In order to become better acquainted with individuals from across the curriculum who are interested in using technology and writing strategies in the classroom, and to share ways ePortfolio can be incorporated into classes, this feature will regularly present a member of York College faculty involved with the ePortfolio program.
Today’s featured faculty is Xiaodan Zhang, Assistant Professor in the Social Sciences Department.
1. What drew you to the ePortfolio initiative?
I have been teaching writing intensive courses since I came to York three years ago. I always want to improve my teaching ability in order to be more effective in helping our students with their writing skills. I am interested in any pedagogical discussions and new technologies that can facilitate pedagogical development. I believe that participating in this pilot ePortfolio project meets these goals of mine.
2. In which class/es are you employing the tools of the e-Portfolio?
The class is SOC201 Sociological Analysis. This class is WI. It is designed as an introductory course to students majoring in sociology. We discuss basic sociological concepts, theories and methods in the class.
3. How are you using ePortfolio/eWriting to help meet the pedagogical goals of your class/es?
I have asked students to post three of their assignments in ePortfolio. One is a short essay on “Sociological Imagination”, a kind of middle-stake writing. For this essay, a student was asked to peer-review another student’s paper on the following issues: whether the paper contains a central argument, how well the ideas are organized, and how examples are used to support one’s own argument.
The second assignment is the mid-term paper. Students are asked to write a self-reflection after reading my comments, and the following questions are given to help guide the reflection:
1) What about your paper are you the most proud? (e.g. critical thinking? Understanding the concepts? Ability to apply the theories to the empirical analysis? Organization of the ideas?)
2) After reading the comments, which aspect of your paper do you think is the most problematic? Is this a problem with all your papers or the one for this particular paper? What do you think is the cause of the problem?
3) How will you write differently if you are asked to revise it?
4) How are you going to deal with any grammatical errors in the future?
The third assignment is a final research paper. I asked students to put their proposals, outlines, interview questions, drafts and final versions in their ePortfolio so that the whole process is going to be recorded for their own future usage. I could have written my comments on their proposals and outlines within their ePortfolio instead of sending them emails individually in order for them to start working on the interviews as early as possible.
Our thanks to Professor Zhang! If you’d like to be part of Faculty Feature, please send your responses to the questions above to eWriting Studio Supervisor Jennifer Worth at jworth at york.cuny.eduTags: Featured Faculty