The process and mechanics involved in writing are very complex. This site offers the user a valuable resource when attempting to write research papers, complete academic assignments coherently, as well as begin academic conversations with teachers and peers that are well written. It offers workshops that focus on mechanics as well as style and language in writing. In addition, the site provides for the professional exchange of ideas, communication, and references to branch out learning. The users will be able to comprehend assignments and tasks given to them by teachers in an effort to meet academic expectations. The users will self-direct learning to areas of weakness. The users will begin the process of academic conversation through effective writing skills.
Type of Material:
For natives and learners of English to improve writing
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Improve writing skills in English
Target Student Population:
Natives and learners of English
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
High intermediate English
The purpose of the Writers Way is clear and easily defined. There is a wealth of information crossing from basic mechanics to language and style. The material discusses, in depth, the varying grammatical considerations when composing a written piece. The page of commonly misspelled words is a component that highlights the need for a learning object of this kind. The detailed rules of the language as well as the offered tutorials are effective attributes.
The concerns are in the wealth of information provided as the language is itself already a complex unit. The site gives such depth to each language rule that the user can easily get distracted by the myriad of skills reinforced.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This site is useful as a teaching resource at a variety of levels. Users can pick and choose skill areas and hone in on specific mechanics of writing. As an independent study, the users will find this resource extraordinary. Users can determine their strengths and weaknesses in their writing skills, identify mistakes and misconceptions, and direct themselves to a clearer understanding of the complex English language.
Elementary teachers can choose rules from this site to post and introduce to their young, beginning writers. The list of misspelled words can be added to student words I need to know books for reference. This site can be readily integrated into any curriculum at a variety of instructional levels. The ability to use this site across grade levels, for independent or group study, is its greatest potential as a teaching-learning tool.
The materials can be easily integrated into language/ culture activities. There is a page that discusses values in academic witting which delve deeper into the issues of writing to learn, the power of questioning, and arguments. Whenever values are discussed it is a valid teaching- learning tool across cultures, worthy of further study.
Faculty and students themselves can improve their ability to teach and learn through the workshops, seminars, and sample papers given. Practice makes perfect. An instructor can create valuable learning assignments based on the variety of materials presented (for example: business letters, poetry, citation rules, and dictionary skills). On a final note of building good learning assignments, it is important to note the learning objects reference to online dictionary and thesaurus skills and effective use of; a significant leap into the 21st century. The site is complete in its delivery of content.
The concerns are embedded into the list format of the site. The engagement level is limited as there is no audio component or stimulating graphics as the user navigates. While the use of graphic organizers, consistent color scheme, and pencil reference list along the top is effective, that is the entirety of the engagement efforts on the sites part.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The integration of the online thesaurus and dictionary sites into The Writers Complex is valuable. Wordsmyth (for example) was explored where the user can, with relative ease, link to tools and resources. There is common thread of color and graphic organizers used throughout as well as screens specified for topics that can easily link the user back to the Home Page. Again, the pencil organizer on top helps ground the user and not allow one to get lost within the site. There is consistency within the general layout. The user is never stuck in one place.
Recommendations are to have more pictures and graphics as there is plenty of text already in the site based on the content itself. In addition, the shopping links to Barnes and Noble as well as Amazon are probably unnecessary and distract from the learning tasks. While the module presents information in ways that are familiar to students, it should be reiterated that much is in list format. The floor plan sample of the home page perhaps would be a more attractive and stimulating method to incorporate throughout the site, as opposed to the continual listing of links.
Other Issues and Comments:
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