10-28-2016 10:33 PM
Greetings, fellow educators!
I am a full-time English professor at Blinn College, a two-year college in Texas with four campuses and a combined enrollment of nearly 20,000 students.
I have taught
I use The College Writer version of MindTap in my online Freshman Composition I course (that I teach every semester!) to help streamline learning for the students. It helps keep me and my students engaged.
To learn more about me, view
10-29-2016 08:28 AM
Welcome Audrey. I saw that teaching writing is your focus (I'm a psych prof), so do you mind if I ask a question? I was talking with the founder of a company called "Asym" the other day. They developed a method of presenting text to students that they think will improve literacy. What they do is analyze text (an article, a textbook, etc.) and then "chunk" the text - that is, they adjust the white spaces between the words so that words that frequently appear together are moved physically closer together. Wild idea, right? But the concept of "chunking" things in order to remember them better does have solid research support. You can click here to check out their webpage where they explain it in more detail.
Any thoughts on what they're doing? I kinda like it but I don't teach writing so I'd love to get your opinion. Thanks!
11-01-2016 02:57 PM
Hi, Michael. Thank you for the welcome message in regard to the new Cengage Higher Ed Faculty Community.
I am not familiar with the Asym software you identified, and I don't feel like it would be a good match for my college student population since "chunking" for reading comprehension and "perceptual asymmetry" for visual perception are different . . . still, I appreciate learning about new techniques that may encourage reading/writing.
All my best,
11-03-2016 06:02 PM - edited 11-03-2016 06:04 PM
Thanks, Sandy! I appreciate the website compliments. 🙂
And I save my money all year--squirrel it away whenever I can--in order to travel. It's a passion, and I certainly enjoy getting to experience new places!
Glad to see you in the Cengage Faculty community. Welcome!
11-05-2016 04:00 PM
Hi Audrey. I have finally signed up for the new community. Besides my teaching assisgnment, I am also the Academic Director of our MS program in Business Analytics. Our incoming students are about 70% international. Some have excellent English writing skills, but a few do not. We have started to work with our University Writing Center to identify and to assist the students who have writing development needs. However, I would be open to any suggestions that you may have. Thanks.
11-09-2016 01:50 PM
I understand your challenges with teaching English language learners, and your approach to helping them through services offered by your institution's Writing Center is a wonderful start. The one-on-one assistance students can receive there can help them make strong progress.
Have you also thought about tapping-in to other institutional resources? For instance, if your university has a dedicated Learning Center, language tutoring there may be an option. Or look into services offered by your library. Library staff often give workshops or "how to" tutorials, so even if students are learning library instruction, they can get small group practice with language. So my advice would be to continue to help students connect with services like this.
Then, if a student needs more "skill and drill" help, here are two no-fuss websites that have worked well for some of my students:
Your open mindedness and willingness to help these students goes a long way. Thank you for sharing that with them, and good luck as you move forward!
11-08-2016 06:52 PM
11-09-2016 01:54 PM
Great to connect with you as well! I remember you from a summer Atlanta event, and I'm glad we can stay connected here. Hope your semester is going well, and I look forward to working with you through this community.
P.S. Thanks for the travel pictures comment!
11-17-2016 05:18 PM
It's great to hear from you again. It sounds like things are going well for you. You have a great personal website. Once upon a time, I created a few websites for my classes, but WOW, they have come a long way.
Hope to cross paths with you again soon!
11-17-2016 10:27 PM
Thanks for the compliment!
The webpage is considered a "one-page design," which is a technique for optimizing the layout on different mobile devices. With so many people navigating webpages on phones and tablets, "tabs" are being replaced in some pages by "scrolling" so that a user doesn't have to have a delay between closing one tab and opening another one. It won't work for really robust pages, but simple ones with a handful of tabs seem to work well. 🙂
If you ever do want to jump back into page designing, there are some neat templates you can use for one-page design. Poke around, and you even when you replace pictures and change the color scheme, the website can still look fresh and different from others. Have fun!
Hope to collaborate with you again soon!
11-19-2016 07:51 AM - edited 11-19-2016 07:52 AM
Audrey: I've experienced these "one page designs" and I have to say that it's still a little weird for me. I definitely see the advantage of such an approach when you're on a mobile device - I doubt I've ever tapped on one of those "hamburger" icons on my iphone, but on a desk or lap top it's a little...I don't know, weird to have the "endless scroll". Is it just me or do other users find it odd? Maybe something we all just haven't gotten used to yet...?