 12 pages into various shorter forms and help them learn how to write formally about history. And so with this project I was able to do that same kind of thing. Load it up in your sandbox everything that you think is important, about that object and this artist. Now go to the artist page and see in the Wikipedia stuff that's already there. So they were writing and judging other people's writing as well, they slowed down, there's less tension there's the same amount of pressure to write well but there was less tension around what it meant to be formal. Because the language isn’t really that formal in Wikipedia. Its almost, it’s data but it conversational as well. They don't use big words. Like juxtapoz is not going to be in it personally I feel like they got their writing-intensive workout, for me. Because the end of the semester. And they had to do things that wasn't on Wikipedia. They had to do journal writings, they had to do review shows, that kind of stuff. So they did do writing separate from this. I think the end product justifies the work done on the way, so that I don't think I short-changed them getting their writing-intensive credit for the class. And no one is failing.