I like to begin the term in any class that I'm teaching by asking my students some questions about themselves as writers so that I can better understand their learning style. After a while, I developed a variety of writing assignments around the questions that I tend to ask. I usually use one of these writing assignments very early in the term, so that I can learn something about the students' backgrounds. We might discuss all the questions underlying these assignments, but they'd only write an extended piece on one of the questions. In a composition class, the question would be the basis of an essay.
These audience analysis techniques ask students to think about their readers from a slightly different point of view (as an opponent in a soccer game, for instance), or to think about the similarities and differences that they have to their readers. The exercises lean more toward persuasive and informative writing assignments. Though they could be rephrased or adapted for other uses.
In what could be considered a model of using off-the-shelf tech tools for a high-impact class project, a writing class spent the fall semester creating resources to help victims of online bullies. The Tech Therapy team talks with Mark Marino, an assistant professor of writing at University of Southern California who led the effort, and one of his students about their online campaign.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.