Faculty Page: Online Writing Assignments

Thanks for visiting the Writing Center Underground Faculty page. This page includes resources, useful links, and creative ideas on how to incorporate our blog into your online curriculum.

As we transition to distance learning, many for the first time, we hope you’ll find this page useful as you recreate and re-imagine your curriculum.

Guidelines and Expectations
Develop clear goals, guidelines, and expectations for you and your students. What are the requirements of your blog assignment? To answer this, consider what is the outcome you hope to meet. Consider having a set of criteria that students must meet to receive full credit.

Comments & Questions
Encourage active participation by promoting use of the “Comments” section at the conclusion of each blog post. Writing Center Underground will be monitored daily, Monday-Friday, 9-5. If students post a comment or question, they should expect to receive a response within 24 hours if posted during these hours. Comments and questions posted after 2:00pm Friday will receive a response by Monday 12:00pm.

Blog Assignment 1: Submit a Question

1)      Visit the blog at writingcenterunderground.wordpress.com 

2)     Instruct students to search the blog posts to find a topic they would like to know more about, or they have a question about. This could be individualized so that students could focus on improving something they are struggling with.

 3)     Compose a question to submit to the blog. My question for the blog post titled _____________________________________________________is: _____.

 4)     How to post a question/comment:

  1.     Scroll to the bottom of the page at the conclusion of the post.
  2.     In the box under “Leave a Reply,” where it says “Enter your comment here,” type your question.
  3.    Once your question is approved by the blog administrator, it will show on the “comments”   section. 
  4.   Use your MCC email for all correspondence. If you use an email other than your MCC email, the administrator may not approve the request, as it may automatically go into the “Spam” folder.

Blog Assignment 2: Virtual Group Presentations

Objective: To give students an alternative to passively learning information by engaging them to be active participants in learning.

Learning Outcome: Students will better understand material if they have to contextualize information to present to others and “teach” a lesson. Critical thinking skills will improve as they work to determine how to best present info to others.

1)     Divide class into groups of 2-3 on BlackBoard.

2)   Assign each virtual group one topic in Grammar or Punctuation or have groups search the blog for topics they would like to present a lesson on.

Example: If you have five groups, assign the five most common sentence-level errors for each group to present a “lesson” on for the entire class. Some lessons from the blog include:

Dangling modifiers
Active and Passive Voice
Eliminate wordiness
Commas, semi-colons, and colons

4)    Students could also create virtual handouts, short exercises, a brief PowerPoint presentation, or other visual aids that could be downloaded onto Blackboard.

Blog Assignment 3: Writing a Blog Post

1)     Visit writingcenterunderground.wordpress.com and study the blog posts.

2)   Find a writing-related topic that has not been covered in the blog, or a topic that you could more fully develop.

3)   Write a 500-750-word “post.” Your post should include:

a.       a brief introduction to the topic
b.      2-3 examples
c.       a conclusion that anticipates any questions
d.       engaging language appropriate for a wide public audience
e.      an appropriate visual image

Your post could also include
▫   Text with links
▫   Video
▫   Music
▫   “For further reading” list

The following are links to articles on online teaching:

How to Be a Better Online Teacher from The Chronicle of Higher Ed

How to Help Students Keep Learning Through a Disruption from The Chronicle of Higher Education

Online Students Don’t have to Work Solo from Inside Higher Ed

COVID-19, Remote Learning and the Beauty of All Hands on Deck from Inside Higher Ed

What Do We Need to Teach Now? from Inside Higher Ed

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