Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Personalization Through Writing

This year and last we have had the unique opportunity in our Grade 11 Learning Strategies classes to work with Brock University to design and implement an online writing program. Academic-Zone™ is an innovative online learning resource that takes our students through a series of modules designed to enhance their writing and research skills and prepare them for postsecondary writing.

As this is an online program, it allows students to work at their own pace and, with teacher support, personalize their experience based on readiness. There are activities associated with each of the eight modules. A student is not able to move on to the next module until they have mastered the skill found in the current module.

As the classroom teacher, I am able to support or extend as needed based on each individual student. For example, in the “Developing a Thesis Statement” module, some students require additional support beyond the program. We work individually or in small groups on breaking down a thesis even further into concrete steps. Other students who need little support in this area can continue with the module and extend into developing thesis statements for argumentative, comparative and expository writing.

I find the Grade 11 students feel empowered and challenged knowing that they are able to work at their own pace and receive support when they need it. Because they are working on a writing program that is intended to prepare them for postsecondary writing, they see value in the program and want to learn.

Jennifer Lillie
Teacher, Student Success Centre

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