National Numeracy Network > QRurrent Events > Past Events > Writing with Numbers Workshop > Program > What works?

What works?

Morning Workshop Discussion

  • Assignments without supporting instruction are unlikely to lead to strong performance in the areas that aren't supported - e.g. exppecting good graphics without discussing what makes them good is unlikely to work.
  • Group brainstorm of criteria that make good X (graphics, papers, presentations) based on examples works to deither develop a scoring rubric or to strengthen their skills in this area.
  • Peer review (as a group or as a structured assignment) saves time, helps students learn to evaluate their own work, and leads to immediate feedback. This will fail if no one in the group has expertise/experience that supports their ability to do review or develop review criteria.
  • Peer review (as a group/or as structured assignment) saves time, helps them learn to evaluate their own work, and leads to immediate feedback. This will fail if no one in the group has expertise/experience that supports their ability to do review or develop criteria
  • Create a 'real' reviewer—e.g. a project that allows students to work for an organization; assignment structure where students become the important audience for one another. This is motivational. Working for an outside group leads to high payback for success.
  • Make explicit looking at articles/text from the class for style/construction. For example, point out how a graph in a paper is designed; how the equations are embedded in text. Even when students have read lots of examples with these things, they haven't focused on the form (as opposed to the content) of the paper.
  • Imitation is an important aspect of developing expertise with a style—we need to both validate this and make it explicit. Inventing new genres is likely to fail (e.g. 1 page paper)—there is no body of examples in the real world. It works to develop an apprenticeship version of an existing genre – e.g. writing an abreviated version or part of scientific research paper.