How to Teach Writing Virtually
Whether you’re using a web-based platform or in-person, there are a few key things you need to consider before you begin to teach writing virtually. In this article, we’ll cover how to share your time, organize a virtual Writer’s Workshop, and embrace the purpose of student writing in the real world. Hopefully, these tips will help you make the most of your online writing lessons. Then, get writing!
In many schools, teachers have started using 90-minute chunks of class time for eLearning. Teachers can use that time for mini-lessons, writing assignments, and conferring with students. By chunking content and assignments, teachers can create a more productive, more engaging learning experience for their students. Here are three examples of how teachers are using this time effectively. In addition to chunking content, teachers can create mini-lessons by separating content into smaller pieces.
In addition to using technology to enhance the learning experience, eLearning offers a range of new modes of writing. Many students already complete their work digitally, so instructors can easily integrate multiple modes of expression into their lessons. Some instructors are even encouraging students to upload videos for feedback. Multimodal assignments allow students to complete tasks in a variety of ways, incorporating text and video. The possibilities are endless! Once you know the best way to teach writing virtually, you can create lessons that will engage your students and provide a memorable learning experience.
Video-based virtual lessons can be used to create a feedback loop, which prevents students from working alone and gives them a sense of purpose. Some video-based platforms allow teachers to record voice comments and highlight student work. They can also write directly onto a PDF and share their thoughts. Teachers should be sure to share the marking criteria with their students and try out different methods for examples of student writing pieces. Some students may have difficulty keeping attention and writing on a computer screen, but scaffolds and live feedback can make the process easier and more effective for all involved.
When planning a lesson, use Google Meet or Zoom. These applications let teachers share their screens and document cameras. They can share a mentor text or display a video or image. Using mentor texts can be helpful in teaching specific writing traits like endings and leads. Another way to demonstrate specific writing traits is by using Google Docs. If you can’t find the time to use Google Meet or Zoom, try recording your lesson and sharing it with your students.
Encourage students to confer with peers
Using peer conferences to help improve student writing skills can double or even triple the time you have available in a lesson. As author Lynne R. Dorfman points out in her blog series, “Being a Writer,” peer conferences are an important way to encourage student collaboration and conferring. But how can you make peer conferences work for your students? Here are some tips. Use this advice when teaching writing virtual classes:
First, make sure that your students understand the role of peer discussions in a virtual classroom. Some students might find virtual discussions intimidating. Encourage them to identify themselves and raise their hands before speaking. By setting expectations ahead of time, you can make the experience more pleasant and effective for all. Moreover, peer-based feedback is more effective than a single-classroom discussion. Make sure that students are aware of these rules and make sure they understand them.
Another useful tip is to use peer learning to build classroom community. ELLs can benefit from observing their peers’ learning and problem-solving skills. To help ELLs succeed with group work, make sure that they are guided with group assignments. For more ideas, check out Michelle Iadevaia’s article. She shares a great example of peer learning. She shares the story of a Rube Goldberg project that she developed with her students.
Another tip for using online forums is to use collaborative learning tools like Canvas. Using the Discussion Tool in Canvas allows instructors to set up online discussion boards. Instructors can provide specific instructions to students, including the number of original posts a peer must respond to. It is also a useful way to keep track of the critiques of student writing. For this, make sure that the instructor provides clear instructions and a deadline for the initial posts.
Embrace the real-world purpose of student writing
When teaching writing virtually, embrace the real purpose of your students’ work. Students should create written materials that will be read by the audience they wish to reach. Be specific about the type of work you want students to create, the genre they’ll write for, and the type of vocabulary they’ll need to succeed. Also, ensure your students’ writing includes vocabulary from their content areas and academic disciplines.
Organize a virtual Writer’s Workshop
If you have ever wanted to host a Writer’s Workshop, but were unsure how to go about it, then try organizing one virtually. You can use the discussion board feature on the Canvas platform to monitor student critiques and to hold conferences between students and editing groups. Inked Voice is an example of a writing workshop using art as a starting point. You can also join a writing community like Scribophile, where you can get feedback on your writing and critique the work of others. You can even get free resources and sign up for contests for writers on Scribophile.
In addition to hosting online workshops, you can also host hybrid meetings with in-person programming and virtual components. You can also incorporate live streaming, which lets writers attend from the comfort of their own homes. If you are planning a virtual workshop, make sure to properly credit your sources. Remember, a Writer’s Workshop is still a Workshop. So, it’s important to create a supportive and low-stakes environment.
When creating an online Writer’s Workshop, be sure to set expectations for students. If you want to create a virtual workshop, post some expectations on your Bitmoji classroom poster. Another option is to set up an online Writer’s Workshop in Schoology. There are many benefits to this method. First of all, it helps students practice their craft. By setting clear expectations, students will be more likely to participate.
In the past, TAA has co-sponsored several virtual writing workshops and retreats with TAA. Faculty members can also benefit from the online resources of TAA, which has extensive writing tools for faculty. This way, they can get valuable feedback from their peers. TAA also takes care of the registration process. All they need is a single link to register for the workshop. There are also several advantages to organizing a virtual Writer’s Workshop:
You can also join a Writer’s Workshop online with the help of a virtual writer’s workshop coach. The coach is a professional writer with years of experience and a 9-to-5 job. He offers tips and tricks to help writers get the most out of the experience, including improving their writing process and avoiding common pitfalls. He also says that it helps to create an agile workplace and personal development.