ERIC Number: ED369085
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Mar-17
Reference Count: N/A
Directing a Basic Writing Program: Encouraging Diversity among Students and Instructors.
Hanson, Linda K.
Although successful by some standards, the basic writing program at Ball State University, Indiana, was altered over a period of several years because it was making incompatible demands on teachers and students alike. Public perception of the course allowed teachers some flexibility in writing instruction, but it demanded instruction in grammar and spelling. Pedagogically, instruction in formal grammar and discrete skills was unsound. Several principles guided the program director: (1) collaboration; (2) respect for faculty, for individual strengths and weaknesses; (3) respect for students, for individual strengths and differences; and (4) pragmatic politics. Major tasks included reshaping the public messages the program sent out about itself; implementing a "placement for success" formula and developing a portfolio placement procedure for students who "fall in the cracks"; evaluating writing rather than assessing competency in discrete skills in grammar and spelling; moving from a positivist, product-centered program to a social constructivist, process driven program with decentered programs; integrating assessment, pedagogy, and course goals; and developing and implementing program-wide portfolio assessment procedures. A sense of equity and of shared responsibility will be of prime importance as the program director and faculty contemplate further modifications. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Ball State University IN; Basic Writers; Portfolio Approach
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (45th, Nashville, TN, March 16-19, 1994).