My 4Cs Presentation (slideshare version)

My presentation was part of the “Collaborative Crosscurrents in First Year Composition” panel at CCCC 2009. We were scheduled at the same time as several other panels I know I would have liked to attend, and also many people seemed to hightail it out of town on Saturday. Let’s just say the three of us were very familiar with our audience members (*cough* people across the hall in Pullman *cough*).

Because I thought my presentation was at least minimally interesting—if not for its failure to produce any results related to my original research question, then for the song and dance I did during the extemporaneous version (just kidding. there was no song, no dance)—and because I wanted to try out Slideshare, I put together this version of the talk. In real life I only had 11 slides, but I had to try to capture the rest of what I was saying in order for it to make some sense. Therefore, I give you an embedded slideshow.

[Note: if you want context for the class/cluster I’m discussing, you can skim this really long post I wrote about it: FYE, FYC, and why I was really busy in Fall ‘08.]

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5 Comments on “My 4Cs Presentation (slideshare version)

  1. I like the humor in your presentation:)

    I have a couple of questions. How much time did you spend each week commenting on student work in Google docs (did the 35+ hours of work outside of class include your time in Google docs?), and why didn’t T do this also?
    Would you do this again?
    What you said about student demographics and how your students didn’t need to rely on Google docs made me start thinking about my probably future students and that this might perhaps work better with my hypothetical demographic. In terms of time, though, I worry it takes too much on the teacher side of things when you have multiple sections.

  2. The 35 hours thing was the amount of time Toria and I spent together with the students in the out-of-class activities: in-dorm meetings, in-dorm movies (9). IOW, the extra time that went into really making this a close-knit bunch of students/one big megaclass with 2 instructors. That was a product of FF/the way we went about doing FF and not at all related to Google Docs vs not.

    Tor didn’t do Google Docs because, well, no particular reason I don’t think besides not being overly familiar with it and just preferring Word. Maybe when she’s done w/ her thesis she’ll pop over here and weigh in. Check back in April. 🙂 Her students all submitted their major papers in Word, and she commented in Word. Their portfolio-creation process was slightly different — instead of creating one big Google Doc w/ the milestone drafts, her students made one Word doc with the milestone drafts.

    I spent considerably less time commenting on student work via Google Docs than if I had to do it by hand. I mean, it would have taken longer if I wrote by hand, not that I gave them fewer comments. I would have also spent considerably less time (vs by hand) if I had used Word, but the management time would have been ramped up (keeping track of files, names, emails, etc) vs Google Docs.

    About the demographics…yeah, making an argument for a free online tool from the point of “hey, you don’t have to have your own computer or Word” when everyone here does, well, not the best argument. If I had done this with my San Jose State students, big difference I am sure. Or yeah, your potential CC demographic.

    As for how long it took me to set things up — bearing in mind that I created each student’s “document slot” for each of the major papers because I wanted to be owner so I could count on them not being removed while I was “studying” them — it took approximately 20 minutes for 52 students each time to create doc, name doc, share doc. So, that’s not a big deal: 1 hr over the course of the semester. Amount of papers I had to carry/hand back? zero. Amount of “but I emailed it to you didn’t you get it” conversations? zero.

    Sure, doing the whole “I will give you feedback whenever you ask for it” thing — if more than a few had actually taken me up on it — would have been time consuming. But simply getting/commenting on 2 drafts each of 3 papers for 52 students? Actually less time-consuming than if I hadn’t used Google Docs. For me, anyway — I’m keyboard oriented.

    Did I clarify?

  3. Yeah, I see what you mean. I end up almost commenting more on electronic drafts because it is faster and I end up typing more than I would hand write. The whole not carrying papers around thing is a definite plus as well.

    So you only commented after the due date of a paper, unless a student asked you for earlier comments? In other words, you weren’t commenting on papers until they were due, and in that sense they were like paper drafts?

    That’s a good point about creating each student’s slot yourself so you had ownership – I would not have thought of that.

    Do you do this or are you planning on doing this in other courses?

  4. Right – the idea was that they were supposed to want me to look at things before “official” drafts were do, so that I could steer them in a better direction if they were veering off the path. You know — catching problems early. Maybe a handful in each class would ask me to look at their intro or check their thesis or something like that before a draft was due. The best example of communication throughout the writing process happened in the research paper, because for each student I commented at least twice if not more on their process _before_ the draft: research proposal, possible thesis, annotated bibliography. But those were milestones built in to the process (due dates) already.

    I think that when I teach comp again I’ll def. do the Google Docs thing, and yeah, I’d tell them that if they have questions along the way they can ask. I’m teaching 403 in the summer, and the stuff they produce is so reliant on formatting that I don’t think I’ll use Google Docs — in 402/403 I always have them send elec docs and comment electronically. With 373 in the fall, their work will be electronic but I can’t see the point of GD vs an offline word processor.

    IOW, I love technology but I’m also very aware of when it’s useful and when it really doesn’t make a difference. 🙂

  5. Yeah, that makes sense. I’m trying to be more techy in the classroom since that’s never really been my thing, but I think it is a CC thing. I don’t want to do technology for technology’s sake, though, I want it to add something and be useful and I still feel like most of the time having a good discussion w/o any technology is worth a heck of a lot. The classrooms at TC are less updated that way than many of the ones in Pullman are so I have had less of a chance to experiment with things like document projectors and such. I’ve also found that the computers already set up in the classrooms at TC take forever to get going, so there’s definitely a need to plan ahead – I can’t just turn it on and show them a website very easily so I’m looking forward to being somewhere where these things are perhaps more accesible.

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