Improving writing across the curriculum lessons from owls
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Improving Writing Across the Curriculum: Lessons from OWLs. Tan Bee Hoon Professor Dr. Richard P. Corballis School of English & Media Studies Massey University (Turitea). Overview. 1. OWL: An Introduction 2. Theoretical Background 3. OWLs and Writing Improvement

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Improving Writing Across the Curriculum: Lessons from OWLs

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Improving writing across the curriculum lessons from owls

Improving Writing Across the Curriculum: Lessons from OWLs

Tan Bee Hoon

Professor Dr. Richard P. Corballis

School of English & Media Studies

Massey University (Turitea)


Overview

Overview

1. OWL: An Introduction

2. Theoretical Background

3. OWLs and Writing Improvement

4. An Exemplary OWL(Virtual Tour)

5. Conclusion


Owl an introduction

OWL: An Introduction

  • Online Writing Lab

  • An extension of the walk-in writing lab into the cyber space

  • Philosophy: “Give a person a fish, and he will have fish for a day; show him how to fish, and he will have fish for the rest of his lifetime.”


Owl objectives

OWL: Objectives

  • To provide consultation or tutoring service to help students in the writing process. The aim is to improve the writer, not the writing.

  • To provide various tools and resources for writing students and practitioners.


Theoretical background

Theoretical Background

  • The product approach to writing:

    - Focus is on the final product

    -Grammatical accuracy and precise rhetorical organisation are emphasized

    -The writer must not get help with his writing to avoid plagiarism.


The process approach to writing

The process approach to writing:

-Cognitive learning theory: meaningful learning is reflective and constructive

-Collaborative learning theory:

better writing is achieved through collaboration

-Errors are de-emphasized

-Writing is a process comprising various stages


Owl background

OWL Background

  • Writing as a process promptedthe establishment of writing centres in the USA in the 80s

  • Aim: to provide one-to-one consultation to help students in the various stages of their writing

  • Other facilities: word processing and references

  • Writing across the curriculum /disciplines


Improving writing across the curriculum lessons from owls

  • Early 90s, writing centres go online

  • Online services:

    - A gopher or website that promotes a physical writing centre.

    -Access to electronic handouts, guidebooks, or other reference materials.

    -Links to electronic texts from global websites


Improving writing across the curriculum lessons from owls

-Access to Internet or other network search.

- Links to homepages of the local or global writing community.

-Publishing environment for student writers.

- Connection to forums or listservs on writing.


Improving writing across the curriculum lessons from owls

-Links to MOOs for writers.

-One-to-one tutorials via private chat rooms or form-based e-mail submission


Owls and writing improvement

OWLs and Writing Improvement

  • OWLs use the same medium as that used by students in writing

  • The online medium forces students to rely solely on their writing to make their meaning clear, as students are deprived of non-verbal cues

  • OWLs are good starting places to acclimate students to the Internet

  • OWLs offer new ways for conducting research


Improving writing across the curriculum lessons from owls

  • Dakota State University OWL - 1995 survey: 90% of student users rated the OWL help as ‘good’ or very ‘good’

  • Writing Professor:

    Students who worked with the OWL improved at a measurably rate than students who did not


An exemplary owl

An Exemplary OWL

  • The Purdue University OWL

    http://owl.english.purdue.edu/

  • Established in 1994 under the directorship of Muriel Harris

  • Oldest and the most reputable

  • Comprehensive services and resources

  • Millions of virtual clients over 100 countries


Awards

Awards:

  • Learning in Motion Top Ten Selection

  • Awesome Library’s Star Rating

  • EX Connect Best of the Web

  • NetGuide‘s Best of the Web

  • Internet Public Library’s Resource of the week

  • Starting Point has ranked it 10th in Webcrawler’s Top 100 most popular sites on the web.


Improving writing across the curriculum lessons from owls

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/


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