Thursday, February 14, 2019

DR C's Academic Online Cruise, Week Four: Preparing for the Midterm Exam Assignment

To read the initial post about DR C's Academic Online Cruise, go HERE.

DR C—CAPTAIN'S LOG
ONBOARD AND ONLINE—WEEK FOUR: FEBRUARY 3 to FEBRUARY 9

ONBOARD—WEEK FOUR
Day One 

My total focus is working to prepare the trainees for the upcoming midterm exam assignment. It is an argumentation assignment in which the hypothetical audience is the Congress of the United States. I may have mentioned this in an earlier blog post. By the end of Week Two, everyone should have posted his/her proposed topic keeping in mind that the topic had to be a controversial one that Congress may consider. 

Each trainee had to propose at least one topic; however, s/he could, also, post more. Then, I would review and approve or not approve every topic posted. The post was to be very short and follow the same format: For or Against? 

No discussion about the topic by anyone was to be added. If I did not approve a topic, I provided a detailed reason. I encouraged every trainee to read my reasons for disapproval to help them understand and see how a "critical reader" may view posts. Any topic approved, not just the one posted, anyone could choose for the assignment. 

Teaching Argumentation is a Requirement

Bare Essentials Handbook
Chapter 8 of the handbook, Bare Essentials, gives a thorough discussion of how the assignment should be developed. Argumentation is a major form of writing that this cruise line requires every captain to teach. Of course, each captain may choose this/her way of approaching this form of discourse. Still, everyone is expected to make certain that all trainees understand the importance of the following:

* audience
* development of a thesis that states a position and reasons for that position 
* development of support
* a respectful acknowledgment of opposing viewpoints
* a respectful refutation of those viewpoints

Having taught this discourse many times, I have asked my former trainees to critique my technique and the handbook used. They have given me very useful suggestions for improving my teaching and making the handbook even more effective in teaching this particular discourse. They have suggested my color-coding the format of presentation of the body paragraphs. This addition has been quite useful in helping my trainees understand the format I wanted and to insure they understand the reason for this format.

Friday, February 8, 2019

DR C's Academic Online Cruise, Week Three: Moving Forward Through Rough Waters

To read the initial post about DR C's Academic Online Cruise, go HERE.

DR C—CAPTAIN'S LOG
ONBOARD AND ONLINE—WEEK THREE: JANUARY 27 to FEBRUARY 2

ONBOARD—WEEK THREE
Day One 

I collected the Definition themes. I must say this assignment was satisfying to read. Each paper gave me personal insight into each of my trainees. 

Also, I gained a sense of how well I was establishing a rapport with my trainees. They really shared some very personal information about themselves. This showed they trusted that I would not make any judgments or let what they shared be known to anyone. They trusted my discretion. Most definitely, I would not betray that trust. 

Several of them did not submit their work because the bad weather created very rough waters. The ship's administration did not allow for classes to begin until the latter part of the morning. So, some did not even come because their "sea legs had buckled." 

I received e-mails from some letting me know they were unable to attend class because of illness. And those who attended looked a tad worn and "green around the gills." So, I let everyone know that s/he could send me their themes via e-mail before midnight. This is what most did. 

Grading the Papers

For this assignment, I only graded the content presentation. The rubric I have used for grading their papers is the Evaluation Sheet that is on one of the pass-protected sites. They can always use it as a sample. I encourage them to make copies and use these items as a checklist: 

Thesis Sentence:               50 pts.
Introductory Paragraph:     20 pts.
Topic Sentence:                 20 pts.
Body Paragraphs:              40 pts.
Organization:                     20 pts.
Unity:                                 15 pts.
Coherence:                        15 pts.
Concluding Paragraph:      20 pts.

Each set of points is earned if all of the criteria that are indicated on the Evaluation Sheet are met for each paragraph. If any of you are interested in seeing the full Evaluation Sheet, please feel free to contact me. I shall send you a copy. Contact me at info@marketingnewauthors.com.

