Writing-intensive courses face a particular challenge, in that they must help students learn about both the elements of academic writing and also the course topic. That being so, we strongly recommend moving as much introduction of topic-content as possible into video format and placing that video in Playposit so that discussion, quiz, and reflection prompts can be embedded as needed. Synchronous class-time can then be spent on high-quality learning interaction such as discussion of the course topic and how to effectively express that analysis and argument in writing.
On the writing front, synchronous face-to-face time is best spent on feedback on student writing, either from the instructor or from peers, ideally from both. If you are making use of peer-review, we recommend using a review rubric to help students review effectively and learn how to evaluate writing.
For a writing-intensive course, we recommend this basic pattern:
|Week X: [this week’s topic]
|What we are doing this week (text page)
|Readings and Materials (links, page ranges, videos, etc.)
|Zoom link if online/blended/hybrid (External URL link to specific meeting)
|Post-class discussion or Q&A (a discussion board)
|Writing Assignment (peer-reviewed, if using that mode)
By providing opportunities to reflect on the material and articulate themselves, both during and after the class session, you will increase the depth of thought students can give the course topic and their writing process. We recommend using discussion activities rather than Assignment items, so that students will be able to read each other’s thoughts and ideas. Remember that students can record on-the-spot video responses, for their discussion posts, too! LSA has a variety of discussion tools available to choose from.
If you are providing any readings in electronic format, consider adding them as a Hypothesis or Perusall assignment, rather than simply linking to the file, so that students can share their annotations, reading notes, and questions with each other there, as well.
Visit Canvas Commons to find a blank writing intensive template to import into your Canvas course.
To import a LSA Template into your Canas course:
View more detailed instructions on how to import a LSA Template into your Canvas course.
If you would like to consult with someone on the best way to use this template for your own course, contact the Learning and Teaching Technology Consultants at LSATechnologyServices@umich.edu.
For specific assistance in fulfilling or managing the requirements of a writing intensive course in an online or hybrid format, consider also consulting with the Sweetland Writing Center.