Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Workshop Idea #483 (not really)

I promised that I'd soon share the faculty development workshop idea which came to me during the Tuesday evening session at this year's CWPA.

Scene: lunch. We're at the outset of a half-day workshop featuring a short keynote speech. The speaker finishes her half-hour spiel, the congregants put down their half-empty bags of chips and wipe their mayo-covered hands awkwardly on their blue jeans or tablecloths.

"All right, everyone, groups of three." At each table the six people sitting there split into two groups. While this goes on one of the organizers walks about the room with a bucket full of folded pages. One at a time one person from each group of three picks a page from the bucket. On it is given a writing-related scenario of some sort, a short case study.

"At the end of the final stage of a multistage assignment three students come to you and tell you they can't finish their final draft because etc. ..."

"Your two colleagues who are helping you complete a reading of your department's senior portfolios fall into a heated argument about an apparently irreconcilable difference in grading philosophy. They ask you to mediate etc. ..."

I'm not claiming to have a dozen of these at the front of my mind; a book like Chris Anson's WAC Casebook would make a great source for these scenarios.

Each team now has half an hour to come up with a proper response to the issue raised in their scenario. At the end of that half-hour, the teams will take turns, using five minutes to explain and interpret their scenario (or even to act it out!), and another five to resolve it. Each resolution will be followed by a brief discussion, and after four or five resolutions there will be a break during which those who've not yet presented may reflect on what they plan to say.

Could be fun, relevant, and meaningful, all at once.

I'd like to do this, I think.

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