Needless to say, I did write comments throughout each trainees paper.  Although I did not include any of the mechanics and grammatical errors that were in a trainee’s paper for this paper’s grade, I did mark them and re-emphasize where each trainee could garner guidance to learn to eliminate these errors. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

DR C's Academic Online Cruise, Week Two—Testing Trainees and Argumentation Topics


To read the initial post about DR C's Academic Online Cruise, go HERE.  

DR C—CAPTAIN'S LOG
ONBOARD AND ONLINE—WEEK TWO: JANUARY 20 to JANUARY 26 

ONBOARD—WEEK TWO
Day One 

Well, my plan to write in this blog at the end of each week has not come to fruition. I find that the first week of paper checking and other responsibilities as a captain have made it difficult to do. However, here I am, now, reporting “fer duty.”

I do my best to return graded papers as soon as possible. Generally, I have papers graded and returned by the next class session. Knowing that this first set may need me to make several detailed comments on the content presentation and marking of grammatical and mechanics errors, I am glad I have had the whole weekend to check these papers.

Experience has taught me that, most of the time, the first paper is not the most stellar. And checking these papers takes time. At least for me, even the best paper takes me about thirty (30) minutes. 

For me, just writing a few phrases of praise or pointing out an issue is not sufficient. I use a rubric and use it as a guide for my trainees to follow in addition to my comments and markings. One of the ways that I show my commitment to this marriage is my thorough effort in the checking of my trainees’ papers.

Also, as shared earlier, I am extremely committed to working on retention. Besides the use of a metaphor that works to develop some kind of unity among the trainees, research can be valuable. 

Testing the Trainees

I use two testing instruments that I used during my doctoral studies. One of the instruments addresses the issue of academic motivation. The other deals with the issue of one’s perception of how much a student feels a responsibility for outcomes.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

DR C's Academic Online Cruise, Week One—Instructing the Crew


To read the initial post about DR C's Academic Online Cruise, go HERE.

DR C—CAPTAIN'S LOG

ENGLISH COMPOSITION 102
ONBOARD AND ONLINE— WEEK ONE, JANUARY 13 to JANUARY 19

ONBOARD—WEEK ONE
Day One

After the first week, instead of having 20 onboard trainees (students), there are twenty-five (25). Nice! There are eleven (11) males and fifteen (14) females. 

Preview book HERE
On the first day, I review the basics of college theme writing. Recently, some have had training on a 101 ship; for others, it has been a little while. So that no one will be at a disadvantage, this is the purpose of the review. I encourage they read Chapter 6 of the handbook, Bare Essentials, 18th ed. This will insure everyone has the opportunity to review the same material, not just via lecture but via written material, too. I recognize that some trainees need to depend on more than their notes; thus, actually reading what has been presented at a training session should help.

Then, to prepare my trainees for the Thursday writing assignment, which will be done in class, I discuss the topic and ways they may want to approach the topic. 

This assignment will be based on Chapters 1, 4, and 5 of the other text for this cruise, Linguistics for College Freshmen and Sophomores: Non Majors, Welcome! These chapters discuss the impact of language, the different registers, the manner in which people code switch to accommodate the requirements of their linguistic environment, and manners in which language is acquired. 

Preview book HERE
They are to write a five-paragraph theme on the following: Indicate the main message about language is conveyed in Chapter 1, Chapter 4, and Chapter 5 of Linguistics for College Freshmen and Sophomores.

They can bring any notes they may have placed in their texts or written in their notebooks that they feel may help them in the writing of the paper. They are not, however, supposed to have the paper written before coming to this do this assignment.

Also, in this first session, I distribute the regular “stuff”: syllabus and class policies. The third page of the policies has a section where each trainee has to print and sign his or her name acknowledging they understand and agree with the policies for this cruise.

