How to Prepare for Your Learning Objectives Conference

Over the next week or so, we’ll be meeting one-on-one for a half-hour conference to discuss your progress towards the course learning objectives.  All conferences will be held in my SASC office, room 4.  You won’t need to check in for these conferences.  Find the conference schedule at the bottom of this post.

Learning Objectives

To make these conversations fruitful, you will need to:

  • Review the course learning objectives
  • Gather evidence of your progress
  • Reflect on your learning

For this first conference, we’re going to focus on the following course learning objectives, each of which is described in detail on its own post on this site.  Start by reading and understanding the learning objectives and the


Once you understand each learning objective, look for evidence of your progress.  Evidence of your progress may include:

  • An ePortfolio post that shows you reflecting on some part of your learning, or the habits of mind of experienced writers
  • Your revision plan video
  • Marked up pages from readings
  • Prewriting samples
  • Peer review comments
  • Description of your attitude and effort
  • Placing yourself on the Continuum of Engagement

Once you have gathered your evidence, you can choose either of the two following options:

A. Write a reflection on each of the four learning objectives we’re assessing this time in which you describe the learning objective and present the evidence for your progress, and then come to conference to talk about your progress.


B. Prepare yourself to present evidence of your progress to me in conference, then write a reflection about your progress, making sure to consider each of the learning objectives.

Remember, you have already selected one of these options in class.

Conference Schedule
Tuesday, Oct. 4

10:30 – Cali (B)

Wednesday, Oct. 5

2:30 – Kenny (B)

Thursday, Oct. 6

1:45 – Meg (B)

Monday, Oct. 10

8:45 – Ciara (A)

1:15 – Ian (B)

Wednesday, Oct. 12

11:00 – Chelsey (B)

11:30 – Blake (A)

12:30 – Hannah (B)

2:45 – Myles (A)

Thursday, Oct. 13

12:30 – Ally (B)

1:45 – Ben (B)

Friday, Oct. 14

1:15 – Michaela (B)

ePortfolio Help – Menus and Widgets

Help - photo credit: Bart Maguire

Help – photo credit: Bart Maguire,

We hit a speed bump today in class when we realized that some WordPress Themes don’t automatically include menus, or include items in menus.

So you may need to do some work to enable readers to find your literacy narrative on your ePortfolio.  If your theme already includes a menu, you may need to add your page to the menu.  If your theme doesn’t already have a menu, you’ll need to add a custom menu to a widget.

The following resources curated by the folks at UNE Digispace can help:



Writing as a Recursive Process 1

Course Learning Objective: Writing as a Recursive Process – 20%

Reading is part of the writing process, and writing is part of the reading process. The iterative, recursive nature of the writing process means that careful reading of both one’s sources and one’s own writing are regular practices for one who approaches mastery of this learning outcome.  A student who is making substantive (global) changes in both the content and organization of a writing project as it moves from an early to a final draft is moving in the direction of mastery. A student moving in the direction of mastery is also engaged in local revision in the final steps of the process through careful editing and proofreading.

Some markers of substantive change (global revision) across drafts include:

  • Changes to an introduction to better frame the project, establish the conversation and sources in play, and articulate how the student’s thesis contributes to that conversation
  • Reorganization of paragraphs to more effectively develop the written project
  • New body paragraphs that develop on ideas in an early draft or that introduce important new ideas
  • Improved source use (evidence) and explanations

Some markers of local revision include:

  • Improvement in signal phrases leading into and punctuation around quotations and paraphrases
  • Reduction in subject-verb agreement, plural/possessive, and punctuation errors that yield fragmented or run-on sentences
  • Attention to the overall readability of one’s prose


The Writing Process

Critique Own and Others Work 1

Course Learning Objective: Critique Own and Others’ Work – 15%

Strong writers can effectively evaluate both their own and their peers’ writing. They analyze drafts for idea development, claims, evidence and organization; identify solid elements of a draft as well as targeted opportunities for revision; and consider organization from a reader’s point-of-view. They go beyond merely identifying problems and offer concrete, specific suggestions for revision. They participate fully in peer review markup and group discussion of drafts, and they embrace revision as an opportunity to transform a project. A student engaged in these practices is moving in the direction of mastery.

