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Thinking Context: No More Writing "Workshop"

blendedlearning's picture

Thinking Context is a recent post by John Warner on his Inside Higher Ed blog, "Just Visiting," where Warner considers and discusses the implications of the language educators use. Regardless of whether or not the particular terms he discusses - peer review vs. peer response, workshop vs. laboratory, research paper vs. researched essay, etc - are relevant to your field and your classroom, he raises important points about the necessity of deliberate language in the classroom. These standardized education terms, as he points out, are often communicating more than we intend, and can set an unintended tone for assignments and activities.

While Warner's article is focused on the traditional classroom, his argument has interesting implications for the world of blended education, where the terminology is less established, less conventional, and more flexible. As we are beginning to arrive at mutually agreed upon and communally understood language, it's important to think through the implications of the terminology which is gaining traction.


Anne Dalke's picture

web "events" and "syllaships"

I really like John's attention to the importance of words, and Jenny's to changing contexts. Several years ago, as we were co-designing a portion of a course, one of the students quipped that she was contributing to a syllaship (because a bus isn't big enough)--and so "syllaship" has become a key term I evoke, to describe the common sense of over-fullness in my classes. I myself substituted "web event" for "web paper" (itself an earlier substitute for "paper") when I began requiring "my" (oops!) students to publish their work on-line. Creating an event rather than writing a paper--one that might use image and sound as well as words--is a more accurate description of what I am inviting them to /insisting they do, and often presents surprises, like this zine