I make it clear if anyone does not agree with the policies that she or he should not choose to continue on the cruise. Thus, I do not accept the signed policies until the second day that each person attends a session. I want to make sure they understand what they are signing. This class policies sheet serves as the “marriage certificate.” 

Sunday, January 13, 2019

DR. C's Academic Online Cruise Ship, The SS FORAGER, Has Set Sail!


DR C—CAPTAIN'S LOG: JANAURY 13, 2019

So, Here I Am, Again

Some of you have sailed with me in previous cruises, the Creative Writing Cruise and/or the Blog Online 102 Cruise. For those of you new to this blog cruise, you will see that I see teaching as a cruise and my students are trainees preparing to become future captains. 

I function as the Captain. You may call me, "Captain C." I have fifteen weeks to get these rookies ready to transfer or pass out of this advanced training of English 102 (Advanced English Composition). I am looking forward to the challenge and experience. 

So, here I am, again, using an established metaphor and launching a new one. I am looking forward to this cruise. My schedules (syllabi) are ready. And the SS Forager is poised to go. 

And why is this academic line called the “Forager”? A forager is one that hunts and gathers. And as Captain C, I shall work to lead trainees to hunt for information and gather this information to help them learn and put to use the knowledge to help not only themselves personally but to serve others whom they touch professionally.

Our "Onboard" and "Online" Meeting Times

I refer to the students who come to my English 102 class as my "onboard trainees." I refer to students who are taking my English 102 online as my "online trainees." The onboard trainees meet twice a week. The online trainees have one three-hour session per week. 

As you can presume, the onboard trainees and I have different meeting times than the online trainees. My onboard trainees meet for a total of three (3) hours during a week on a Tuesday and Thursday. My online trainees have no particular day and time to meet. However, there are specific times when these trainees must complete reading and writing assignments as well as tasks.

My current records state I shall be responsible to train twenty (20) captains-in-trainee on board of this academic cruise line and twenty-five (25) captains-in-trainee online. Having years of experience as a full captain teaching both on ship and online, I have recognized the challenges when teaching to trainees on board and online. 

Different metaphors must be used; still, the content will be the same. It is the approach that must differ and serve as a motivating factor for each group of trainees. 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

MANA's DR C Announces New Consultant Services!

MarketingNewAuthor.com's own Dr. C now offers one-on-one consultant services for college students and writers who want help with improving their English writing skills. Listen to the video for more information about "DR C Consultant Services." 




To find out more about DR C Consultant Services, visit DR C's blog at: https://www.drcconsultant.com.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Diary of Zita Cecilia McNamara: A Case of Sexual Discrimination


Editor's Note: Click HERE to read Dr. C's previous post on the origin of Zita's diary. This entry begins with 13-year-old Zita writing to her guardian angel, "Bishop."

Dear Bishop (Age 18, Recap of Senior Year) Yes, it is time for me to move this digital letter writing along. You have a clear sense of how I have developed since those early teen years. Now, let me give a brief summary of my Senior Year in high school. First, let me share that attended a Catholic High School. It was a very unique school; it was like a little United Nations. Students from different ethnic and economic classes attended. And I must say I experienced four years of happiness during my high school years. The nuns, Sisters of Charity, were great teachers in so many ways. I actually considered becoming a nun because of them. However, obviously, from my earlier writings, that idea was dashed when I realized that I would have to make a choice between being a nun and having a boyfriend. The boyfriend won out. Still, I treasured so much the nuns who taught me. That is probably why I was so hurt when one seemed to “turn” on me.

When my senior year began, everyone and I knew who would be the valedictorian of my senior class. He was a very nice guy who was smart+. And I knew and shared with Mummy that Charlie and I would be in the running for salutatorian. Now, his strength was in the sciences. And I told Mummy during the beginning of the school year that would be the only way he would “beat” me. Of course, she encouraged me to do my best, which was not even a question that I would not try hard. I wanted to make my Mummy and Daddy proud.