Some markers of solid critique of one’s own and others’ work include:

  • Comments on drafts that address idea development, claims and evidence, and organization
  • Comments on drafts that offer specific suggestions for change (possible quote, claim, or explanation), not merely a critique of weak spots
  • Discussion of a peer’s ideas include exploration of the ideas in the project, suggestions regarding implications, possible opportunities for extension, and even counterarguments
  • Visible work after a draft that demonstrates efforts to clarify, to rework sections, and to rethink ideas
  • Concrete, specific revision plan
  • Both offers and accepts feedback generously and in good faith


Active Critical Reading Process 1

Course Learning Objective: Active Reading, Critical Reading, & Informal Reading Response – 15%

Active, critical readers mark their texts by underlining, highlighting, or otherwise identifying key passages in a reading. They treat margins as places to ask questions, to sketch connections, and to express their ideas or thoughts about a text. And they work to follow a writer’s line of argument, to locate and evaluate the claims, and to imagine possible challenges. They aim to grasp key concepts and examples, while also locating moments where they might disagree with a writer. An active reader uses informal writing in response to specific moments in a text to discover one’s thoughts, to improve one’s understanding, and to explore connections between readings. A student engaged in these practices is moving in the direction of mastery.

Some markers of active, critical reading include:

  • Marginal (or similar) note-taking that shows a reader asking questions, understanding key concepts or examples, drawing relationships between parts of a text or across multiple texts, challenging claims in a text
  • Focused informal writing that shows a reader extending ideas, challenging ideas, exploring connections between texts, and/or considering implications of specific passages for an idea
  • Presenting specific passages and ideas about those passages in small-group work, in an informal presentation to the class, in a blog post, or elsewhere


Engagement 1

Course Learning Objective: Engagement – 20%

Engaged learners are physically, mentally, and behaviorally present in class. They are willing to try new things and accept that mistakes create important opportunities for learning. They embrace what Carol Dweck calls a “growth mindset” that helps keep them open to learning from both success and failure. A student engaged in these practices is moving in the direction of mastery.

Some markers of strong engagement include:

  • Attending class, focusing on class tasks, and participating actively in small group and class discussion
  • Completing assigned activities, even when they might be difficult or time consuming
  • Trying different approaches to reading, writing, and discussion
  • Reviewing mistakes to explore ways to improve and grow


Continuum of Engagement

On the Miracle of Language

Helen Keller with Annie Sullivan, July 1888

Helen Keller with Annie Sullivan, July 1888

In “On the Miracle of Language,” Miller and Jurecic explain that language is commonly thought of as both “a sacred gift” and a functional communication tool (134). But they urge emerging writers to put aside these common ideas, and focus instead on the “creative, generative, exploratory powers” of language (134).

As you compose your reply to this post, first summarize and explain the ideas about language Miller and Jurecic want you to consider, then reply to their prompt reproduced in italics.  As you close your comment, include a paragraph about how doing this exploratory writing might contribute to your development of your literacy narrative.

The water pump scene in The Miracle Worker derives in part from all the frustration, rage, and anger that precedes it: the endless hours of instruction that seemed to have no payoff; the screaming; the thrown food. Without the miracle at the pump, Helen Keller might have spent the rest of her life unable to communicate her thoughts to others except through physical behavior, in particular gestures of frustration and protest.

When you reflect back on your own experience, when was the moment that you felt most fully incapable of making yourself understood? What prevented others from understanding you? What did you do following this experience? Was there a way, at some subsequent moment, to bring about mutual understanding, or are there some experiences that simply cannot be expressed? Write [for the rest of the class period] about that moment, doing your best to render the truest representation of your experience at the time. (136)

Please respond by way of a comment on this blog.