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Creative Writing 20: An Online Opportunity

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Lauren Jewell

on 4 April 2013

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Transcript of Creative Writing 20: An Online Opportunity

Creative Writing 20:
An Online Opportunity Rationale

The Creative Writing 20 e-learning course that I have created offers students the chance to explore writing beyond the English Language Arts context, and focus on the creative aspects of writing.

Students will be encouraged to expand their use of the writing, and express themselves in a unique and confidential way.

Ideally, this course will allow students to:
improve their language and writing skills, express their daily thoughts in a ‘safe’ environment, make connections between their own writing and the writing of others, and improve their ability to communicate and articulate their thoughts. “He who is different from me does not impoverish me - he enriches me. Our unity is constituted in something higher than ourselves - in Man... For no man seeks to hear his own echo, or to find his reflection in the glass.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Organization

The course will be based on a sixteen-week schedule, and be offered during a typical semester.

There will be daily assignments, weekly assignments, and cumulative projects included in the schedule.

Daily and weekly assignments will follow a pattern; though the required content will vary, the due dates, required effort, and marking system will remain consistent so that students know what is expected of them each week. Each week, students will be responsible for submitting:

- Two journals relevant to the unit.

- An external (found in a book, online, etc.) example of the type of writing we are discussing that resonates with them. A half-page explanation must accompany the example.

- Each student will create a blog, accessible by two classmates that they are paired with, that will feature the weekly examples. They will also be expected to respond to one another's postings.

- At the end of each week, a relevant writing assignment will be due. For example, during the poetry unit, the student will need to complete a full poem.

- At the end of the class, students will be expected to post one assignment that they are comfortable sharing on their blog for peer review. Mini-Units will include:

- Power of language
- Effective use of language
- Poetry
- Narrative
- Characterization
- Dialogue
- Autobiography
- Short Stories Pedagogy

At the beginning of each week, the instructor will email each student an example of the type of work being discussed, as well as a written lesson. Supplemental links and/or videos may be provided. The instructor will maintain an active dialogue with students throughout the week, and will be a “group member” in each of the student’s blog spaces so that they can moderate, encourage, and assess discussion. Though Creative Writing 20 is already offered in many city high schools, it is rarely offered in more than one section. Therefore, students who have timetable conflicts, live in a rural area that does not offer creative writing courses, or hold a part-time job have increased accessibility to this valuable elective.
Course Evaluation

The course evaluation will be broken down as follows:

- 20%: Weekly journals
- 20%: Weekly examples and responses
- 35%: Week-End assignments
- 25%: Final Portfolio, including Autobiography assignment. As an e-learning course, this class will be delivered entirely online. It will fit within the requirements and curriculum of the school division which delivers the program.

Students registered in the course will require daily access to a computer. If they are unable to access a computer at home, arrangements can be made so that a school laptop or computer may be made available to them for periods of the school day.

They will need to set up a blog on www.blogger.com, and have a functional email account so as to communicate with the instructor. The instructor is responsible for providing all lessons, journal prompts, deadlines, information regarding the set-up of the blog space, and information regarding groups. Rules regarding late marks and submission will comply with the school division’s policies.

The course will require no extra funding on behalf of the school, in the sense that it will be funded as it would have been if offered in a traditional classroom setting.

The email and blog software required are both free of charge. There should therefore be no additional cost incurred to the student or instructor, though they will, of course, need regular access to a computer. Thanks All! Ethical Considerations

Student writing can be very personal; when one encourages students to share their innermost thoughts, they must respect confidentiality whenever possible (within the limitations of educator’s responsibility to disclose any information regarding possible harm to a student).

Course discussions will therefore focus around writings of others (i.e., the examples of writing provided by students) as opposed to the writings of the students themselves. Students will only be required to publically share one piece of writing with their peers, and are given the chance to choose which piece of writing this will be. http://web.mit.edu/manoli/mood/www/calvin-full.html Questions? Comments?
Concerns? Resource Support

The instructor will always be available through email to the students. Each week, an online lesson will be provided regarding the mini-unit; examples and directions of how to complete certain types of writing will be included. Additionally, an online “bank” of additional grammatical and creative tips and links will be created by the instructor. Students will also have the ability to communicate with their group members through their blogs, and may choose to post more than the one required piece for peer-editing.
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